Everything appears to be turning up Apple as a couple of reports from analysts NPD Group and IDC find both that the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS were the top two selling mobile phone handsets in the USA in the third quarter of 2011 while their operating system, Apple's iOS, has been found to be the number one result on developer's interest lists. You can't deny that Apple's interest in mobile devices has and continues to be one where a near-perfect hardware and sales model appears to have been the key to success. As you'll find in two reports released this week on the matter, there's really no doubt that the iOS team is doing something right.
First take note of the IDC report which finds iOS continuing, as they say "to reign at number 1." IDC's quarterly Mobile Report shows 91% of respondents saying they were "very interested" in developing for the iPhone. In addition, 88% of respondents for this quarter's report said the same thing about the iPad. The number one most significant announcement of this past quarter surrounding Apple's mobile platform said respondents was the release of iOS 5, of course, this bringing the platform to a whole new level.
Meanwhile the same report has Windows Phone 7 "separating from the pack" as it were, making it clear that it's number 3 spot is one that they'll be wanting to stick with, if not overturn to move up in the ranks. The OS proved itself by adding 8 points to 38% of respondents saying they are "very interested" in the platform. This is the highest the OS has ever been in the ranks. Android on the other hand dropped nearly 4 points to 83% with tablets dropping nearly 6 points to 68%, this likely due, says the report, to the release of iOS 5. Note also though that Samsung's rise to the number 1 smartphone manufacturer in the USA has been marked as the second most significant development in the mobile world, right after the release of iOS 5.
As for the NPD group's report on mobile, Quarter 3 of 2011 saw a 13 percentage point increase in the number of US mobile handsets that were smartphones to 59 percent, the increase being compared to the same quarter in 2010. NPD's Mobile Phone Track service noted that the average selling price for a smartphone has decreased for four consecutive quarters now, landing right in at $135 USD in Q3 of 2011. This same study yielded the following list of top five best-selling mobile phone handsets in Q3 2011:
1. Apple iPhone 4
2. Apple iPhone 3GS
3. HTC EVO 4G
4. Motorola Droid 3
5. Samsung Intensity II
Note that this is quite likely due to the price changes in the iPhone line after the release of the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 3GS in particular as it's now free of charge if you pick it up with a 2-year contract on your mobile carrier.
So what's it going to be, Android manufacturers? You going to get wise and start creating phones with the same screen size and give them away for free? Go for it!