When THIS Happens We ALL Win

If you search around the internet based on the images in this post you will find loads of prognostication – Android fans calling it meaningless (despite foretelling the death of iOS with each percentage Android gains at the expense of RIM), iOS fans calling it the ‘Android plummet’ (in spite of arguing that short term shifts are meaningless), and so on.

What I see – particularly when I look at the next image – is a market that is moving more rapidly than ever before. Smartphones accounted for over TWO THIRDS of all mobile phone sales in October and November of 2011!

I mean … just look at the image above: the share of messaging and ‘basic’ phones shrank again to now account for under 33% of all phones sold! This means that two-thirds of new phone sales also added a data plan … which I am SURE the carriers love to hear! It means that the expectation for WHAT a ‘phone’ can deliver has dramatically shifted in the five years since the introduction of the iPhone when having a camera was still optional to the point where we expect apps, dual high-resolution cameras, maps, and so on.

Switching back to the top image, the combined share of Android and iOS devices continues to consume more and more of the market – in this graph accounting for a full 90% of all sales! Looking back a year, the Android/iOS pairing amounted to 68%, RIM brought 21%, and Windows Mobile and ‘others’ accounted for the remaining 11%. Now RIM is down to 6% and falling, Windows Mobile is gone, and Windows Phone 7 and ‘others’ don’t amount to more than a couple of percent.

Finally, check out the top 10 phones – a list that is at once predictable and remarkable. Is anyone surprised that the iPhone 4S is the top seller … by A LOT? Not really. Nor is it all that surprising that the iPhone 4 is also a top seller – but the fact that the iPhone 3GS sold more than ANY Android device is amazing – even if AT&T is more or less giving it away free on contract!

The remainder of the list is not a surprise either – two Samsung Galaxy S phones, the Galaxy SII, Droid Bionic, a couple of HTC phones and LG bringing up the rear.

The Business Insider post where I saw these images had a headline stating “Android’s Market Share Collapses”. To that I say – PLEASE STOP! And do not try to draw a forecasting trend with two points! The data shows that anyone who said Apple was ‘done’ or the iPhone 4S was a flop was obviously VERY wrong … but not much else.

Well, it also says that there is a ton of competition – and based on what we’ve seen the last couple of months for new devices and what is coming out of CES this week, consumers will continue to be the winners. So long as the carriers don’t spoil the party, anyway.

What do you think about this latest sales data?

Source: Business Insider

Categories: Editorials

Tags: , , , ,

7 replies

  1. Presuming these are US sales only, and sales of new devices on contract, the only thing I’d glean from this is that the addition of a Sprint iPhone has caused a lot of this shift. Sprint have always sold a lot of smartphones, and up til now the iPhone wasn’t an option for anyone who is in a Sprint-only reception area. As soon as they had the choice, they went for it. Add to that existing iPhone users moving to the 4S, and customers who wanted an iPhone, but couldn’t afford the higher prices, or didn’t want to pay out for a handset, and the now free 3GS has opened that up to them too.

    The figures are quite different for Europe still where there’s a lot of choice across multiple carriers. In Britain, particularly, Android is doing very well, but as the UK has a tradition of offering free phones on upgrade, and the iPhone doesn’t fall into the free category, except on the highest tariffs, it’s not surprising that users are grabbing Android phones instead.

  2. Marketing numbers can be pushed any way you want.  What I would like to know is many people just kept what they had? I’m finding it more and more common to see people who have 3+ year old phones….and LIKE IT.  Most people aren’t in line on day one of their renewal unlike geeks like myself.

    Also, consider this…other than the Galaxy Nexus, manufacturers of Android keep churning out phone after phone running Android 2.3 with a vague promise of Android 4.0.  Most of the new phones yesterday have had 2.3 on them.  What reason do I have to switch from my Droid 2 now?  None other than the hardware boost. 

    The only phone I would even consider now is the Galaxy Nexus. I do not want a Droid Razr or Droid Razr Maxx.  The only other phone I would consider with Android right now is a HTC phone and right now the ones on Verizon aren’t impressing me.  Google can arrest this fall but they must do it quickly.  As soon as their deal with Motorola Mobility is complete, they need to start taking the power that Moto has and start churning out multiple ICS based models at each price point.All I know is if the only ICS phone that is out when my renewal comes in April is the Galaxy Nexus….AND the current issues I am hearing about aren’t fixed, I will probably grab a 4s.  Odds are not really high that I would go iPhone, but they are creeping up higher.

  3. Playing the devil’s advocate here gorkon, but why would you consider jumping to iOS at this point? An Android user myself, I too am in the “you can get a discounted phone” stage of my contract but I haven’t yet bitten on anything yet for the reasons you listed. I’m not particularly allied to any OS in the phone arena, so I have less qualms about switching over to an iPhone or even Windows Phone.  However, as I can only pick one upgrade, I’m really torn where I want to go.  I’ll likely go either Android or Windows Phone.  My wife has a Samsung Focus, so maybe I ought to grab the Titan II when it comes out, or maybe a Nokia.  Shoot, the Samsung Note looks tempting too, though if my old X7501 is any indicator, the Note will be a brick to carry around as a regular phone.  Like you, at this juncture I’d prefer ICS to be the Android OS on any device I get because as we’ve seen with a few providers, updates are often few and far between, as my Samsung Captivate will attest.

    • Oh trust me I am FAR from going that way….but if something doesn’t improve soon on some things than I will go that way.

      I MUCH prefer:

      Having more than one market.
      Not being locked into anyone’s ecosystem.
      Being able to write my own stuff and not have to put it on the market.

      However, locked bootloaders and other brain dead ideas that these manufacturers are doing have me seriously reconsidering.  

      I don’t HATE Android, but sometimes even I get tired of it’s issues.

      I’d NEVER go Windows Phone.  I TRIED to like it back in the day.  I was loyal for a long time with PocketPC and when they STILL had the same issues after 3 iterations if CE (CE, PocketPC, PocketPC 2002 and iterations up til they threw everything out…) I said no more.  I am sure that Windows Phone 7 “fixed” some of the issues but alas, they lost me.

      • That’s one thing I’ve like about my Captivate…no locked bootloader.  I put Cyanogen on it nearly a year ago and didn’t have the issue Droid owners had about bootloaders. I wholeheartedly agree about the market limitations.  With CM7 I can use Android and Amazon freely.  Using hacks to get superuser permissions on Android and having to jailbreak iOS does get tedious, and I do have to remind myself that there are tech enthusiasts like us here at GearDiary that have no problem flashing roms, dual booting or triple+ booting system OSes but that there are many more people who just want a device to work and don’t care about locked boot roms or ecosystem limitations. I think you and I prefer our phones or mobile tech gizmos to be freely accessible extensions of our PCs in a sense…more like an add-on and less like a standalone appliance that in some ways acts as an island unto itself.

        As for Windows Phone 7, this is quite a different beast than the WinMo 5-6.5x ilk.  I’d say it has more in common with iOS in end user functionality than the PPC OSes ever did.

  4. I think that the expanded market share for iOS in October and November can be attributed both to the availability of the handset on Sprint for the first time and that so many iPhone 3GS users were waiting for a new iPhone to upgrade. The market share numbers for the months that preceded that were probably more heavily skewed to Android for that reason as well – people who wanted iPhones were waiting. I think there is a good chance that Android and iOS numbers stay within about 5 to 10 percent of where they are for the next four quarters, with iOS numbers dipping and then spiking around the time Apple announces a new iPhone. There just isn’t a single Android phone that draws that much attention.

    As for the number of data plans, remember that on Verizon at least that “messaging” phones also require a data plan.


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