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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 Reclaimer77 on 1/26/2012 7:18:51 PM , Rating: 1
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
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.

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.

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
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?

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.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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