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Print 16 comment(s) - last by TakinYourPoint.. on Mar 9 at 9:57 PM

Android posts impressive growth -- but so does Apple

ComScore, a leader in market research on mobile devices, publishes data on smartphone market share by device maker on a three-month basis.  The results offer some interesting perspective, as they are one-month out of alignment with calendar quarters -- the window most other market research firms deliver their data on.

Throughout 2011, comScore reported that everything looked great for Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android, which was surging ahead [1][2][3], at nearly every other smartphone players' expense.

But the latest numbers, in terms of total subscribers, reflect a more heated race for smartphone supremacy between Google and Apple, Inc. (AAPL).

comScore Q4 by platform

For Nov. and Dec. 2011, plus Jan. 2012, Android sustained a 2.3 percent growth pace.  Meanwhile Apple managed an impressive 1.4 percent growth.  These numbers reflect strong sales of the iPhone 4S reported by America's top wireless carriers during the holiday season [1][2][3].

Looking ahead to 2012, the biggest question is whether Apple will be able to keep accelerating its growth to the point where it once more becomes a serious threat to Android.  Despite its strong quarter, Apple's iPhones are still outnumbered by Android devices 3-to-2 in the U.S. market.

In terms of overall mobile device sales (including feature phones), Apple was the only OEM in the top five to post a gain.  

comScore Q4 2011 by OEM

However, that figure is a bit deceptive as Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (KS:005930) 0.1 percent dip or Google's almost-subsidiary Motorola Mobility's larger 0.4 decline, are arguably a healthy sign, in that -- combined with the overall large Android growth -- they represent a customer migration to feature phones.  As it takes several feature phones to equal the profits of a single smartphone, these numbers ultimately look promising for Samsung and Motorola.

But they're also very good for Apple, who not only grew fast, but also slightly grew its OEM market share.  That represents that some feature phone ditchers are jumping ship to Apple for their first smartphone.  And considering Apple as much as an order of magnitude more profits per-device than Android phonemakers, it's evident why Apple is sustaining its position as the world's most profitable electronics company.

iPhone 4S
Many first time smartphone buyers are choosing Apple's premium-priced devices.
[Image Source: Device Mag]
 
Word came this week that Apple and top Android phonemakers may be close to a licensing truce, ending hundreds of global lawsuits.  The end to that distraction should allow the phonemakers to refocus on their top objective -- market competition.

The picture isn't pretty for Ontario-based Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM) or Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) both of whom slid in market share.  RIM has big plans to reimagine itself in 2012 by cutting its fees and debuting new BlackBerry 10 OS (QNX-derivative) devices.  Likewise, Microsoft's partner Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) is stepping up its game [1][2] and other partners also have LTE Windows Phones on or approaching the market.

Source: comScore



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Andriod
By valkator on 3/9/2012 10:06:32 AM , Rating: 1
Another thing about Andriods success is how pushy sales people at cell stores are about people getting an Andriod phone. Try sitting in a cell store for like an hour and see the non-techies to the techie customers looking for a new smartphone get pushed into buying andriod. I am not an iphone fan or anything and Andriod is decent, but when someone looked at a WP7 in the store I actually heard a sales person say, "you do not want that, you should get an Andriod phone." Then the guy said, "No I really like the WP7", and the Sales person kept repeately pushing the person into getting an Andriod... Also heard similar statements like that throughout that hour of being there.

I have a friend of mine that works in a cell store and I asked him about it and he said they always push people to Andriod. Now this is not the only reason why Andriod is successful, but it brings alarms about why WP7 is not doing anything, and well, we all know why RIM isn't doing shit!

Just an observation.




RE: Andriod
By tayb on 3/9/2012 10:29:33 AM , Rating: 2
Carriers have way more control over Android than they do over iOS or WP7. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that these sales reps make more commission from Android than they do from WP7 or iOS. It is probably cheaper for the carrier to sell an Android phone than it is an iPhone. I'm not sure about WP7.


RE: Andriod
By valkator on 3/9/2012 11:07:45 AM , Rating: 2
Well I pretty much figured that, but I still think it is funny observing that. That is pretty much the front lines for the consumers and just like how the PC world is pretty much a windows world, the phone world appears to be andriod. :O


RE: Andriod
By TakinYourPoints on 3/9/2012 9:53:00 PM , Rating: 2
It has been known for a little while that carriers push Android over other mobile platforms. One reason is cost to the carrier.

The iPhone on the whole costs more to them than Android does. A top Android handset like the Galaxy S II will run them about as much as an iPhone, both wholesale and retail. The thing is that many Android sales are in the mid and low tier which is much faster to make money back on. Not everyone is buying a top of the line Android phone, so on the whole carriers aren't eating as much paying for them. It is a different story with the iPhone, almost every one sold is a high end model like 4S, even with the availability of older iPhones.

Data usage is another issue. iOS users on the whole use much more data than Android users. This obviously strains carriers as they are rushed to build out and upgrade their infrastructure to compensate.

Finally there is control. Neither of the above issues apply to Windows Phone 7 (sadly, because it really is a good OS that deserves to sell well), but the issue of control does. Both Apple and Microsoft demand control over their devices and OS upgrades. Carriers are free to install their own software and put branding on Android devices however they please. The cynical part of me assumes this is why they push Android over WP7. WP 7.5 Mango can be installed on even the WP7 oldest handsets and iOS 5 runs on 2009 iPhones. Carriers drag their feet on ICS upgrades on perfectly fine hardware that is still well within a 2 year contract, therefore giving customers incentive to ditch hardware more frequently.

There are lots of reasons why carriers have incentive to push Android over other mobile OSes, and like with everything else in life it comes down to money.


RE: Andriod
By Solandri on 3/9/2012 2:59:00 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Another thing about Andriods success is how pushy sales people at cell stores are about people getting an Andriod phone.
[...]
I have a friend of mine that works in a cell store and I asked him about it and he said they always push people to Andriod.

That's Apple being hoisted by its own petard. They charge the carriers so much for the iPhone that many of them aren't making money off of it.
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/feb/10/business/l...

The unequal treatment you're seeing isn't solved by carriers pushing the iPhone as much as they do Android phones. It's solved by either increasing the price of the phone by several hundred dollars (better reflecting its true cost to carriers), or by Apple reducing the price of the iPhone by several hundred dollars (cutting their profit).

In essence, what's going on is the opposite of what you're implying. Part of the iPhone's success can be attributed to carriers giving preferential price treatment to the iPhone over Android phones - selling iPhones to customers at a bigger markdown than they do Android phones.


Why just smart phones?
By tayb on 3/9/2012 10:08:46 AM , Rating: 2
Why not total devices? Apple and Google are battling for mobile OS market share and Android/iOS are running on a lore more devices than just smart phones. These numbers should include media players, tablets, and smart phones. Those are the kinds of numbers I would like to see.




RE: Why just smart phones?
By Solandri on 3/9/2012 3:03:43 PM , Rating: 2
These types of reports are usually made for investors deciding which company to put their money into, so they break up market share by company.

Mobile OS market share is really only of interest to the few companies making mobile OSes (Apple, Google, Microsoft/Nokia, RIM) and fanboys. Maybe developers too, although both iOS and Android are well beyond critical mass. The only market share figures developers would really be interested in are WP7 and RIM market share.


By TakinYourPoints on 3/9/2012 9:57:56 PM , Rating: 2
They do release reports on other devices periodically. Here is a report they did detailing tablet traffic and comparing data usage from last year: http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Release...

On the subject of tablets:
quote:
iPads dominate among tablets in driving digital traffic. In August 2011, iPads delivered 97.2 percent of all tablet traffic in the U.S. iPads have also begun to account for a higher share of Internet traffic than iPhones (46.8 percent vs. 42.6 percent of all iOS device traffic).


Below that are figures on total iOS and Android traffic taking all devices into account.


WP7 is a dog.
By dark matter on 3/9/12, Rating: -1
RE: WP7 is a dog.
By andre-bch on 3/9/2012 9:19:17 AM , Rating: 4
How many windows phones are available through AT&T, Verizon and T-mobile?

I don't think there is anything else to say. Go figure.


RE: WP7 is a dog.
By andre-bch on 3/9/2012 9:41:03 AM , Rating: 2
I forgot Sprint.

For worldwide sales, compare the number of android phone models available for sales right now to WP, 403 vs. 26.

http://www.gsmarena.com/results.php3?sName=&idMake...

http://www.gsmarena.com/results.php3?sName=&idMake...


Always the joke blogging
By BSMonitor on 3/9/12, Rating: -1
RE: Always the joke blogging
By Rukkian on 3/9/2012 11:36:26 AM , Rating: 3
Because Apple only sells 1 model (other than selling the old models of those same phones). The list would be very long if you listed each and every handset made individually.


RE: Always the joke blogging
By tayb on 3/9/2012 11:49:54 AM , Rating: 2
I think his point was that Apple sells other devices running iOS besides the iPhone. They have two models of the iPhone, two models of the iPad, and an iPod Touch.


By foolsgambit11 on 3/9/2012 8:21:01 PM , Rating: 2
And Android runs on tablets, too. This is about a form factor/OS combination. Other metrics are also valuable for analysis, but this was measuring that specific metric. The FF/OS combo metric is valuable when determining market share for app development, while form factor alone is valuable for certain accessories, and OS alone is valuable for some other app development research. And devices/manufacturer and total of specific model sold is valuable for a consumer concerned about long-term support.

Every metric has a use to somebody. And rarely is it solely about which device is the most popular, just for the sake of talking about popularity. It's how that popularity relates to prospects for development or investment.


RE: Always the joke blogging
By acer905 on 3/9/2012 12:34:50 PM , Rating: 2
So, which iPhone do you want them to compare the sales to? the 3GS, the 4, or the 4GS? Why don't we compare the Galaxy S II with the 3GS for you so you can have a specific iOS device to specific Android device comparison.


"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch














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