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  (Source: Edible Blog)
iPhone likely seized over a half of all U.S. smartphone sales

AT&T Inc.'s (T) blowout quarter was newsworthy enough, but it dropped a bit of a shocker in its numbers release -- 7.6 million iPhone activated for the quarter, with 9.4 million smartphones sold.  That means the iPhone outsold Android and Windows Phone combined nearly 4-to-1 on America's largest carrier.

(Now some have pointed out that "activated" phones can include third party sales, free phones, etc. and are distrustful of AT&T's assertion that the "majority" of activated iPhones are iPhone 4Ss... in other words they're saying that Verizon and AT&T's iPhone numbers are skewed in Apple's favor.  But a report indicates that 9 out of 10 iPhones purchased are iPhone 4Ss -- and much of the remainder is likely iPhone 4 sales, so this seems like sour grapes. -JM)

Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) success with iPhone 4S is so startling that it deserves a recap:

The players:
  1. Verizon Wireless
    (joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD))
  2. AT&T
  3. Sprint Nextel Corp. (S)
  4. Deutsche Telekom AG's (ETR:DTE) T-Mobile USA
Results (Confirmed: AT&T and Verizon; Pending: Sprint and T-Mobile's, italicized):

iPhone dominates
So, the disclaimer here is that Sprint and T-Mobile did not report their quarterly earnings yet, much less their smartphone sales.  And judging by past earnings reports, Sprint may not give solid numbers for iPhone sales and neither carrier is likely to give concrete estimates of smartphone sales.  But there's no reason, based on past numbers, to expect these carriers to be selling smartphones at a significantly higher per-subscriber percentage than Verizon/AT&T.

Let's say we're horribly off and that the iPhone sold only ~52%.  Recent estimates show Canada's Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM) to hold about 6% of U.S. sales, while Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and others took up about 5 percent of sales.  That would place Android at around 37%.

The odd thing is even the best analyst estimates didn't see this coming.  They predicted a near tie for Apple in the U.S., but did not predict an Apple victory to this extent.

Android and Apple have had a dramatic role reversal.  Ironically this reversal came on a launch that many analysts complained lacked enough new features (the only major upgrade was Siri) to impress buyers.  

iPhone 4S
Analysts thought the iPhone 4S would flop.  How wrong they were.
[Image Source: The Tech Journal]

The iPhone on AT&T was boosted in part due to strong legacy sales -- the iPhone 4 retails for $99 USD with 2-year contract on AT&T, while the iPhone 3GS is free with contract.

Will the mass-market invasion of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in H1 2012 stem the rising iPhone tide?  Will Windows Phone finally gain a leg up in the U.S. market? There are plenty of unknowns for the upcoming year, but it is clear that Apple absolutely owned the holiday 2011 U.S. sales.

Source: AT&T



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Just goes to show
By Warwulf on 1/26/2012 3:26:24 PM , Rating: 1
Just goes to show that we have a lot more" sheepole" than expected. People who have to buy the latest phone, even though it's practically the same as the one they already have.

I sure hope Apple dropped their "Think Different" slogan, because they have lots of people thinking the same.




RE: Just goes to show
By Tony Swash on 1/26/12, Rating: -1
RE: Just goes to show
By FaceMaster on 1/26/12, Rating: -1
RE: Just goes to show
By mutatio on 1/26/12, Rating: -1
RE: Just goes to show
By Chaser on 1/27/2012 10:16:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Anand's recent review of Ice Cream Sandwich, it's only taken 5 years for droid programmers to START getting on par with iOS in terms of usability and functionality.
Nice cherry picked comment there. Anand's review had far more praise for ICS than your selective wimpering Apple infused wishful dismissal. Lets try this from the review:
quote:
ICS is smoother, more polished and has its own set of new features that make it a significant step forward for Android. What ICS is not however is an outright clone of iOS. If you prefer the iOS experience to Android, ICS will do nothing to change your opinion. If all you were missing from Android was a smoother UI, then its fourth major release should be almost everything you could ask for.
yeah wow indeed.


RE: Just goes to show
By Warwulf on 1/27/2012 2:04:19 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, that's right. Android is clearly a copy of iOS.

I guess that means that the Java lawsuit is without basis then? And Android must have been based on a future version of iOS, because it rolled out Apple's invention of copy paste before them.

If Android were truly a derivative of iOS, then Apple wouldn't be getting its lolsuits beaten down left and right. Apple, too, could hardly be considered original. Look at the Kodak lawsuit, for instance. Not to mention the name iOS in itself is a borrowed name.

But, Steve Jobs says Android is a derivative, so clearly it must be. Praise be the Word of Steve.


RE: Just goes to show
By LordSojar on 1/28/2012 11:11:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I guess that means that the Java lawsuit is without basis then? And Android must have been based on a future version of iOS, because it rolled out Apple's invention of copy paste before them.


Apple invented Java, didn't you hear? They also invented C, Assembly, the concept of luxury and chocolate. Oh, and they patented DNA. PREPARE FOR iLife... OH WAIT...riiiiight.


RE: Just goes to show
By bjacobson on 1/26/12, Rating: -1
RE: Just goes to show
By Cheesew1z69 on 1/27/2012 9:06:26 AM , Rating: 1
What in the fuck is this post, none of it makes sense.


RE: Just goes to show
By muhahaaha on 1/27/2012 3:38:54 PM , Rating: 2
I think he wrote a little computer program that just randomly spews out android, apple, and blackberry words to make goofy sentences.


RE: Just goes to show
By Cheesew1z69 on 1/27/2012 5:17:40 PM , Rating: 2
Lol


RE: Just goes to show
By Warwulf on 1/27/2012 2:07:33 PM , Rating: 3
Dude, that looks like you just ran your comment through every language in Google Translate before cycling back to English.

Just post it in your native language, we'll get someone to translate.


RE: Just goes to show
By nafhan on 1/26/2012 4:28:17 PM , Rating: 2
I would say "fast, responsive and gorgeous photos in low light" has a lot more to do with the hardware than the software, and I'd also put the qualifier "for a cell phone camera" after each of those compliments. Anyway, I agree with you the camera is pretty awesome (best in class even). I'd even say it's up to the quality of a cheap point and shoot. I'm pretty happy that cell phone cameras have gotten good enough that I will probably never need to purchase another point and shoot.


RE: Just goes to show
By zlandar on 1/26/2012 4:00:39 PM , Rating: 5
You better hope Android start appealing to more "sheepoles".

This may come as a shock to you, but elitest technogeeks are a distinct minority.

Companies that can only sell products to a small consumer segment usually end up in the trash heap.


RE: Just goes to show
By xti on 1/26/2012 5:06:55 PM , Rating: 2
this times a million. i dont know how people dont understand this and its 2012 already.


RE: Just goes to show
By mcnabney on 1/26/2012 5:07:16 PM , Rating: 4
Why?

Android has new handsets every month.

Apple only has something new once a year.

First and second quarter of 2012 will be right back to Android way out in front.


RE: Just goes to show
By seamonkey79 on 1/26/2012 5:35:18 PM , Rating: 4
Yea, for the year it shows Android only outsold Apple by around 40%, down from the 60% it was before the 4S came out... it's a back and forth game, who really cares, so long as you're happy with the phone you've got.


RE: Just goes to show
By retrospooty on 1/26/2012 5:56:30 PM , Rating: 2
"Android has new handsets every month.

Apple only has something new once a year.

First and second quarter of 2012 will be right back to Android way out in front."

Exactly.


RE: Just goes to show
By mckinney on 1/26/2012 7:53:44 PM , Rating: 2
Eric Schmitt keeps claiming 255 million (700,000 per day) Android activations per year. Who is building these? According to the above, there are only 110k per day in the US. Who is building the other 590,000 per day? Samsung is the largest Android handset maker and at last report were "shipping" 20 million per quarter (80 million total per year)
If the other manufactures are selling less, where are all the 175 million handsets coming from? Not Nokia....


RE: Just goes to show
By mcnabney on 1/27/2012 11:30:10 AM , Rating: 2
HTC, LG, Motorola...

Also, I think Eric was talking about Android devices, not just smartphones. Apple frequently ropes Apple TV, iPods, and tablets in with their numbers as well. The lines really blur now between products.


RE: Just goes to show
By priusone on 1/27/2012 12:56:29 PM , Rating: 2
Worldwide vs the USA


RE: Just goes to show
By tayb on 1/26/2012 8:15:48 PM , Rating: 1
The release cycle of the iPhone will change these numbers. The 4S will likely top sales charts Q4 '11 and Q1 '12 and then sales will decline in Q2 in anticipation of the iPhone 5. Then the iPhone 5 will be released sometime during Q3 '12 and the process will be repeated.

These sales numbers are pretty impressive nonetheless.


RE: Just goes to show
By mutatio on 1/27/2012 2:47:25 AM , Rating: 2
Indeed. And, I would add that not every technogeek wants a computer that looks like an effing transformer ripoff with plastic and metal jutting out everywhere with neon and lights flashing everywhere, allowing for the uber gaming rig to also function as a seizure test. Hence, I opted for the Lian-Li PC-A05FNA (with matching brushed aluminum optical drive bay bezel) for my build with dual boot W7 Ultimate and OS X Lion Hackintosh. ;-)


RE: Just goes to show
By Chaser on 1/27/2012 10:31:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Companies that can only sell products to a small consumer segment usually end up in the trash heap.
Now that has me laughing.

I'd be careful what you hope for. But in the mean time you might want to trade that nose ring in for smartphone that has a replaceable battery.


RE: Just goes to show
By Solandri on 1/26/2012 4:15:34 PM , Rating: 5
Thing is, probably 80%-90% of the population are "sheepole". You can disparage them all you want, but the bottom line is they pretty much are the market. The average time a car is owned is 5-6 years. Do cars really wear out that quickly? No, people just want an upgrade or a change of pace. After a certain amount of functional requirements are met, form trumps function.

I may disagree with Apple's policies, but they do a fantastic job designing tech toys that are accessible for the majority of the population. I think a lot of people critical of Apple fall into the mindset that "Apple is evil, therefore everything they do must be bad". They may be evil, but they do user interfaces and ease of use really, really well.

If you want to beat Apple, you won't do it by criticizing them for their policies. You'll have to design products which are just as or even easier for regular people to use. I've used custom ROMs for Android which blow away the default ROM distributed by my carrier, and left my iPhone-owning friends feeling their phone sucks. But the process of installing a custom ROM is so convoluted that it's only within reach of 1% of the population. If your weakest link is that weak, then you've lost the fight before it's even begun. (This is the biggest issue I have with open source software - OSS developers concentrate on coding the stuff they want to code. They hate coding stuff that bores them, even if it's important to 90% of the users. With paid software, money provides an incentive for developers to work on the boring parts to make those 90% of users happy.)

The average Apple buyer isn't drinking the kool-aid. They just want something they can easily pick up and learn to use. And they're willing to pay extra money for it. Apparently a lot of extra money. If you fail to see this, and try to compete with Apple purely on the grounds where you see them being weak - moral and technical merits - you will never win. To beat a competitor, you have to beat them where they are strongest. Beating them where they are weakest only works if you can first match their strength.


RE: Just goes to show
By Reclaimer77 on 1/26/2012 4:34:52 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
If you want to beat Apple, you won't do it by criticizing them for their policies. You'll have to design products which are just as or even easier for regular people to use.


No, that's not the way to beat them at all. Then you're just playing their game.

Apple assumes everyone is an idiot that can't determine the value of something unless it's spelled out for them. That didn't work in the PC market, although they enjoyed brief early success. Smartphones are really only a 4 year old market. Apple is riding high now, but that's only now. When has Apple EVER shown they know how to be a sustained market leader?

All you have to do to beat Apple is give them enough rope, they'll hang themselves. They always do. When the smartphone market evolves to the point that they become, literally in every sense, mobile PC's - Apple will still be making the child-like "easy to use" version.

Come on let's be real here. Who really believes this juggernaut can continue with Cook steering the ship?


RE: Just goes to show
By ltcommanderdata on 1/26/2012 4:46:38 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
When has Apple EVER shown they know how to be a sustained market leader?

The MP3 player market? The music sales market? These markets would probably be very relevant experience for the smartphone/tablet and associated content distribution markets.


RE: Just goes to show
By TheDoc9 on 1/26/12, Rating: -1
RE: Just goes to show
By FITCamaro on 1/26/2012 5:06:13 PM , Rating: 3
I would argue most cannot afford their gadgets and instead buy them anyway on credit because having the latest tech toy is more important than being financially responsible.

There are cheaper, many times better, alternatives to Apple's products. But they sell because "its what all the cool kids have".


RE: Just goes to show
By ballist1x on 1/27/12, Rating: 0
RE: Just goes to show
By tecknurd on 1/26/2012 7:13:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just goes to show that we have a lot more" sheepole" than expected. People who have to buy the latest phone, even though it's practically the same as the one they already have.

I sure hope Apple dropped their "Think Different" slogan, because they have lots of people thinking the same.

Your analogy of stating "sheepole" is not right. People buy the iPhone because it is easier than Android. Android does require some time to learn while iPhone is simple as just picking up and using it. Then there are devices that just using iPhone, so Android is not getting any love in that department. Android from multiple smartphone manufactures changes how Android works, so there is always a curve ball being thrown when buying a new Android smartphone.

Apple should keep the slogan "Think Different" because Apple is probably the only company that is taking a risk making new products that are not boring. A lot of companies have been making boring products that actually look the same from company to company. There could be minor differences, but not big differences what Apple provides.


RE: Just goes to show
By Reclaimer77 on 1/26/2012 7:18:51 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
People buy the iPhone because it is easier than Android.


How? I keep hearing this stupid "easier" opinion, but it doesn't seem to be based in fact and nobody bothers to quantify how.

Also please find me the survey in where any large number of people specifically cite "ease of use" as the buy factor.


RE: Just goes to show
By tayb on 1/26/2012 8:10:35 PM , Rating: 2
Oh come on. You can't possibly prove that something is easier. The difference between an iPhone and an Android is that Apple decides how to manage your iPhone and YOU have to decide how to manage your Android. You get the customization with Android but the out of box experience is richer on an iPhone. You just pick it up and you get the experience you'll always get. On Android you have to set up your "backgrounds", drag around your icons, and find your widgets. It's not as easy to use out of the box.


RE: Just goes to show
By Reclaimer77 on 1/26/2012 9:16:44 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
On Android you have to set up your "backgrounds", drag around your icons, and find your widgets. It's not as easy to use out of the box.


You don't "have to". You GET to, if you choose.

Your comments do not match up at ALL with my experience of my Galaxy 2S. Sure more optimization is available to me, if I CHOOSE to use it. Since when was that a bad thing? It doesn't mean the phone isn't mind numbingly easy to use out of the box.

And I hate to tell you guys, but compared to ICS and Windows Phone, the iOS doesn't look "easier". It's just looking REALLY dated and tired.

quote:
Oh come on. You can't possibly prove that something is easier.


Exactly! So this is what's called an opinion. Not fact.


RE: Just goes to show
By moriz on 1/26/2012 10:07:49 PM , Rating: 3
a much more valid argument is that iOS is simpler than android. believe it or not, there's a pretty big distinction between "simple" and "easy".

in actual use, iOS is a childishly simple operating system that can be operated by... well, a child. apple deserves full props for designing an OS that's elegant, simple, and fully functional. by fully functional, i mean that it has enough complexity to allow all of its features to be used. on the flip side of the coin, going this route means that each iOS device must be operated in the exact same way. pick up anybody's iphone and you'll be greeted with the exact same interface. the only difference being the background and placement of icons.

android on the other hand, is noticeably more complex, and that complexity allows for a much more varied user experience. each android phone, even those of the same make and model, can look and operate drastically different. this allows the user to decide how the phone operates. not only does android fulfills all the necessary requirements for full functionality, it also allows the user to choose how those functionalities are presented and used. for example, 30 minutes of tinkering on my nexus s allowed me to install a custom ICS rom and kernel, that made it lightning fast and gained a lot of additional functionality, like being able to call, text, and toggle settings right out of the lockscreen.

so to sum it up:
-iOS is safe, simple, and elegant. practically anyone can pick it up and use it for full effect. however, user experience is very narrow.

-android is more complex and varied, though just as elegant, and allows more experienced users to tailor their phone to their own requirements and workflow.

is one better than the other? that depends the user. to me, both are excellent.

as for whether android needs to cater to the same marketspace as iOS: i disagree. apple became popular and powerful because they DIDN'T try to be like microsoft. they became powerful because the realized that there is a very large (and rich) niche in the market that wasn't fulfilled, and they went after that niche with brutal efficiency and stunning execution. competitors in the smartphone/mobile market would be better served to do the same thing, since apple has that segment of the market dominated. going after the same niche would just make android a distant also-ran.


RE: Just goes to show
By tayb on 1/26/2012 11:14:38 PM , Rating: 2
I've owned an iPhone 3G and a Droid X and the experiences couldn't be more different.

Android isn't consistent by any stretch of the imagination. The back button does some things in some apps and completely different things in other apps. Even within the OS itself it performs different functions. The menu button is mystifying. Sometimes it serves the purpose of hiding the menu sometimes the things I want it to display aren't there, they are elsewhere.

Example:
I open up my music player and it returns me to where I was last time, in an album. I press the back button thinking it will return me to the home page of the music application so that I can select a NEW album. Nay. It returns me OUT of the music application.

Example 2:
If I open up a browser that is already pointed to a website and press the back button it takes me to the previously browsed page instead of back to the home page.

This is confusing. There are quirks with iPhone, that's for sure, but the OS is minimalistic and easy to use compared to Android.

At the end of the day an opinion is an opinion. You can't prove this. If we were to take a straw poll of average phone users, however, I would feel pretty confident the results would overwhelmingly support the conclusion that the iPhone is "easier to use."

The most ironic thing here though? Android fans will quickly call iOS simple and minimalist in a derogatory manor when the argument suits them. But when being simple and minimalist is being shown in a POSITIVE light iOS is suddenly complex and not easy to use.


RE: Just goes to show
By Reclaimer77 on 1/27/2012 12:04:42 AM , Rating: 2
Those are like the dumbest examples ever. It's like you expect your phone to read your mind or something. In every case, that is EXACTLY how the back button should work. Browsers have used cache files since ummmm 1990 something? That's why it can remember your place and the last page you visited.

Also I'm sure if you took five seconds in the app options screen, you could probably change the default behavior with some of this stuff. Oh yeah, I forgot, silly me. That's too hard. Apple fixes this pesky issue by simply making you do everything they way THEY think you should.

Also ICS fixes the menu issues and quite a few others. So we're arguing over stuff that's already been fixed. Excuse the hell out of Google for not getting Android perfect right off the bat like every other piece of software apparently.


RE: Just goes to show
By tayb on 1/27/2012 12:45:28 AM , Rating: 2
Like, totally, like the dumbest examples evar! Like, for real!

I expect the back button to behave in a consistent manner across the phone. It doesn't and I provided two specific examples of how it doesn't. Sometimes it takes you to a previous application, back a screen, back to a page you were on, or anywhere else. It isn't even remotely consistent throughout the OS and this is a well documented complaint.

If I am in a music application deep within the folders I expect a back button to take me up a level in the folder structure and keep doing so until we are at the root and THEN remove me from the application. That's how it works on the browser, in the messaging application, in the email application, and a few other areas.

We aren't arguing. An argument is when there is a dispute over fact or opinion. The inconsistent menu and back buttons are neither opinions nor facts in dispute.

Regardless, you trolls bend your arguments to suit whichever situation is at hand. In this instance iOS is complex and not easy to use. Next week when talking about how customizable Android is the iPhone will be child's fodder. You guys are worse than politicians.


RE: Just goes to show
By Reclaimer77 on 1/27/2012 9:12:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I expect the back button to behave in a consistent manner across the phone.


Well that sounds like a personal problem. Sorry the world isn't build on your expectations of things. And how is that some huge deal anyway? You use the thing everyday and can't remember how it works? It's THAT hard?

quote:
Regardless, you trolls bend your arguments to suit whichever situation is at hand. In this instance iOS is complex and not easy to use.


What? LOL I would never say that about iOS and never have. Ever.

I don't judge such things by how "easy" it is to use. I leave that for the knuckledraggers who love Apple. If it takes me two minutes to learn something, I don't view it as being the end of the world.


RE: Just goes to show
By TakinYourPoints on 1/26/2012 10:04:05 PM , Rating: 2
Not just easier, it has the smoothest UI (WP7 has thankfully also placed importance on this) and the most robust developer support. People see iOS only apps and eventually want to switch over. They also see that old iPhones get OS upgrades while the Android phone that is still under a two year contract doesn't get an update only a few months later and never will.

There are numerous things Google can do to improve their platform, and they start at taking control away from carriers and centralizing app distribution.


RE: Just goes to show
By tayb on 1/26/2012 11:20:52 PM , Rating: 2
Amen to the upgrade portion of that. I'm thoroughly disgusted with Android over the upgrade cycle. I waited 7 months to get Gingerbread after it was released and there is not an ETA for my Droid X to get ICS which leads me to believe I will NOT be getting it. The phone is less than 18 months old and it is no longer receiving software updates...

The only way Google could take away control from carriers would be to make ICS closed software. I'm not sure what the ramifications of that would be.


RE: Just goes to show
By Reclaimer77 on 1/26/2012 11:52:40 PM , Rating: 2
Apple only has to support one phone. Google has to support hundreds. Just food for thought.

The Droid X has already been updated twice. It's probably not getting ICS because of system requirements or whatever. But the Nexus S and Galaxy 2's are getting it, so is a ton of other phones.

quote:
The only way Google could take away control from carriers would be to make ICS closed software. I'm not sure what the ramifications of that would be.


I don't know. But ask Microsoft how that approach has been working out for WP7 and their market share.


RE: Just goes to show
By tayb on 1/27/2012 12:54:02 AM , Rating: 2
As an end user I don't really care how many phones Google has to support. All I know is that when I bought this Droid X, less than 18 months ago, it was the best Android phone available and it's already dropped from support? What kind of message does that send? Expect less than 1.5 years of software upgrades for your device?

If this phone can't run ICS then shame on Google for practicing one of the worst programming anti-patterns out there. I have an extremely hard time believing this phone isn't get the update because of performance issues.


RE: Just goes to show
By Reclaimer77 on 1/27/2012 8:40:38 AM , Rating: 1
What the fuck, DT keeps saying my huge ass reply to this is "spam"...grrrr

Testing..testing 123


RE: Just goes to show
By mutatio on 1/27/2012 3:01:22 AM , Rating: 2
This is an interesting point. True nerds back in the day saw any sort of GUI as dumbing down the computer. e.g., "I can point and click without even knowing the code to allow for the function to happen. What's the point?" I might guess that virtually all fandroids don't have the complaint that Windows doesn't automatically let them see the code for basic mouse functions now do they? Oh yeah, Logitech et al. provide GUIs to tweak the most prominent settings. Weak! And yet, here we are watching Apple work effectively to get the "work" out of the way so people can use their gadgets and some go frothing at the mouth about it. Sheesh.


RE: Just goes to show
By Warwulf on 1/27/2012 2:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
I believe most people only get the iPhone because it's the trendy status symbol of our time... just like Starbucks coffee was a decade ago.

On a side note, Starbucks is decent coffee... but you really can't justify the $4 for a small... er... Tall cup of coffee. Actually, that describes all Apple products perfectly. Decent, but way overpriced.


RE: Just goes to show
By Natch on 1/27/2012 9:52:43 AM , Rating: 3
Seriously. Jason, wouldn't it have just been easier to title your article, "Apple comes out with a barely updated iPhone - iClones line up in droves to buy it"??


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