Consumers choosing smartphones with iPhone 4S helping close the Android-iOS gap

Consumers choosing smartphones with iPhone 4S helping close the Android-iOS gap

Summary: You may be seeing a lot of people looking at their smartphones on your daily commute and according to a recent Nielsen survey over 46% of U.S. mobile consumers now have smartphones.

SHARE:

I purchased an iPhone 4S on Verizon the day it launched and even after taking a look at the latest Android device, the Galaxy Nexus, I still prefer the Apple iPhone 4S. Nielsen just posted survey results that shows the iPhone 4S was a very popular purchase at the end of 2011 and the gap between iOS and Android is narrowing.

The Nielsen report shows that by the end of 2011 46% of U.S. mobile consumers had smartphones and that number continues strong growth. 60% of those who purchased a new device in the last three months chose a smartphone over a feature phone. My wife's aunt bought her first smartphone last week and it was the Verizon iPhone 4S. Looking at the Nielsen charts, you can see that Android remains the most popular with iOS gaining a bit while RIM is seeing serious declines. Windows Phone 7, my personal favorite on T-Mobile, just can't seem to gain any market share yet and hopefully 2012 is the year they start making some headway.

Android is a powerful mobile operating system and I enjoy it for the widgets, custom keyboards, and ability to try out different ROMs. However, for day-to-day usage I still prefer my iPhone 4S for its ease of use and well designed applications. I honestly thought the iPhone would top out and flatten given that the iPhone 4 has been out for quite some time, but I think the improvements in the 4S and the launch on Sprint have helped. I know quite a few Sprint customers who purchased an iPhone 4S for Christmas and know I would get one for my wife if the iPhone would ever come to T-Mobile.

Related ZDNet posts

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Hardware, Mobile OS, Mobility, Smartphones, Verizon

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

29 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Can't wait to read the responses to this one:)

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
  • RE: Consumers choosing smartphones with iPhone 4S helping close the Android-iOS gap

    That will only last till the best phone available hits the shelves. I'm talking about the Nokia Lumia 900. It is the best phone ever made!
    Stephen-B
    • RE: Consumers choosing smartphones with iPhone 4S helping close the Android-iOS gap

      @Stephen-B
      Except it uses crappy windows panel metro UI. If Microsoft would dump those panels metro ui which turns most people off as its just not very good looking or user friendly they might get a small percentage of people to come over but with that panel ui its a wrap people just don't like the look or feel of it and it is showing in the windows 8 beta tests that people hate it.
      Fletchguy
    • RE: Consumers choosing smartphones with iPhone 4S helping close the Android-iOS gap

      @Stephen-B

      Nokia would have been better to stay away from Windows Phone...
      danbi
      • RE: Consumers choosing smartphones with iPhone 4S helping close the Android-iOS gap

        @danbi You're so wrong on that one. Within 18 months Windows Phone 7 will take its rightful place as the number 1 phone OS. The others will be fighting for table scraps.
        Stephen-B
    • RE: Consumers choosing smartphones with iPhone 4S helping close the Android-iOS gap

      @Stephen-B

      You're funny! :)
      lorin@...
  • RE: Consumers choosing smartphones with iPhone 4S helping close the Android-iOS gap

    I think this gap closing is just a temporary blip from the 4s introduction. From now until the 5 intro iphone will receed again. And thats with ics being a total and complete disappointment for both phones and tablets. Its like both ios and android are opening the door for WP right when Nokia came knocking.
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: Consumers choosing smartphones with iPhone 4S helping close the Android-iOS gap

      @Johnny Vegas

      The reality is, with almost 50% of consumers now on smart phones, you just aren't going to see massive shifts like you did for the last few years. You'll see things more like what Apple did in the last few months. A strong quarter due to a new hardware/OS release combined with the holiday shopping season. But going forward, this is how companies need to make their gains.

      I heard a sports talk show guy talking about a college basketball team. He said that for about 3-4 minutes a half, that team dominates, going on a 12-2 type run. The rest of the half, they may increase their lead a point here or there, but they kill you with a couple runs, not a steady increase in their lead throughout the game.

      That's the state of the smart phone market now as it's become a little more mature. Apple's 4th quarter did some damage (increasing to 37% from 30% is pretty significant). It doesn't look like Android's gotten the same bang out of ICS yet.
      TroyMcClure
      • RE: Consumers choosing smartphones with iPhone 4S helping close the Android-iOS gap

        @piousmonk By this tie next year Crapple Iphones will have less than 10% marketshare, and the developers will all be defecting to the Microsoft ecosystem. With in 18 months Windows Phone 7 will have more marketshare than the current leaders combined. This will happen because the best hardware in the world (Nokia) is combined with the best OS ever written(Windows Phone 7). THat is too powerful a combination not to win in the short term.
        Stephen-B
      • You know I've heard this kind of stuff before with regards

        @Stephen-B ... to Apple's i devices and you know I've yet to see it pan out. Now I'm not anti MS phone OS mind you as I feel competition is good for everyone and I hope MS is a success but that does not mean it will or has to be number one to be so. Nor do I car if Android remains in the lead market share wise in the phone space as long as Apple keeps raking in the green I'm certain eventually people of all persuasions will admit Apple's success like it or not:)

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • RE: Consumers choosing smartphones with iPhone 4S helping close the Android-iOS gap

        @jim Mark the calander, as this is where Crapple starts their final slide into irrelevancy. People will see beyond the lies and FUD Crapple is famous for. I can't think of a single company that is more anti-consumer than Crapple...
        Stephen-B
      • RE: Consumers choosing smartphones with iPhone 4S helping close the Android-iOS gap

        @piousmonk You realize ICS is only out on one phone so far, right? And even that phone, Nexus, only shipped in December. And there is only one tablet officially running ICS as well, the Transformer Prime. That also shipped late December. 2012 however will be the year of ICS.
        mrxxxman
      • RE: Consumers choosing smartphones with iPhone 4S helping close the Android-iOS gap

        @Stephen-B

        I'll tell you what, give me your e-mail address and if Apple's less than 10% marketshare on Jan 18, 2013, I'll buy you your Nokia/WP7 phone as soon as you're eligible for renewal.

        I'm not saying your utopian Nokia/WP7 phone won't be a hit, but in order for your claims to come true, iPhone and Android users would have to be jumping ship left and right AND paying full price for your precious phone, which just is about as far from reality as you can get.
        TroyMcClure
      • Or not.....

        @Stephen-B ... Time will tell and I'm fairly certain your wishes are not going to come true. But here's a wish of my own that MS does gain market share in the phone space over the next year. Still with everything I know about Apple and it's products both current and past I doubt that a sudden dislike of said products is going to occur anytime soon at least. Oh and calling names like Crapple does not add anything to your arguments if anything it takes away from them and makes you look smallish.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • RE: Consumers choosing smartphones with iPhone 4S helping close the Android-iOS gap

        @piousmonk I'm not going to wait till renewal time. I'm going to get a new phone from AT&T, as I'm currently on Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. I will move to AT&T to show my undying support for Windows Phone7
        Stephen-B
      • RE: Consumers choosing smartphones with iPhone 4S helping close the Android-iOS gap

        @Stepheb B There are many problems with your assertion. For one, the Nokia Lumia 900 just isn't that good. Its comparable to some mid-range Android phones, butpalesnext to the iPhone 4S (aside from its LTE support) and the half dozen leadiing Androids, all with LTE, faster hardware, more memory, better, full 720p screens, etc.

        Both Android and iOS have a proven repeat business, too. And given Mictosoft's late entry onto consumer mobile, they're going to have to turn Android and iOS users to gain significant share. There simply isn't enoigh share left among RIM, WinMo, Symbian, etc. to grow WinPhone. Unless they can sell to dumb phone users at an unusually high rate.

        And in fact, that was MS's campaign for the first year or so, which got them 1.4% share... not even a match for WinMo, a dead OS. And last quarter, they gauned 0.1%, while Apple and Android continued to grow by significant percentags.

        I'm on Android, love the Galaxy Nexus, and Win7Phone would be a hardware, software, and app downgrade od epic proportions. This isn't the 90s, the Nokia you see today is the shell left after many rounds of layoffs. They can't even try to compete with Apple (workd's most valuable tech company), Samsung (world's second largest semiconductor manufacturer and largest OLED display maker) or Google+ Mororola. Not to mention the others: HTC, LG, Asus, Sony, etc
        Hazydave
  • RE: Consumers choosing smartphones with iPhone 4S helping close the Android-iOS gap

    Funny to see that the photos in the article are iPhone 4...
    arie.klerk@...
  • RE: Consumers choosing smartphones with iPhone 4S helping close the Android-iOS gap

    The fact remains that the market share for Android has only gone up. That hasn't been the case for Apple. The increase in sales has probably more to do with two things. First, new iPhone 4S markets like China and second, the low-end $99 iPhone 4. Not a ringing endorsement of iPhone 4S.
    mrxxxman
    • Have sales from China even shown up yet?

      @mrxxxman... Did I not read on ZDnet only a few days ago that Apple closed it's stores due to demand/crowds waiting for the iPhone? If so they have not sold many or any in China as of yet and if they have I doubt any would be counted in a current report. As for the low end iPhone 4 selling for 99 bucks well do you use the same argument against Android based devices going for get two pay for one only price? If it's good for the goose I'm told it's good for the gander after all:)

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
    • RE: Consumers choosing smartphones with iPhone 4S helping close the Android-iOS gap

      @mrxxxman
      Wrong, as Pagam Jim pointed out. Hate mongers dream up statistics and rationale. But, there is nothing rational about your reasons. Especially, since you didn't hear about the LACK of sales in China. Try and make up some other excuse. Come on, you can do better than that.
      rpollard@...