Android phones are officially more popular with new smart phone consumers than iPhones, according to figures that have just been released by Nielsen Company. To which I say: Totally called it!
Back in June, I wrote a few blog posts about the many reasons why the Android would quickly move past the iPhone in market share. Google gives its app developers more freedom than Apple does, and the Android operating system is available from many more carriers and on many more phones than Apple’s iPhone operating system. But most importantly, Android phones cost less, with some being given away for free with a two-year contract.
At the time, Apple fanboys in our comments section said the iPhones were still better than Android phones, and the reign of dominance would continue uninterrupted. Clearly, saavy consumers disagree.
In August, 32 percent of people who bought a smartphone chose one with an Android operating system. The same month, 26 percent bought Apple iPhones, just narrowly beating out Blackberrys, which nabbed 25 percent of the smartphone market. It was the second month in a row that Android beat out the iPhone and the Blackberry, but the whole chart for the operating system on new smart phones between January and August of this year is below.
But iPhone owners, rest assured: there is a caveat to this news. Among people who already own a smartphone, Android phones are still the smallest kid on the block. According to Nielsen, Blackberry still holds the dominant share with 31 percent of the market, though its lead over Apple is declining. Twenty-eight percent of smartphone owners have Apple iPhones, and 19 percent have Android devices.
It’s quickly changing, though. You can see Nielsen’s full chart below. The key point is that Android’s share of the mobile OS market almost doubled between March and August, and that trend will most likely continue.
It’s anyone’s guess what will happen next, but here’s my prediction. Apple has heavily marketed the iPhone to affluent social users of smart phones, while the Blackberry has always been marketed to business professionals. Android phones can more easily replicate the iPhone experience and is more attractive to potential iPhone buyers. Android will soon have much more market control than Blackberrys and iPhones combined, but iPhone users will defect to the Android before Blackberry users.
Android’s lower cost, greater customization possibilities and availability on more phones are all factors that will drive its sales further upward. The rumored Verizon iPhone will only put a dent in that trend, if it ever materializes.
But let’s open it up to discussion, and not just the Apple fanboys. If you’re planning to get a new smartphone, which operating system are you looking at? What’s your dream phone?
See you in the comments section.
Credit: The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mobile phone uses the Android operating system. Sean Gallup/Getty Images