Google Android Outsells iPhone
CREDIT: NPD Group
After several years of slow growth for Google's smartphone operating system (OS), the Android OS has seen massive gains in consumer adoption. Now Android is popular enough that it is outselling the iPhone.
The news comes from research firm NPD Group, which has been tracking market share for smartphone OSes for quite some time. While most other smartphone OSes, such as BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Mobile and Palm webOS, have seen drops in market share recently, Android use has surged over the last six month, bringing it to number 2 in the list, after BlackBerry and ahead of iPhone.
Android does have an advantage over the iPhone in that it has been released on a wide selection of phones in recent months. Initially, only T-Mobile carried an Android phone, but now that the platform is gaining popularity, every major network and many major manufacturers, including HTC, Motorola and Samsung, are offering Android phones. The iPhone OS, on the other hand, has only been released on three handsets, all of them models of the iPhone.
Still, considering the massive sales of iPhones , Android's new ranking among smartphone OSes is no mean feat. Ross Rubin, an analyst with NPD, says the recent increase in Android use all comes down to good advertising.
"The wireless carriers in the U.S. are still the king makers in the mobile market," said Rubin. "Verizon in particular is what is making the Android so successful right now with its promotions and marketing."
It is no coincidence that Android's sudden increase in market share coincides with Verizon's recent marketing campaign for Android phones , starting with the Motorola DROID . Thanks to that push, Verizon sales of smartphones make up 30 percent of all smartphone sales in the country. Understandably, the iPhone still has significant influence for AT&T as well; AT&T smartphones make up 32 percent of all smartphone sales. It should be noted, however that both those networks sell other smartphones, most notably the number one selling category of smartphones: BlackBerry .
NPD Group also indicates that Android's victory over the iPhone would be short-lived if the iPhone were released on the Verizon network.
"If the iPhone was available today on Verizon, Apple would certainly grow market share," Rubin said. "It's difficult to know what the feature-set will look like on phones in a year. But it's clear the iPhone still has enough cachet today to pick up market share."