Google selling more phones than Apple, but why?

I would never have guessed Google could jump ahead of Apple in US market share this quickly. If recent reports are accurate, I'm wondering why Google is doing so well, or perhaps, why Apple is starting to falter?

This is definitely interesting -- I would never have guessed Google could jump ahead of Apple in US market share this quickly. If these numbers are accurate, I'm wondering what might be behind this statistic -- why is Google doing so well, or perhaps, why is Apple starting to falter?

We're talking about #2 and #3 spots here -- RIM is still in first place with the Blackberry, but the trend really isn't looking good for them. Based on the chart, it's not hard to imagine that RIM will fall to second or third spot by next year.

So what is Google doing well? Well, in my opinion, Android is seeing some success mostly because there are so many devices with the operating system. Google could not have seen this type of growth with a single phone -- especially since the operating system and applications aren't nearly as polished and user friendly as the iPhone.

Why is it on so many devices? Google is free for hardware manufacturers to use -- that sure beats spending money developing a home-brew operating system, or licensing something like Windows Mobile. This has no doubt lead to the numerous Android devices available today.

Even though the operating system is relatively consistent across many different handset manufacturers and models, Android gives users choice. Most people naturally want to both a) follow a crowd, and b) be different. Seems like an oxymoron, but with Android, it's possible. All your friends could have Android devices made by different manufacturers, with different specs.

If you and all your friends have an iPhone, it can get boring after a while -- it's not special to own an iPhone anymore, so I'm guessing that's why people are looking to be different.

What's your take on these latest numbers? Do you think it's possible they could be accurate? If they are, what's your explanation for the success of Android?