Android became best-selling smartphone OS last quarter

Well, that didn’t take long. The NPD Group reports that Google’s Android OS outnumbered all other smartphone operating systems on devices sold in the US during the second quarter of this year. Android captured 33% of smartphone sales in the quarter, moving ahead of RIM, whose share dropped to 28%. Despite a "small gain" from the iPhone 4 launch at the end of the quarter, Apple only managed third place with 22% of the pie.

Of course, there are quite a few more Android-powered devices than there are handsets running iOS. Among Android smartphones, Motorola’s Droid proved to be the most popular. Behind it, four HTC models rounded out the top five. Keep in mind that these figures only apply to U.S. sales, though.

This marks the first time BlackBerry maker RIM has lost the smartphone OS crown since the fourth quarter of 2007. Not that we should be surprised. A recent Nielsen survey discovered that only 42% of BlackBerry users want to stay with RIM for their next smartphone. The recently introduced BlackBerry 6 operating system may help the platform hang onto some additional users, but I suspect it won’t be long before iOS takes over the number two spot. Besides, most BlackBerry users I’ve known have stuck with the platform only because it’s been provided and paid for by their employers.

Comments closed
    • glynor
    • 12 years ago

    I believe that point number one in my original post was literally “these numbers are only for smartphones”, but you know what? You’re right. I concede all the points to you, as you are obviously smarter and have much more refined debating skills. Bravo.

    • PixelArmy
    • 12 years ago

    Just because you don’t care about the phone function of a smartphone DOESN’T matter. A device simply cannot be called a smartphone if it lacks the _[<*[

    • Anomymous Gerbil
    • 12 years ago

    OK, but who said anything about SMBs?

    • glynor
    • 12 years ago

    Three things:

    1. The /[

    • PixelArmy
    • 12 years ago

    You’re right that you can compare things with similar features, but you wouldn’t necessarily reclassify something based on that. My GPS can play mp3s, I don’t call it a music player. If I installed Skype on an ultra-portable laptop, I wouldn’t call it a smartphone.

    Simply put, when people talk about this class of device or that class of device, there are certain classifying features that they are thinking of. This feature set is may be evolving, but it’s not a stretch to classify something based on their primary function, possibly combined with form factor and maybe intended market. Apple sells iPhones as smartphones and iPads as tablets.

    Clearly, the article said “smartphones”. An iPad is both lacking in phone functionality and form factor.

    You’re commenting quite adamantly about relaxing classifications to include more iOS devices (the only point of which is to play with marketshare numbers), in the comments section of an article that is pretty much solely about marketshare. But no, you don’t care about marketshare.

    q[

    • poulpy
    • 12 years ago

    <insert Intel backed product/solution here> blah blah “superior” blah blah “difficult to beat” blah blah “will change everything again”.

    Nothing against MeeGo -and I’m a supporter of Linux- but which part of it is going to change everything again? Any fact(s) laying around?
    Is it its kernel? its UI? the Apps maybe? the Market by any chance? Bit of all that?

    • Jon T
    • 12 years ago

    BES is a huge waste of resources for SMBs. Exchange ActiveSync is marvelous, just as fast, pretty much instantly available without spending more than a few seconds on an exchange server (IIS permissions).

    Unless you require the security BES provides it’s not really worth the money. I hate the way Blackberry have succeeded in making people think they’re the only option for corporate environments.

    I have an HTC running Android with an ActiveSync email client (it was ready to go upon turning on from new), filled in my exchange details, configured IIS and I had exchange with calendars instantly as well as all my other accounts. I’ve done this for a few clients and they’re as surprised as me.

    • Anomymous Gerbil
    • 12 years ago

    I can’t imagine using anything besides a BlackBerry for work email/calendar/etc.

    But I also can’t imagine why anyone would buy a BlackBerry if they weren’t connecting to a BES server.

    • codedivine
    • 12 years ago

    I want global stats dammit, the world is bigger than the US 🙁

    • NeelyCam
    • 12 years ago

    MeeGo will transform the whole market. Superior OS with superior hardware is difficult to beat.

    It’s been a while since Nokia was able to compete in this space, but they’ll be back, and it will change everything again.

    • glynor
    • 12 years ago

    You’re totally right. I hadn’t really looked at the sales numbers (again, because I don’t care that much, I just think these apples-to-oranges numbers comparisons are more hype than substance). Thanks for pointing that out!

    The total number of iPod Touches (I just hate typing that, it looks stupid) for the quarter couldn’t be more than the total number of iPods shipped in the quarter (which was just over 2M), and they shipped 9.41M iPhones in Q2.

    So, even if you count all of them as Touches (which as you rightly point out would be absurd), and then add in the iPad sales which was reported as 3.27M, that’s still just over 5M “other iOS” devices.

    It does however still impact the competitive landscape quite a bit. Fourteen million or so iOS devices in the quarter is a substantially higher number than counting the 9.41M phones alone. I still don’t think the fact that one product has a cell radio and a camera and the other one doesn’t mean they don’t fit into the same type of product category. Do we categorize our computers by the types of radios or telecommunications ports they have in them? I mean, we certainly use them as a feature comparison point, which is valid. But if a laptop or netbook does or does not include a modem or a bluetooth radio or even a cellular data connection radio doesn’t mean it falls in a completely different category from other laptops. Why, then, do we separate out mobile operating system devices into smartphone vs. media player vs. tablet categories based on radios?

    Like Scott said in the latest podcast… It isn’t a phone. It is a pocket computer. That’s how it will be judged and how the OS will compete over the long-term. The traditional cell phones category may very well cease to exist over the next 10-15 years! I mean, once you have a device that can connect to a switched packet network like the Internet, why is voice data sent via the cellular network based on 100+ year old POTS technology anymore anyway?

    I’m just not convinced that the whole “phone” concept isn’t anachronistic. It is a mobile computer and communications device, just like a tablet, and frankly, a lot more like a laptop than the corded rotary phone I used as a child.

    • Voldenuit
    • 12 years ago

    All my business friends love and swear by their Blackberrys.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 12 years ago

    Order of magnitude greater is a massive stretch and not supported whatsoever by numbers that are available. They don’t release iPod Touch numbers, true, but iirc the number of total iPods was around the same as total number of iPhones in the last Apple financials publication. Even if you assume *all* of them were touches and add in the iPad it’s only about 25% more than the iPhone and we know that 100% of iPods sold are not touches even if that is the most ‘mainstream’ iPod.

    • albundy
    • 12 years ago

    oh, HELLz yeah! I’m in! Its a Galaxy without the cellular bs.

    • glynor
    • 12 years ago

    You forgot Point-and-shoot digital camera and Flip Cam competitor.

    But I think that is a valid point. I actually use my iPhone as my primary GPS, my primary ebook reader, and certainly as my primary portable media player and portable gaming device. In fact, most of those uses are MORE important to me than its ability to make calls (and certainly as a web content consumption device). Why wouldn’t you compare it in those spaces? How about something like the Dell Streak? Wouldn’t you be likely to count that as an iPad competitor in addition to a smartphone? How many people are going to actually buy and use the Streak as their primary cell phone, compared to the number buying them to use as a tablet? What about when the new iPad comes out that can do FaceTime calls and Skype? How different is Skype over 3G from a traditional cell phone?

    That said… I could not care less who has more market share in the end. Market share is not a user feature, and is therefore irrelevant to me, so long as the market exists enough that there are still products available that appeal to my needs.

    My point in the OP was that it is an interesting data point that (according to NPD, but not other trackers) Android took over the #1 spot in sales for Q2, but that one snapshot in time doesn’t tell the whole story. Heck, even if you assume that most people were ignorant and had no idea that there would be a new iPhone in July, Apple literally announced it on June 6th and *[

    • PixelArmy
    • 12 years ago

    Right or wrong, Apple fans really just want to iPad their stats. Wasn’t there another article about counting iPads as notebooks too.

    It doesn’t make phone calls but let’s lump it into the smartphone study? Really, why stop there? It’s also a notebook, a media player, a portable gaming system, a gps, an e-reader, a digital picture frame. That’s 3 million in each of those categories too!!!

    • glynor
    • 12 years ago

    I think RIM is planning on using the “prayer method”.

    • glynor
    • 12 years ago

    If by “productivity” you mean responding to email and/or text messages, then yes, I suppose. Blackberry’s OS is still certainly targeted at that use case.

    For pretty much any other definition of “productivity” then I’d have to disagree. In any case, Blackberry 6 looks like it’ll be too little too late. Hopefully with the next go around RIM will become a premiere Windows Phone 7 and/or Android handset maker, because they do make solid hardware that appeals to a certain subset of users.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 12 years ago

    black berries suffer from RIMs OS not being a great developer platform. Other than that it is insanely powerful for a mobile OS. But it is deffinately aimed at productivity and not the app centric enviroment of iOS and Android.

    • Da_Boss
    • 12 years ago

    The fact that Android has taken the top spot is unsurprising considering RIM is stuck in 2007, and Apple just released a new phone that wasn’t accounted for in the stats.

    Anyone else have a clue how RIM is planning on surviving the transformations happening in the mobile space right now? I mean, the Torch is looking exciting, for a BB. But that’s just not enough these days. Granted, they have a loyal following, but they’re a shadow of the company they once were. With Apple moving at light speed into enterprise and Android getting better every release, I see Blackberry being the next casualty of mobile evolution.

    Anyways, Android is looking great right now. But It looks like they won by default.

    • Synchromesh
    • 12 years ago

    Hate my HTC Eris. Will do my best to never buy anything HTC again. After using it for a while I became disillusioned with Android platform altogether. So if iPhone ever comes to Verizon sometime soon I’ll jump on it as fast as possible. If not, I’ll consider breaking my contract with Verizon (after being their customer for 10 years!) and going elsewhere. I have had it with them.

    • wira020
    • 12 years ago

    Considering there was some ( or still ) supply shortage of android phone, mostly hi-end ones.. I think they could have done better… Congrats Google..

    • demani
    • 12 years ago

    I’d also love to see a breakdown by provider. Are most Androids being sold on Verizon and TMobile because of no iPhone? What does ATT’s split look like? How would a hypothetical Verizon or TMobile iPhone affect those carriers?

    The next six months will be fun to watch.

    • glynor
    • 12 years ago

    Because the distinction is arbitrary and based on the particular type of radio it contains. These devices are platforms much more than they are phones. I personally, would rate the importance of the “phone” portion of my iOS device FAR below many other use-cases.

    I just don’t like to talk on the phone very much, for business or pleasure. I’d almost ALWAYS prefer an email, text message, or IM. Prior to being able to have a real handheld computer, I didn’t even CARRY a cell phone (I had a pre-paid job for emergencies only, which got left in the car most times). Plus, there is this from the TR article:

    l[

    • bender
    • 12 years ago

    Congrats to Google.

    I have recently acquired an Android device, and I must say, it is fantastic. It’s an HTC Aria, and I must say the little thing is exactly what I was looking for in a phone. Perfect size, beautiful OS, surprisingly powerful for being the bottom of the line as far as processors go, simple to use and very customizable.

    Hope to do some dev work on it in the near future.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 12 years ago

    It just says phones over and over. Why in the sam hill would you count MP3 players and tablets?

    • glynor
    • 12 years ago

    Android is certainly selling well across all of the different devices and carriers. However, a couple of things to consider:

    1. These numbers are only for smartphones. If you count all iOS devices (iPads and iPod Touches) the numbers change substantially. Apple doesn’t release firm figures for iPod Touch sales, but I suspect that they are an order-of-magnitude larger than iPhone sales.

    2. These numbers really don’t count iPhone 4 hardly at ALL. They say they do, but because of the way NPD does their numbers, it only includes effectively 2-3 days of iPhone 4 sales (and it is iffy how much of that is actually reflected in the numbers).

    It would make sense that for the vast majority of the quarter, the iPhone sales figures would be suppressed more than normal because everyone knew that a new one was coming (especially with the Gizmodo leak in April). On top of that, Q1 and Q2 are historically the slowest sales periods for consumer electronics devices in general. The big quarters are Q3 (back to school) and Q4 (holidays).

    We’ll see how it works out at the end of the year. Android has certainly been growing by leaps and bounds, but don’t get too excited about total market share numbers until the fat lady sings.

    I just really want them to ship a good Android tablet competitor to the iPad. Come on!!! Who would have guessed that it would be August and we’d still have absolutely nothing to choose from.

    • no51
    • 12 years ago

    Hopefully HP will do something to push WebOS more. Playing around on the Palm Pre+ for the last month or so gave me a soft spot for it.

    • HisDivineShadow
    • 12 years ago

    No wonder Steve Jobs had a panic attack when he became aware of Google’s intentions. Looks like history repeating itself all over again. Apple gets a semi-headstart in building up what can be done with overpriced, chic hardware complete with a closed ecosystem that is then supplanted and replaced in the mainstream by an open platform used by a variety of hardware manufacturers.

    Back to Mac levels, begone with you, Mr. Jobs. If only you learned the value of opening your platform and being a little less Jobs-way-or-the-highway, you might actually do more than open the door for everyone else. Oh well. You’ve still got the iPad.

    For now.

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 12 years ago

    getting the new Samsung Yepp PMP with Android as soon as it arrives on USA soil (ie Ebay) 😀

    • jdaven
    • 12 years ago

    I don’t believe RIM is going to make it through the shift going on in the mobile market right now. With so many new OSes and smartphones, they haven’t or couldn’t keep pace. I see Android (~30%), iOS (~30%), Windows Mobile 7 (~30%) and maybe (and that’s a big maybe) WebOS (~10%) dominating the market.

    Maybe RIM should just become a hardware provider and adopt Android as their OS with some customizations.

    • Pettytheft
    • 12 years ago

    I finally left Blackberry for the Android. While I miss the Blackberry OS and the keyboard I’m loving the additional functionality/speed of the DroidX. They really lagged on phone updates and are letting down the consumer market.

    • BKA
    • 12 years ago

    Love my Motorola Backflip but stuck on 1.5. Waiting on Motorola and AT&T to give us an update.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!