Who’s Surgin’, Who’s Saggin’: iPhone Or Android?

Some numbers released yesterday by NPD Group suggested that the iPhone was regaining some of the market share it had recently lost to Android. According to the firm’s data, Q4 US smartphone sales look like the following:

NPD also said that iPhone incarnations constituted the top three devices sold in Q4, followed by Samsung and HTC (Android):

  1. iPhone 4S
  2. iPhone 4
  3. iPhone 3GS
  4. Samsung Galaxy S II 4G
  5. Samsung Galaxy S
  6. HTC Inspire 4G

These sales figures are reinforced by recent ChangeWave US consumer survey data (n=4,000) asking would-be smartphone buyers what device they’re most likely to buy in the next 90 days. The iPhone is far and away the leading handset, though Samsung gained compared to the firm’s September survey.

Source: ChangeWave

Let’s take a look at some other data from comScore, Nielsen and mobile ad networks. They’re a combination of actual traffic (ad networks) and survey data (comScore, Nielsen).

Below are data from StatCounter, which measures actual traffic to websites. This chart is US only smartphone traffic by operating system. It shows iOS on top, with Android very close. Everyone else is in the basement.

It’s not clear in every instance whether “iOS” refers to the iPhone or all devices that use the iOS operating system (i.e., iPod Touch, iPad). The data from comScore and Nielsen above only reflect the iPhone and not the full range of iOS devices. However the StatCounter data would seem to include all iOS devices.

While the tech media seem to focus relentlessly on who’s winning the iPhone vs. Android horse race (which is getting tiresome), the larger story is how little interest and activity there is around other platforms such as RIM and Windows. RIM’s decline has been precipitous to say the least.

Yesterday Microsoft and Nokia formally announced their Lumia 900 handset, to be released by AT&T later this year in the US. Slickly designed and sophisticated it’s Nokia and Microsoft’s bid for consumer attention and to break back into the North American market. The Lumia line will be supported by millions upon millions of marketing dollars. We’ll see if that can move the needle.

However right now, if one had to use a cola analogy, Microsoft and Nokia would be Dr. Pepper to Apple and Google’s Coke and Pepsi.

Related Topics: Apple | Apple: iPhone | Channel: Mobile Marketing | Features & Analysis | Google: Android | Microsoft: Mobile | Statistics: Mobile Marketing | Statistics: Popularity & Usage | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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