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 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.