Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th May 2010 14:55 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless When Apple sued HTC, and targeted Android specifically (news which came out of the blue), many people, including myself, were convinced this was Apple letting the world know they were afraid of Android's rising popularity. This notion was laughed away by many an Apple fan, but it turns out that this is most likely far closer to reality than many dare to admit: in the first quarter of 2010, Android conquered the number two market share spot from the iPhone in the US - and by a wide margin too. Update: Added a graph which better shows the trend.
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RE[3]: Did you read the article?
by hazydave on Tue 11th May 2010 13:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Did you read the article?"
hazydave
Member since:
2010-05-11

This one was premature, sure... there was lots of Android momentum going into 1Q2010, and nothing particular pushing the iPhone. Then again, the iPhone was and is still far more established than the Android platform. Macs don't outsell Windows PCs even in a bad quarter for Windows (or a bad era, such as the Vista years).

The simple fact is that, just as on the desktop, it's being set up as Apple vs. nearly everyone else. It's foolish to believe that everyone else will not collectively outsell Apple on a regular basis at some point. I wasn't expecting it to start until 2011, nor become a regular thing until 2012.

Also, the 10% number is unlikely... the iPhone will probably stabilize at 25% of the smart phone market. Apple will never even try to replace the Blackberry (their insistence on selling only via iTunes is enterprise hostile... businesses don't buy their apps that way, and they won't bend for Apple), nor will they try to match the variety of Android models that will exist, just as they only offer a handful of different Mac models at any given time.

Even the simple fact that, currently, more than half of all smart phone users want a real keyboard, at least as an option, will drive people away from the iPhone. Apple's not going to cut prices enough for iPhones to be "free with contract", but that's completely possible with entry-level Android phones.

Simply put, there is no possible way that Apple will remain as strong as they are. Yes, multiple carriers would certainly help. To double their availability, they need to get Verizon and/or both Sprint and T-Mobile. Either Sprint or Verizon requires their building a CDMA2000 version... we'll see.

When the new iPhone ships in June or July, Apple will absolutely be back on top, though because of that, I'll bet 2Q2010 is even worse for them in phones, not to mention the distraction of the iPad. But the new iPhone sales will be nearly all upgrades by existing iPhone users. A large majority of the Android phones are being sold to users who did not use smartphones previously. If Android fails to deliver, Apple could get a nice bump in two years, and the whole Android thing falls apart. But if the users are happy with it, the Android market will see the same virtuous circle effect that Apple has... existing users upgrade, those on the fence get pulled in by friends and coworkers, etc.

I know from personal experience that there were quite a few of my iPhone-toting buddies drooling just a little over my Droid. The Droid is better than the 3GS in nearly every way, yet at this point, six months later, it's no longer a leading edge Android device in terms of performance and cool features. There's a bigger, better Android device every month or two. This is a problem for Apple, who do this only once a year.

Also, while I've been predicting Android wins eventually, I was looking at the global market. Android phones are just starting up on China Mobile, for example... they have more customers than there are people in the USA. They have the Lenovo OPhone now, and one of Dell's new models Real Soon Now; others are being actively sought by China Mobile (they use a proprietary Chinese 3G technology over GSM, so you have to develop your phone for China).

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