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Motorola Backflip

Motorla Droid
Apple has a wakeup call as Android-based smartphones grab market share in Q1

DailyTech has been reporting on Google's meteoric rise in smartphone market share for quite some time now, but we didn't expect to hear the numbers that are coming from the NPD Group today with regards to Android's place in the hot sector. NPD says that unit sales for Android-based devices bolted past Apple iPhone devices for the first quarter in the U.S.

According to NPD, Android-based devices accounted for 28 percent of the smartphone market while smartphones running Apple's iPhone OS garnered just 21 percent of the market. Both, however, were well behind RIM which still commands 36 percent of the market.

"As in the past, carrier distribution and promotion have played a crucial role in determining smartphone market share," said NPD's Ross Rubin. "In order to compete with the iPhone, Verizon Wireless has expanded its buy-one-get-one offer beyond RIM devices to now include all of their smartphones."

It should be noted that there are numerous Android-based smartphones on the U.S. market compared to relatively few iPhone models. When it comes to the Android sector, there are many choices including the Droid, Droid Eris, Nexus One, Backflip, and the Droid Incredible (which wouldn't be accounted for in NPD's numbers) among others.

The iPhone, however, is only currently available as the 8GB iPhone 3G (the last generation model) along with the 16GB and 32GB iPhone 3GS.

In addition to the wealth of differing smartphone designs on the Android side of things, users who pick Android-based phones have a number of wireless carriers to choose as well including Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T in the U.S. Apple's iPhone, however, is artificially limited to AT&T's network fresh from the factory -- you can, however, unlock the iPhone using a software hack and use it on T-Mobile's network albeit without 3G connectivity.

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invalid analysis
By mfconnelly on 5/10/2010 11:10:42 AM , Rating: -1
Not sure how this analysis is in any way valid. The comparison is between a single phone to phones produced by multiple manufacturers. Android is just an OS whereas the IPhone is a hardware product with a dedicated OS that does not run on any other hardware. Just my observation. I am a fan of both but just don't see how this article carries any weight.

RE: invalid analysis
By Abrahmm on 5/10/2010 11:23:41 AM , Rating: 5
Platform is everything, the same way Windows and OS X market shares are compared. The platform determines what you can and can't do with a phone. The fact that the iPhone platform is only available on two phones is completely Apple's fault. Frankly, I'm glad to see an open platform garnering so much success.

RE: invalid analysis
By icanhascpu on 5/10/10, Rating: -1
RE: invalid analysis
By nafhan on 5/10/10, Rating: 0
RE: invalid analysis
By nonseq on 5/10/10, Rating: -1
RE: invalid analysis
By StevoLincolnite on 5/10/2010 1:14:27 PM , Rating: 3
Alright hows about a bit of a history lesson.

In the "Golden Days" of 3D gaming, a company known as "3dfx" held the majority of the market share, however like nVidia and ATI it sold it's chips to 3rd party board manufacturers.

They were on top of the ladder.

Then they decided to become more "Closed". - What they did is bought STB and decided to only sell cards themselves, where did the 3rd party board manufacturers go? To nVidia, ATI, S3 etc'.

Glide's entrenchment on the market wasn't enough to stop people from going elsewhere and looking for better/cheaper/more widely available alternatives, and it seems in the phone market history is just repeating on what has already happened previously in another segment of the tech industry.

RE: invalid analysis
By Drag0nFire on 5/10/2010 1:08:52 PM , Rating: 4
As much as I prefer Android... the study has more serious flaws when put in the context of a "wake up call for Apple". It's common knowledge that Apple will releases new iPhones in June. Most of those who want an iPhone will buy it in the 6 months after release. Since we all know Apple's marketing strategy ( ), it only makes sense to wait for the next release in June.

Android, on the other hand, has had continuous releases since last fall. A more meaningful study would be on the scale of a year.

RE: invalid analysis
By mcnabney on 5/10/2010 8:10:36 PM , Rating: 2
Almost all of those purchasing the next version of iPhone will just be replacing an existing iPhone - essentially sales without growth in market share. 99.99% of Droid sales are coming from another O/S or are new to the format entirely. Most of Android's growth is being take out of Microsoft (yeah!) with some coming from Palm and RIM. Only a little from Apple due to contracts and the fact that a large percentage of the iPhone users are zombies.

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

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