Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

Summary: Recent smartphone acquirers are increasingly choosing iOS over Android.

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The smartphone market is now a two-horse race between Google's Android and Apple's iOS platforms. But there are signs that the lead horse is in trouble.

New data by Nielsen is showing that recent smartphone acquirers are more likely to choose iOS devices over Android.

Here's the data:

Recent smartphone acquirers (those who have bought their first smartphone during the past 3 months) are increasingly choosing iOS over Android (and the competition).

Among recent acquirers 44.5%of those surveyed in December said they chose an iPhone, compared to just 25.1% in October. Also, 57% of new iPhone owners surveyed in December said they bought an iPhone 4S.

The data also shows how little interest in the competition new smartphone acquirers have ... everything that isn't Android or iOS is little more than noise (and that's going to get worse as RIM's market share continues to spiral).

The competition is being totally crushed, something which will be bad news for Microsoft and its Windows Phone 7 platform. Windows Mobile continues to make a bigger splash than the new mobile platform.

Has iOS achieved the upper hand over Android, or is this just a temporary glitch?

Topics: Mobility, Android, Apple, Google, Hardware, Mobile OS, Smartphones

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94 comments
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  • RE: Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

    iPhones aren't as popular the other 9 months of the year, unfortunately.
    bstringy
    • RE: Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

      @bstringy I think the author will have rethink the article after this....
      January 19, 2012 - 11:56 A.M.
      No, Apple isn't 'closing in' on Android
      .......
      Nielsen didn't provide any info explicitly describing the change in overall market share, so I went back and pulled its last set of published numbers, showing U.S. smartphone market share for the third quarter of 2011. In those numbers, Android was at 42.8 percent and Apple was at 28.3 percent of the overall smartphone market. In the new quarter-four numbers, Android is at 46.3 percent while Apple is at 30 percent. Data from ComScore, another independent metrics company, shows a similar scenario.

      So did Apple grow in overall smartphone market share from the third to fourth quarter? Sure. But so did Android. And Android grew quite a bit more, gauging by Nielsen's measurements -- twice as much, with a total share increase of 3.5 points compared to Apple's 1.7. Despite the boost in iPhone sales following the launch of the iPhone 4S, the gap between the two platforms has actually continued to widen.

      Damn facts. Always getting in the way of a good story.
      larryvand
      • RE: Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

        The graphs reflect a Xmas blip, caused by gift purchases to non-tech individuals (like grandma), Apple has way more mind share than Android to that TV viewing community. Hence the blip. So I agree, does not reflect the real 'meta' trend.
        Kaffeekuchen
  • RE: Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

    I think users are getting tired of cheap phones... Which is exactly the kind of phones you find Android on.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

      @Cylon Centurion THIS

      Yes, there are a couple of high-end Android devices out there...but Android's problem at this moment is, well, fragmentation...and worse, the low-end fragments are dragging down the brand.

      I hope Android comes back though...the thought of one player becoming overly dominant (iOS OR Android) would likely harm the end consumer & stifle innovation...a good healthy competitive market is in all of our best interests.
      samalie
      • RE: Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

        @samalie Stop with the fragmetation, you mean choice.
        Rampage434
      • Take it from me - FRAGMENTATION

        @Rampage434
        No, it IS fragmentation. My HTC Evo Shift is stuck at Android 2.3 and won't ever move forward from that. It's only a year old, it was a fairly new model when I bought it, and even then it didn't have the latest version of Android at the time. So it's conceivable that because HTC (or Sprint, I don't know which) doesn't want to update my phone, I can be vulnerable to security problems not effecting newer versions of the OS, I can be in a situation where newer apps won't run, etc... After the Netflix app came out for the older HTC Evo 4G, it took MONTHS until I could get a version that would run on my Evo Shift. I could *install* the original version (I did) but it would not run.

        This is not choice, this is fragmentation. It is also among the many reasons I will be back on iOS next year.
        use_what_works_4_U
      • RE: Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

        @samalie Fragmentation? So when new versions come out, your phone stopped working? When you bought it, they told you you'd get free updates forever?
        This issue was invented by Apple and the tech bloggers.
        radleym
    • That is exactly why Android is so big

      @Cylon Centurion

      its not because it's what people want, it's just that its the OS that comes on the cheap phones they buy.

      It's not like they have a choice or anything.
      William Farrel
      • RE: Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

        @William Farrel if people had a real choice, everyone would pick WP7 over the inferior OSs.
        Stephen-B
    • RE: Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

      @Cylon Centurion

      If you insist on using an endless, crowded desktop of static icons representing siloed apps that are needed for basic OS functions, then iOS is simply smoother. Neither of them have the design and sophistication of WP7, but certainly iOS wins out as being the pig with the best lipstick.

      The other advantage is that Apple can point to ONE OS that has an upgrade path, where Android is a mess of incompatible versions over a range of cheap to expensive hardware and it's still slower than iOS on the majority of Android phones.

      Anyway I'm off to watch Bones and Hawaii 50 in a world where everyone uses WP7 phones ;-) Yeah I know, WP7 usage is low - wait another year ;-)
      tonymcs@...
      • RE: Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

        @tonymcs@... WP7 is the best Mobile OS period. Too bad most people can't get beyond Windows in the name!
        Once, Win8 ships with the Metro UI there will be a positive feedback to WP7.
        jatbains
      • RE: Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

        @tonymcs@...
        Yes, the phones like ZTE are coming into the US market and that could give a choice to the baseline smartphone buyers.
        Ram U
      • Elopagos tortoise

        That's right, commodre! Sock puppets from sea to shining sea agree that WP7 is the bestest, most wonderfulest OS ever! Oh come all without, come all within! You'll not see nothing like the mighty Nokia!
        Robert Hahn
      • RE: Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

        @tonymcs@... Strange, I have a friend on the same network as I do who just got the 4S. Since she got it when friends try to text her they get an out of services reply. Everyone with an Android doesn't have this problem. I wonder if there is a reason she is having this problem using such a quality device.

        With my phone I was able to root it and change the OS without a problem. It's customized to me, rather than how Apple wants to customize it.

        Sorry but for flexibility and quality I'll stick with Android.
        fldbryan@...
      • RE: Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

        @tonymcs@... When windows phone 7 gets rid of those God awful huge squares as its interface, I'll take it more seriously. It is a very solid OS, but it doesn't compare to iOS in terms creation apps. But again, I may be one of only a few, but those squares or blocks are hideous.

        Yo know why iOS is great. It's because it doesn't try to be fancy. It's just straight forward.
        blkjk13
    • RE: Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

      @Cylon Centurion

      Yeah when I put my fingers on the edge my Android, my call gets dropped.

      Yes that was sarcasm to your quality comment. You also find Android on quality phones.
      fldbryan@...
    • RE: Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

      @Cylon Centurion <br><br>So apple released a brand new phone and makes the 3GS free but still is not the preferred mobile OS on phones. I mean this would be there best shot at surpassing Android not 8 months from now when the next iphone is still 8 months away and its tech is dated.
      jwc3642
      • RE: Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

        @jwc3642 - Free with 2 year contract. There are many more Android phones that are free with 2 year contract. What was your point again?
        The Danger is Microsoft
  • RE: Android vs. iOS - It's a two-horse race, and the lead horse is in trouble

    Good. It gives Google incentive to improve their ecosystem. Crack down on the manufacturers and developers to force them to be more consistent with their interfaces and more timely on updates, develop some new and innovative features initially unique to the platform and maybe they can reverse the trend. Otherwise, they deserve to be in second place.
    marbo100