iPhone cannibalizing Android sales

iPhone cannibalizing Android sales

Summary: iPhone sales are on the up, while Android device sales have slumped preciptously.


In the sales war between the iPhone and Android, latest figures from the NPD group suggest that while iPhone sales are on the up, while sales of Android device have slumped preciptously.

Between Q3 2011 and October/November sales of iPhones soared from 26% to a whopping 43%. During the same period sales of Android devices fell from a high of 60% to 47%.

Here's a chart:

This chart clearly shows how the smartphone race is between iOS and Android. RIM has pretty much vanished into oblivion and none of the other players were worth adding to the chart.

Is the the iPhone 4S effect that we are seeing here, or is it indicative of a deeper problem and perhaps a slowing down of the Android machine? Hard to tell based om just a single data point. What will be interesting is seeing where this goes during the year.

Also according to NPD, two out of every three phones sold in the Oct/Nov period was a smartphone, while during Q3 11 this figure was only 59%. Basic phones only accounted for 15%, while messaging phones didn't fare much better with 18% of sales.

The cellphone market is now very much the domain of the smartphone.

Topics: iPhone, Enterprise Software, Mobility

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  • RE: iPhone cannibalizing Android sales

    I think the term "cannabalizing" refers to a situation where a company makes a product that takes sales away from another of its own products... not a competitor's.
    • RE: iPhone cannibalizing Android sales

      @bstringy Exactly the point I was going to make when I saw the title. Apple is feeding on Android, not themselves.
      • RE: iPhone cannibalizing Android sales

        @Aerowind <br>I dunno - one smartphone is cannibalizing another smartphone. Sounds appropriate.<br><br>Cannibals in New Guinea aren't called cannibals only if they eat members of their own tribe. They are still called cannibals if they eat whitefellas as well.

        Tech usage of the word seems to have strayed a bit from the original in some people's minds.
      • RE: iPhone cannibalizing Android sales

        What's really happening is a jump in iphone sales with a new release while android is experiencing a flat couple months before December Galaxy Nexus and Christmas purchases. I think the trends will be corrected with Q1 numbers. To call this a turning of the tables would be premature.
      • RE: iPhone cannibalizing Android sales

        @Aerowind I think we see different companies as different species, therefore this would not be cannibalizing. It's simply beating out the competition.
        General C#
    • RE: iPhone cannibalizing Android sales


      Cannibalizing is:

      "(of a company) reduce the sales of (one of its products) by introducing another similar product."

      So, yeah, the writer has his terms mixed-up. It would be cannibalizing if Apple introduced a lower-priced iPhone that didn't increase sales over-all, but reduced sales of the initial product.

      What Apple is doing with the iPhone 4S is apparently taking sales away from the Android smartphone market.

      ATlanta, GA
      • RE: iPhone cannibalizing Android sales

        @joeldm - You are quite correct.

        @Melciz "Tech usage of the word seems to have strayed a bit from the original in some people's minds. " Not quite. The term (cannibalising) comes from marketing/sales, not technology.
  • RE: iPhone cannibalizing Android sales

    blog sites, twitter, etc., "cannibalizing" real journalism
  • RE: iPhone cannibalizing Android sales

    Wow, you just wrote an article that says the sales of Apple products increased massively when they let out a new device.
    Didnt this happen last year, and the year before...

    And, how many of the buyers were already apple owners, who were upgrading?

    I think making a pointless comment at least makes up for me wasting my time reading this waste of time article.
    Will T
    • RE: iPhone cannibalizing Android sales

      @Will T
      Considering Apple sold only 21 million iPhones in 2009, 40 million iPhones in 2010 and 90 million in 2011 and since most users are on 2 year contracts, very few new buyers are repeat buyers (only in queues ahead of new model releases do you see a high proportion of repeat buyers.)
    • RE: iPhone cannibalizing Android sales

      @Will T Hi Will T the iPhone has never had a +40% share of the american smartphone marked in any previous quater before. Going from a markedsshare of about 28% to a markedshare for the last quater of about 44% that is a significant increase and that makes the article relevant
    • Because, of course, no android handset maker produced a single

      new device during the same time period. Oh. Wait. They did. Dozens of them.
    • RE: iPhone cannibalizing Android sales

      @Will T If your aim was to make a pointless comment then you succeeded admirably. Never mind the fact that HTC, Samsung, LG, and Motorola also released a few new devices during that same exact time period. Didn't figure that into your pointless comment did you? There are those who are tools - you are the entire tool shed.
    • RE: iPhone cannibalizing Android sales

      @Will T That's the whole problem with this article and particularly this chart. The casual reader/viewer is led to think it's about market share when it's only % of sales during one quarter, a much different beast. For the reason you pointed out - users updating - only a market share chart could show if one product was taking away share from another. This is just (unintentionally) misleading.
      • RE: iPhone cannibalizing Android sales

        Err, % of sales during one quarter is actually the definition of marketshare.

        If you are thinking installed base, then iOS is even further ahead of Android with 300 million iOS devices sold by the end of 2011 versus 200 million Android.
    • RE: iPhone cannibalizing Android sales

      @Will T
      Take another look at the graph. It goes all the way back to 2010 not just this quarter. Android's drop off and reciprocal iPhone gains are far greater then any previous change going back several years.
  • I called it

    Here is the sales pattern and guess which one is better for the long term:
    1. Someone buys an iPhone. In a year, they buy another.
    2. Someone buys an Android. They struggle with it for a few months to a year. Then they buy an iPhone. Go to step #1.

    Android devices represent false choice. While they technically exist as a choice, they simply cannot compete with iOS devices.

    We need real choice. We need a strong #2 and even a strong #3. This benefits consumers. We would all win.

    It is a sick market. We all lose.
    • RE: iPhone cannibalizing Android sales


      I've had Android phones (Evo & Evo 3D) for 1 1/2 years, & an Android tablet (Asus Transformer) for 6 months. In that time frame, I've never struggled.
      • Are you the norm or are you outside the norm?

        @illdini... THAT is the question:)

        Pagan jim

        Did I just agree with Toddy? OMG!!!
        James Quinn
    • RE: iPhone cannibalizing Android sales


      You say that they can't compete with iOS, yet...they have...for a long time.