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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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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.


"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis














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