Google Android operating system was only launched in the second half of 2008, however, already in Q1 2010 the OS became the second most popular in the U.S., behind RIM’s Blackberry and ahead of Apple iPhone operating system, according to NPD Group.
Android Passes Apple iPhone
The Android operating system continued to shake up the U.S. mobile phone market in the first quarter of 2010, moving past Apple to take the number-two position among smartphone operating systems. NPD’s wireless market research reveals that based on unit sales to consumers last quarter the Android operating system moved into second position at 28% behind RIM’s OS (36%) and ahead of Apple’s OS (21%). The popularity of Android clearly indicates that more and more consumers are adopting smartphones and fewer of them want to acquire Apple iPhone.
Apple, however, disagrees that Google Android-based phones could leave the iPhone gadget that some call “iconic” behind. In fact, Apple seems to be correct: it will take a long time before Google Android will be able to leave iPhone behind on the worldwide basis simply because Android-based phones are rarely sold outside the U.S.
“This is a very limited report on 150 thousand U.S. consumers responding to an online survey and does not account for the more than 85 million iPhone and iPod touch customers worldwide. We had a record quarter with iPhone sales growing by 131% and with our new iPhone OS 4.0 software coming this summer, we see no signs of the competition catching up any time soon," said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Harrison.
Interestingly, Ms. Harrison also mentioned iPod touch in addition to iPhone, but the former is not a smartphone, but a personal digital media player.
Sales of Smartphones Growing
“As in the past, carrier distribution and promotion have played a crucial role in determining smartphone market share/ In order to compete with the iPhone, Verizon Wireless has expanded its buy-one-get-one offer beyond RIM devices to now include all of their smartphones,” said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD.
Strong sales of the Motorola Droid, Droid Eris, and Blackberry Curve via these promotions helped keep Verizon Wireless’s smartphone sales on par with AT&T in Q1. According to NPD’s Mobile Phone Track, smartphone sales at AT&T comprised nearly a third of the entire smartphone market (32%), followed by Verizon Wireless (30%), T-Mobile (17%) and Sprint (15%).
“Recent previews of BlackBerry 6, the recently announced acquisition of Palm by HP, and the pending release of Windows Phone 7 demonstrates the industry’s willingness to make investments to address consumer demand for smartphones and other mobile devices. Carriers continue to offer attractive pricing for devices, but will need to present other data-plan options to attract more customers in the future,” added Mr. Rubin.
The continued popularity of messaging phones and smartphones resulted in slightly higher prices for all mobile phones, despite an overall drop in the number of mobile phones purchased in the first quarter. The average selling price for all mobile phones in Q1 reached $88, which is a 5% increase from Q1 2009. Smartphone unit prices, by comparison, averaged $151 in Q1 2010, which is a 3% decrease over the previous year.
The NPD Group compiles and analyzes mobile device sales data based on more than 150 thousand completed online consumer research surveys each month. Surveys are based on a nationally balanced and demographically-representative sample, and results are projected to represent the entire population of U.S. consumers. Sales figures do not include corporate/enterprise mobile phone sales.