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A new study indicates Apple is greatly beating Google in market share, and has richer, more loyal users to boot.  (Source: Apple)

The smart phone market, according to Nielsen (U.S. only); Apple is grey, Android is green  (Source: Nielsen)
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics." -- Charles Wentworth Dilke

Market researchers toil away tirelessly compiling statistics, but often offer confusingly contradictory figures.  Such discrepancies were on display with a new study from Nielsen that offers a very favorable perspective on Apple's market position.

A previous study from NPD showed Google's Android OS beating the iPhone 28 percent to 21 percent in Q1 2010 unit sales.  Apple disputed those numbers.  A second study from 
Gartner also showed Android closing the gap with 9.6 percent of the global smartphone market, versus Apple's 15.4 percent.

Nielsen's report paints a far different picture.  It claims Apple has three times the market share of Google's smartphone operating system -- with 28 percent of the market versus 9 percent from Android.  The Nielsen study claims to report 
national smartphone numbers -- so U.S. only.  That's about the only possible explanation for the big discrepancy between it's claim of the smartphone ratio (3:1 in Apple's favor) versus Gartner's (3:2).

Nielsen also reports that Android is struggling with a familiar problem that faces many of Apple's foes -- the blind, unquestioning loyalty of its fans.  Despite hot Android handsets, perennial issues like Flash blocking, and Jobs's policing of "immoral" content (like pornography), 80 percent of iPhone users plan on buying another iPhone (only 7 percent plan to switch to Android).  That compares favorably to Android, which has only 70 percent of customers wanting to stay aboard and 14 percent looking to jump ship to Apple.

The report also indicates that Apple users on average are richer than Android users.  Approximately 40 percent of iPhone users make over $100,000 USD, while only 28 percent of Android users make that much.  Likewise, 36 percent of Android users make 
under $50,000 USD, while only 18 percent of iPhone users make that little.

Other than some interesting analysis about Apple and Google's current position, the new Nielsen study also offers insight into the growth of the smartphone market as a whole.  The study says that in three quarters -- from Q2 2009 to Q1 2010 -- the smartphone market grew from 16 percent of the total (national) phone market to 23 percent of the market.

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RE: That's a surprise!
By judasmachine on 6/7/2010 2:15:36 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a rooted Android guy, but if the iPhone works for people, then good. Most people don't really care about the things us geeks do, and as you said the less time spent worrying about what device to get, the better.

RE: That's a surprise!
By Aloonatic on 6/8/2010 5:53:28 AM , Rating: 2
Have to agree. People are happy to pay for the ease of use and shiny/slickness. Why shouldn't they be? People value different things/features more than others and don't want the hassle that some devices can have. I don't think that the sense of empowerment that the iPhone bought to non-geeks should be underestimated too, as well as the sense of freedom that the iPhone gave people who don't want to know too much, just get a device that works, all of which make people pretty loyal, and emotionally attached to the product/brand.

One other thing that Apple still has is the support that they have with their "apps". There are a lot of companies that have an iPhone app for this and that, stores/shops, banks, BBC iPlayer (i think, coming to Android soon tho) etc. As it was essentially the first (forgive me for ignoring MS and Nokia's offerings that have probably been around for longer, as well as others that I, and most other people, don't know about) and they are still the biggest market, so they are going to be the first place that a lot of companies and developers go to. I'd love ot be able to get the official F1 app for my HTC Desire, but sadly all I can get is an unofficial, fan-made app, which displays the official timing screens, but that's it.

There are a fair few reasons for sticking with Apple once you are on board and are happy, not so many to change. So why shouldn't people be happy to stay with what they know? The alternatives are not so massively superior to make it a stupid decision.

Apple might not be for me, probably not for most people here either, but for "the masses" the iPhone is a great devices. Kudos.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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