Android ahead of iPhone OS in Q1 2010 US smartphone market

May 10, 2010
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Android ahead of iPhone OS in Q1 2010 US smartphone market

Analysts NPD are claiming that, by their count, Android has crept past Apple to take the number two spot of most popular smartphone operating systems in the US.  Based on figures from Q1 2010, Android-based devices accounted for 28-percent of smartphone unit sales, ahead of Apple's iPhone OS at 21-percent but still lagging behind RIM's BlackBerry OS at 36-percent.

The shift in balance is being credited to strong promotional pushes by US carriers to drive Android device adoption, particularly in the face of the iPhone's current exclusivity on AT&T.  "In order to compete with the iPhone," NPD analyst Ross Rubin explains, "Verizon Wireless has expanded its buy-one-get-one offer beyond RIM devices to now include all of their smartphones."  This promotion saw particularly strong sales of the DROID, DROID Eris, and Blackberry Curve.

Nonetheless, AT&T's smartphone sales alone accounted for 32-percent of the smartphone market in the US as a whole, ahead of Verizon's 30-percent, T-Mobile's 17-percent and Sprint's 15-percent.  It's possible that the situation may not change until Q3 2010, when the new iPhone HD is expected to make its sales debut.

Press Release:

Android Shakes Up U.S. Smartphone Market

First quarter 2010 information from The NPD Group’s Mobile Phone Track reveals a shift in the smartphone market, as Android OS edged out Apple’s OS for the number-two position behind RIM

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Android operating system (OS) continued to shake up the U.S. mobile phone market in the first quarter (Q1) of 2010, moving past Apple for to take the number-two position among smartphone operating systems, according to The NPD Group, a leading market research company. NPD’s wireless market research reveals that based on unit sales to consumers last quarter the Android operating system moved into second position at 28 percent behind RIM’s OS (36 percent) and ahead of Apple’s OS (21 percent).

“Recent previews of BlackBerry 6, the recently announced acquisition of Palm by HP, and the pending release of Windows Phone 7 demonstrates the industry’s willingness to make investments to address consumer demand for smartphones and other mobile devices”
“As in the past, carrier distribution and promotion have played a crucial role in determining smartphone market share,” said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD. “In order to compete with the iPhone, Verizon Wireless has expanded its buy-one-get-one offer beyond RIM devices to now include all of their smartphones.”

Strong sales of the Droid, Droid Eris, and Blackberry Curve via these promotions helped keep Verizon Wireless’s smartphone sales on par with AT&T in Q1. According to NPD’s Mobile Phone Track, smartphone sales at AT&T comprised nearly a third of the entire smartphone market (32 percent), followed by Verizon Wireless (30 percent), T-Mobile (17 percent) and Sprint (15 percent).

“Recent previews of BlackBerry 6, the recently announced acquisition of Palm by HP, and the pending release of Windows Phone 7 demonstrates the industry’s willingness to make investments to address consumer demand for smartphones and other mobile devices,” Rubin said. “Carriers continue to offer attractive pricing for devices, but will need to present other data-plan options to attract more customers in the future.”

The continued popularity of messaging phones and smartphones resulted in slightly higher prices for all mobile phones, despite an overall drop in the number of mobile phones purchased in the first quarter. The average selling price for all mobile phones in Q1 reached $88, which is a 5 percent increase from Q1 2009. Smartphone unit prices, by comparison, averaged $151 in Q1 2010, which is a 3 percent decrease over the previous year.

Methodology: The NPD Group compiles and analyzes mobile device sales data based on more than 150,000 completed online consumer research surveys each month. Surveys are based on a nationally balanced and demographically-representative sample, and results are projected to represent the entire population of U.S. consumers. Note: Sales figures do not include corporate/enterprise mobile phone sales.

About The NPD Group, Inc.

The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless. For more information, contact us, visit http://www.npd.com/, or follow us Twitter at https://twitter.com/npdgroup.


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