Device operating systems

Android Dethrones the iPhone

NOON -- It's finally happened: Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has dethroned the king. The Android operating system is now selling on more mobile phones in the US than Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPhone, according to consumer research firm NPD Group Inc. . NPD says Apple captured only 21 percent of the US consumer market in the first three months of the year, while Google claimed 28 percent.

Oh, and BlackBerry 's line of BlackBerry phones still reigned supreme with 36 market share, but that's less exciting. (See Worldwide Cellphone Shipments Up 21%.)

NPD gets its numbers from online consumer surveys, not actual sales, and doesn’t include corporate handsets. comScore Inc. put Google at only 10 percent of the market as of February, suggesting either that someone is off or the carrier's Android marketing push of late is paying off.

Android handsets are now offered by all four US carriers, and cover a variety of handset makers. The most notable new launches, the High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) Droid Eris and Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) Droid, have received heavy promotion from Verizon Wireless , which extended its buy-one-get-one free from only BlackBerries to all smartphones.

Another possible explanation is it's getting close to that time of year when Apple unveils the latest and greatest version of the iPhone. This year, the expected launch has gotten more hype than usual, thanks in large part to a prototype, a bar, and one forgetful Apple employee. (See iPhone Finder Unmasked and Police Raid Gizmodo Editor's Home.)

We'll have to wait until next quarter to see if Android can keep the momentum up and Apple can deliver on the next-gen iPhone, or if NPD's consumer surveys were just slightly off this quarter.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:36:49 PM
re: Android Dethrones the iPhone

I'm inclined to say this is attributable to Android's success, but it has a bigger challenge ahead of it. It has to keep innovating and offering new high-end devices, whereas Apple has to just keep making the iPhone software and/or hardware cooler.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:36:48 PM
re: Android Dethrones the iPhone


They are completely different models of success:

Android sorta equates to Windows.  Lots of variation and openness.  Theoreticallly lots of different kinds of smartphones targeted at different markets and carriers.

iPhone sorta equates to the Mac OS + Mac HW.  Apple gets a lot more integration but because of that it has to do all the work itself. 

Apple has made, continues to make, and will make a lot of money with the iPhone.  It will eventually be buried by Android in terms of numbers.  In terms of profit, I would say that is nowhere near as clear.  Would you rather be Microsoft or Apple?  How about Dell?  Best Buy? 

How does one judge winning?  Does my winning mean you are losing?  In this case, I suspect both may be able to count themselves as winners as I suspect they judge the outcome by different metrics.



joset01 12/5/2012 | 4:36:47 PM
re: Android Dethrones the iPhone The challenge for Apple is trying to keep topping its previous iPhone (or iPad) model. Look at the stupid expectations that Apple will introduce an LTE phone this summer, clearly not possible but the hype behind Apple will mean disappointment when they don't.

Android needs comparable devices to iPhone but also a full-range of lower end handsets, all without fragmenting the OS...
netpert 12/5/2012 | 4:36:44 PM
re: Android Dethrones the iPhone

We at Rapidsoft Systems (http://www.rapidsoftsystems.co...) have been developing Mobile Phone applications on all kind of platforms. We do iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Palm, Symbian, WinMobile and J2ME - so we know a bit about them.

iPhone is in a class of its own - no comparison. A great device if you want itune integration, slick API - nothing comes close. A good development platform (migration to objective c is easy - but there is a learning curve).

Android - A very nice implementation. Close to iPhone - open interface - multitasking is excellent - it is as open as it gets. programming in Java is fun. Simply functional and fun version of iPhone - minus itune. Forced iPhone to get multi-tasking. The use of multi-tasking is good - but battery drains quickly.

WinMobile - It is windows in another name - do we need to say more. Microsoft can never get its mobile strategy right. Do I want window on my Phone when I don't like it on my Desktop? Every thing is good - but fear of unknown traps - a few taker.

Symbian/J2ME - Dominance - quick app development - every thing that a phone needs and more. Excellent platform in the hand of right developers.

Brew - cool but tied to Qualcomm distribution platform. Security is number 1 need here. No crap applications accepted as application. Freelancers and junk producers not welcomed. Total vendor owned. Powerful, elegant but controlled.

Palm -- Well -- every thing is there but except the marketing muscle.


Lead Developer

Rapidsoft Systems, Inc.





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