Linked by Matthew Johnson on Tue 31st Jan 2012 22:24 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless In its analysis of last year's smartphone market in the U.S., NPD found that market share for Apple's iOS went up following the release of the iPhone 4S, to 43 percent of all smartphone sales in October and November from 26 percent in the third quarter. Android, meanwhile, retained its lead, but lost market share towards the end of the year, dropping in October and November to 47 percent from 60 percent in the previous quarter. These are some dramatic shifts in market share but what do they really mean to you and me?
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Tony Swash
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Their numbers jumped because they came out with a new phone, and people wanted the new one. They do this once a year. in order to get any sense of reality, you would need to start from the launch of the iPhone 4 and go until just before the release of the 4S. Since new Android phones are released about every half hour, their release cycle is not an issue. If you want to see how the 4S affected things, you would need to look at a period from now back to the same amount of time after the 4 was released (to account for the shiny new gadget syndrome.)

None of this accounts for how long an Android user keeps the same phone as compared to how long and Apple user keeps the same phone, so even getting realistic sales numbers does not equate to market share.

If you want market share, you need to look at devices currently in use. In the the USA this is possible, since the carriers generally know what phone you are using, but in the land of unlocked phones, even that does not work.

If there were a website that were heavily trafficked, and neither hip (Apple heavy) nor nerdy (Android heavy) then maybe that would work. Maybe the server logs for Wikipedia or Facebook are the best real indicator.

If you look at the graph here showing Apple's unit sales by product per quarter going back to 2002 my interpretation of the iPhone line is that it is trending very strongly and consistently up with slight dips prior to each phones launch. If the trend continues then the iPhone sales figures from the last quarter will become the new base line figure for the 2012 quarters.

I also found it interesting that the iPad has just overtaken the iPod for units sold, one is gently decking the other is shooting up.

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