Nielson: Android flourished before iPhone 4, but Apple 'most desired'

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Echoing earlier NPD figures, newly released research from Nielsen shows that all of the vendors of Android-based phones put together outsold Apple's iPhone within the US in the quarter prior to the launch of iPhone 4.



Nielsen's reported numbers only run through the June quarter, so they don't factor in iPhone 4, the largest and most successful smartphone launch ever. What they do show is the smartphone climate before Apple's juggernaut launch hit.



Over the past year, Apple's share of the installed base of all smartphone subscribers in the US initially inched up from 21 percent to 27 percent, trading places with Windows Mobile, which conversely slipped from 27 percent to 21 percent in the second half of 2009. Apple's share then remained flat into 2010 following its fast paced holiday quarter, while Windows Mobile continued to rapidly decline.



The holiday season is when Android's share began to rapidly grow in the US. The launch of Motorola's Droid, heavily promoted by Verizon as its alternative to AT&T's iPhone, helped stoke rapid "two for one" heavily subsidized handset sales tied to record high cancelation fees. In terms of installed base, Android collectively ratcheted up from 4 percent to 14 percent, nearly passing Windows Mobile and gaining a mass about half the size of the installed base of iPhone users within just two quarters.



However, when only looking at "recent acquirers," Android's numbers look even better. This set of figures exaggerates new sales, giving Apple a major bump in share between the 2009 launch of iPhone 3GS through the holiday season, and then the appearance of a dramatic fall as sales to new buyers tapered off.



Since nearly all of Android's mainstream users are new to the platform, its numbers among recent acquirers skyrocketed over the first two quarters of 2010, jumping from 6 percent to 27 percent, passing new iPhone sales and aiming toward RIM's BlackBerry figures, which show a steady decrease among new buyers over the last year (as opposed to RIM's relatively flat share among all subscribers).







iPhone still 'most desired'



Despite the major influx of Android buyers stoked primarily by Verizon prior to the iPhone 4 launch, current iPhone customers told the research company that they were the most likely to buy another phone from the same vendor as their current one.



Nearly 90 percent of iPhone users said they'll buy another iPhone for their next mobile, compared to just 71 percent of Android users who'll buy Android again, and just 41 percent of BlackBerry users who said they'd get another phone from RIM.



In contrast, 21 percent of Android users and 29 percent of BlackBerry owners said they want an iPhone next. Just six percent of iPhone users said they'd buy an Android phone next, and only two to three percent of Android and iPhone users said they'd get a BlackBerry phone. Again, these numbers were collected before the launch of iPhone 4.







Blockbuster iPhone 4 sales not yet reported



Nielsen reports that US smartphone penetration is up dramatically, jumping from just 16% in the second calendar quarter of last year to 25% of mobile sales this year. By the end of 2011, the company predicts smartphones will pass sales of basic feature phones. That portends tremendous growth potential for all smartphone makers, but in particular offers good news for Apple, considering the virtually unlimited growth potential for smartphones throughout the near future.



Apple's strong loyalty ratings, mirrored by parallel satisfaction ratings that indicate far more users are happy with their iPhones compared to other smartphone products, suggest that Apple has prime positioning to take full advantage of the current smartphone boom.



RIM is scrambling to release both its new BlackBerry OS 6 and new phones with a iPhone form factor, as well as a new table product similar to the iPad, but all of this efforts are a quarter or two behind Apple's iOS 4 and iPhone 4.



Similarly, Microsoft is gearing up to migrate its stagnant Windows Mobile into a new iPhone-like Windows Phone 7 platform with a curated store and tightly regulated hardware, but those devices aren't set to hit until the end of the year. Microsoft also just suffered a major disaster with Verizon in the aborted launch of its KIN phones.



Palm, which demonstrated poor results over the last year in terms of both overall share and new adoption, is being groomed by HP to serve as that company's new smartphone platform and a new platform for tablet devices, but those products won't hit until later in the year or early 2011.



Android makers have taken full advantage of the lull before the iPhone 4 storm to ship waves of advanced hardware with better screens and cameras than Apple's last generation of iPhone, but both Motorola and HTC appear to be suffering production issues that may limit the number of new phones that can be shipped in the second half of the year. Apple is also struggling to build enough iPhone 4 units to meet demand.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 126
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    I would be interested to see Android's numbers on competing networks... Apple really needs to get the iPhone on Verizon's and Sprints networks already.
  • Reply 2 of 126
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Since nearly all of Android's mainstream users are new to the platform, its numbers among recent acquirers skyrocketed over the first two quarters of 2010, jumping from 6 percent to 27 percent, passing new iPhone sales



    So Apple's new acquisitions drop by nearly a third from a high of 34% down to 23%, while Android's explodes 450%.



    Looks like Gartner called this one.
  • Reply 3 of 126
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    I'm sure many people held off buying an iPhone waiting for iPhone 4. The leaks probably cost Apple more than a million sales.
  • Reply 4 of 126
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,197member
    How's that lawsuit against Gizmodo going?
  • Reply 5 of 126
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RationalTroll View Post


    So Apple's new acquisitions drop by nearly a third from a high of 34% down to 23%, while Android's explodes 450%.



    Looks like Gartner called this one.



    Apple will always look different because theirs is one product following a set release timeline. It will dip, and then it will boom (as it is doing now). Android encompasses an array of devices so its growth will be more steady and predictable.



    Also, this doesn't actually mean anything material (in any context). Android is sold in a range of expensive to cheap devices to a userbase who may either be excited to experience Android and its market, to mom-and-pop who aren't going to be up to dealing with the greater challenge of working on a cross-platform market and just want a nicer phone to do all the basic smartphone stuff with (photos, text messages, email, etc.). The low price point (buy one get one, low end models) increases this factor. Android will soar (in fact, I won't be surprised if it eventually does surpass iOS, provided Apple sticks with AT&T) but the material impact to Google, the Android Market, and Android Developers will be impacted in a completely different way than market share will impact the centralized and accessible iOS.



    Fun statistics, but just not meaningful.



    Also, it doesn't include the iPod Touch. Similarly, it would not have included a similar Android product if it were available. A shame, because such things are meaningful to competing markets and developers.
  • Reply 6 of 126
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,580member
    I think Apple needs to start considering staggered releases throughout the year. I don't know how they will make it work, but the seasonality appears to give them a competitive disadvantage. If they can sustain a level production rate throughout the year, I don't know how the competitition could ever keep up!



    Happy they have stock for walk-ins now at the Apple store. Really makes it more of a reasonable purchasing experience.
  • Reply 7 of 126
    drfreemandrfreeman Posts: 111member
    Fun to read. Conclusion: Symbian is no longer that popular.
  • Reply 8 of 126
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post


    I think Apple needs to start considering staggered releases throughout the year. I don't know how they will make it work, but the seasonality appears to give them a competitive disadvantage. If they can sustain a level production rate throughout the year, I don't know how the competitition could ever keep up!



    Happy they have stock for walk-ins now at the Apple store. Really makes it more of a reasonable purchasing experience.



    They do with their various products?but they only have one iPhone.

    Can't exactly stagger that through the year.
  • Reply 9 of 126
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post


    I think Apple needs to start considering staggered releases throughout the year. I don't know how they will make it work, but the seasonality appears to give them a competitive disadvantage. If they can sustain a level production rate throughout the year, I don't know how the competitition could ever keep up!



    Happy they have stock for walk-ins now at the Apple store. Really makes it more of a reasonable purchasing experience.



    In fact, I think Apple is positioning for staggered release of their "consumer" products:



    -- January (1Q) - iPad



    -- June (2Q) - iPhone



    -- November (4Q) iPod Touch



    As to the over-interpretataion of the statistics in the article, I would prefer more reporting of facts and less skewed analysis.



    But, as with most things written by DED-- "The Spin Starts Here!"



    .
  • Reply 10 of 126
    daveswdavesw Posts: 406member
    Verizon/Sprint/T-mobile users are buying iTouch's.
  • Reply 11 of 126
    bartfatbartfat Posts: 432member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    But, as with most things written by DED



    I really doubt he's spinning the numbers this time. It almost looks like he's saying Android's winning the battle. But then again, you can read it any way you want, that doesn't necessarily mean that the author intended it to be read that way, though
  • Reply 12 of 126
    bartfatbartfat Posts: 432member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by davesw View Post


    Verizon/Sprint/T-mobile users are buying iTouch's.



    Nope, they're buying iPhones and unlocking them. Well, the T-Mobile users anyway.
  • Reply 13 of 126
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    RIM isn't out yet. Look for a big come back tomorrow with the intro of Blackberry OS 6.0 with a webkit browser and some new phones.



    (yes, I'm a blackberry fan)
  • Reply 14 of 126
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    In fact, I think Apple is positioning for staggered release of their "consumer" products:



    -- January (1Q) - iPad



    -- June (2Q) - iPhone



    -- November (4Q) iPod Touch



    As to the over-interpretataion of the statistics in the article, I would prefer more reporting of facts and less skewed analysis.



    But, as with most things written by DED-- "The Spin Starts Here!"



    .



    I think this is the 'right' schedule:



    -- March/April - iPad



    -- June/July - iPhone



    -- Sept - iPod Touch
  • Reply 15 of 126
    I would like to see the real network traffic comparison..

    Are iphones accessing more network resources or is the android accessing more resources.

    There might be more purchases of other platforms but are those platforms really being used like the iphone.
  • Reply 16 of 126
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrFreeman View Post


    Fun to read. Conclusion: Symbian is no longer that popular.



    Numbers are from the US, where Symbian was never popular.
  • Reply 17 of 126
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    This is completely expected. In fact, this should have happened well over a year ago had Android and its vendors had their act together sooner. Anything that is freely distributed and is part of dozens of vendors should outsell a single platform from a single company.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    I would be interested to see Android's numbers on competing networks... Apple really needs to get the iPhone on Verizon's and Sprints networks already.



    It wouldn?t help much. It might make some wait for an iPhone 4 over a competing handset, but Apple seems to be selling all the smartphones they can make so spreading out across multiple carriers in the US isn?t going to increase their numbers right now.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post


    Apple will always look different because theirs is one product following a set release timeline. It will dip, and then it will boom (as it is doing now). Android encompasses an array of devices so its growth will be more steady and predictable.



    You?re using common sense with a troll who only wants Apple to fail at all costs. He?ll take anything he can to show Apple sucks and nothing will make him think differently. He doesn?t care the variances in release schedules or that iOS is only on Apple?s products or that Neilsen isn?t counting another but smartphones. He only looks for a blemish he can spin into a weakness.
  • Reply 18 of 126
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by really mobile View Post


    I think this is the 'right' schedule:



    -- March/April - iPad



    -- June/July - iPhone



    -- Sept - iPod Touch



    Hopefully we?ll get another iOS-based device launching later this year. The revamped AppleTV.
  • Reply 19 of 126
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post


    Android is sold in a range of expensive to cheap devices to a userbase who may either be excited to experience Android and its market, to mom-and-pop who aren't going to be up to dealing with the greater challenge of working on a cross-platform market and just want a nicer phone to do all the basic smartphone stuff with (photos, text messages, email, etc.).



    An associate of mine falls into that mom category. She got a G1 when it first came out rather than an iPhone, only because she likes to MMS and the original iPhone did not have that functionality. She has had the G1 for about three years and has yet to download a single app or even use half of the built in apps. Just phone, txt, MMS, and camera - doesn't even use it for email. Now the battery won't keep a charge so she is thinking about getting the iPhone4 as soon as you can just walk in and buy it without waiting. Main reason is that she is switching carriers, is that she is dissatisfied with the T-Mobile coverage in the places she goes often. When she gets her iPhone, though, I think she will utilize it to a greater extent since it will be so much easier to use than Android.



    I think the general impression that no-tech users have is that iPhone works better and is easier to use than Android. Since she already has an Android and wants to now get an iPhone without even so much as looking at one, just based on hearsay, kind of exemplifies my point.
  • Reply 20 of 126
    diddydiddy Posts: 282member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    How's that lawsuit against Gizmodo going?



    What lawsuit - Apple has not sued Gizmodo at all and have not announced any intention to.
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