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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 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


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