WSJ: Android Tops iPhone in Primary Phone Usage

If it routinely seems as though otherwise credible headlines from trusted media outlets contradict each other on almost a daily basis, it’s probably because they actually do – especially when it comes to covering the sphere of mobile news. On Monday, for example, Nielsen released new data indicating that Apple now clings to a very …   Read More

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If it routinely seems as though otherwise credible headlines from trusted media outlets contradict each other on almost a daily basis, it’s probably because they actually do – especially when it comes to covering the sphere of mobile news.

On Monday, for example, Nielsen released new data indicating that Apple now clings to a very small lead over Android and BlackBerry in terms of US smartphone market share. Apparently, the race for supremacy is so tight that by Wednesday Android had taken a fresh lead over the iPhone.

At least that how it sounds.

According a Wall Street Journal report published last night, for the first time on record, more Americans say they are using cellphones powered by Google Inc.’s Android system than Apple Inc.’s iPhone. That information was gleaned from a new survey from technology-tracking firm comScore Inc.

About 26% of U.S. smartphone users said an Android device was their primary phone in the three months ending in November, compared with 25% using Apple Inc.’s iPhones.

These days, with few exceptions, it appears as though the news headlines covering Apple, Android, BlackBerry and the rest of the smartphone makers were written by rabid pro wrestling promoters.

Indeed, the competitive nature and strong user preferences of ardent tech fans and especially tech journalists are clearly driving the “heated race” tone of many of today’s most interesting mobile phone-related news pieces. One day the iPhone is on top. The next, Android bounds to the apex. Ultimately, however, the day-to-day stats matter less than the big picture, which tells us a lot more than any one “mobile survey” ever could.

According to that same Wall Street Journal report, smartphone ownership increased by 64% from just last year. By the same token, one in four Americans now owns a smartphone. And just one year from now it is estimated that there will be roughly 80 million smartphone owners in the US alone.

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4 comments

  1. Martin Hill

    However, Apple's overall iOS installed base is still double the size of Android and daily sales of iOS devices look to still be greater than Android. comScore only counts the iPhone not the hot-selling iPod Touch or iPad despite including tablets like the Dell Streak and Samsung Galaxy Tab in their Android smartphone OS figures.

    My question to you is: what are smartphone *operating system* marketshare figures useful for?

    If your answer is “so developers and consumers can see which is the largest platform for their software”, then why are you not including all iOS devices in your analysis? If you do that, then Apple’s installed base suddenly doubles and leaves both Android and Blackberry in the dust.

    If you answer that OS marketshare figures are important for advertisers, then again, why not include all iOS devices that share the same mobile browser and app platform?

    If you answer "to group all devices with a common graphical user interface and user experience together", then you should be comparing all the individual manufacturer or carrier-created Android GUIs such as MotoBlur or Sense individually against iOS.

    If you answer “so 3rd party hardware peripheral manufacturers know which platform to target” then you should be considering the far larger number of iOS devices that all share a common dock connector and standard form factor compared to the completely fragmented form factor and dock connector standards of the myriads of much smaller competitors.

    Of course consumers also want to know which phone has the most dock-equipped audio systems, car steering wheel interfaces, clock radios, etc and of course the answer is the iPhone which is virtually unchallenged in this regard.

    The fact is that comScore includes tablets like the Streak and Galaxy Tab in their figures because Google requires all tablets include cell phone hardware in order to get access to the Android Marketplace. However, comScore does not count the iPod touch and the iPad. The iPod touch even by itself boasts sales close to that of the iPhone, particularly during the pre-Christmas quarter.

    With the iPod touch and iPad completely obliterating the opposition in mini tablets and tablets respectively and sales of both equalling iPhone sales, Apple still has by far the largest mobile OS platform installed base easily doubling that of Android.

    In terms of new sales, back in October Apple was selling 270,000 iOS devices a day (peaking at 300,000 on some days) when Google was activating 200,000 Android devices. Recently Google announced they had hit 300,000 activations a day, and while we haven't yet heard what Apple's latest figures are it is highly likely they will be higher than Android thanks to the usual pre-Christmas sales surge of all iOS devices.

    If you are only interested in smartphones, then why aren’t you comparing Samsung, Motorola, HTC, etc all individually against Apple and RIM? After all, operating systems are only interesting if you are comparing app platforms.

    Why can’t analysts make comparisons that are actually useful?

    -Mart

  2. Martin Hill

    However, Apple’s overall iOS installed base is still double the size of Android and daily sales of iOS devices look to still be greater than Android. Commscore only counts the iPhone not the hot-selling iPod Touch or iPad despite including tablets like the Dell Streak and Samsung Galaxy Tab in their Android smartphone OS figures.

    My question to you is: what are smartphone *operating system* marketshare figures useful for?

    If your answer is “so developers and consumers can see which is the largest platform for their software”, then why are you not including all iOS devices in your analysis? If you do that, then Apple’s installed base suddenly doubles and leaves both Android and Blackberry in the dust.

    If you answer that OS marketshare figures are important for advertisers, then again, why not include all iOS devices that share the same mobile browser and app platform?

    If you answer “so 3rd party hardware peripheral manufacturers know which platform to target” then you should be considering the far larger number of iOS devices that all share a common dock connector and standard form factor compared to the completely fragmented form factor and dock connector standards of the myriads of much smaller competitors.

    Of course consumers also want to know which phone has the most dock-equipped audio systems, car steering wheel interfaces, clock radios, etc and of course the answer is the iPhone which is virtually unchallenged in this regard.

    The fact is that Commscore includes tablets like the Streak and Galaxy Tab in their figures because Google requires all tablets include cell phone hardware in order to get access to the Android Marketplace. However, Commscore does not count the iPod touch and the iPad. The iPod touch even by itself boasts sales close to that of the iPhone, particularly during the pre-Christmas quarter.

    With the iPod touch and iPad completely obliterating the opposition in mini tablets and tablets respectively and sales of both equalling iPhone sales, Apple still has by far the largest mobile OS platform installed base easily doubling that of Android.

    In terms of new sales, back in October Apple was selling 270,000 iOS devices a day (peaking at 300,000 on some days) when Google was activating 200,000 Android devices. Recently Google announced they had hit 300,000 activations a day, and while we haven’t yet heard what Apple’s latest figures are it is highly likely they will be higher than Android thanks to the usual pre-Christmas sales surge of all iOS devices.

    If you are only interested in smartphones, then why aren’t you comparing Samsung, Motorola, HTC, etc all individually against Apple and RIM? After all, operating systems are only interesting if you are comparing in app platforms.

    Why can’t analysts make comparisons that are actually useful?

    -Mart

  3. nur atikah shuhaidah

    hai komen apw tu ??

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