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  • Nielsen: Apple Barely Leads Android, BlackBerry in Smartphone Market Share


    According to the latest numbers from Nielsen, Apple is clinging to a small lead over Android and BlackBerry in terms of smartphone market share in the United States. Based on November's data, the "race" for smartphone supremacy is - by Nielsen's own acknowledgment - "tighter than it has ever been."

    Although the popularity of the Android OS among those who purchased a smartphone in the last six months (40%) makes it the leading OS among recent acquirers, the big picture still portrays Apple in the narrowest of leads. As of the latest data, Apple's iOS is clinging to the top spot with 28.6% of the smartphone operating system market share in the US. It should be noted, however, that RIM's BlackBerry operating system, which places second overall with 26.1% of the market share, is also within the margin of error for both first and third places. Google's Android is third, capturing 25.8% of the market. Using Nielsen's words yet again, "RIM remains statistically tied with both Apple for first and Android for third. Apple's clear lead over Android notwithstanding, this race might still be too close to call."

    Despite bold predictions from the involved parties and outside market analysts, it may prove unlikely that this close race will open up any time soon. Instead, as 2011 progresses and the smartphone makers roll out new models of their hottest handsets, the "tight race" referenced may just get a whole lot tighter.

    To read the full Nielsen report, click here.

    Nielsen
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Nielsen: Apple Barely Leads Android, BlackBerry in Smartphone Market Share started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 42 Comments
    1. maddawg05's Avatar
      maddawg05 -
      Love Apple but glad they've got competition...better for the consumer.
    1. Simon's Avatar
      Simon -
      Looks like blackberry is falling out of the picture.
    1. ClerkDante's Avatar
      ClerkDante -
      An annual handset on one carrier vs weekly handsets on every carrier.

      Pretty impressive Apple's even in the mix, let alone leading it.
    1. Aliquippakid's Avatar
      Aliquippakid -
      Was thinking same thing clerkdante just said. What happens when iPhone does expand to other carriers? It's gonna break android and rims hearts I think? Only time will truly tell.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      I honestly think that people are overestimating the whole iPhone being currently locked to ATT thing. I really don't think overall sales are going to grow leaps and bounds when another carrier (or two) is thrown into the mix. IMHO the vast majority (notice I didn;t say all... for the people planning on quoting me and calling me names) of people that want an iPhone have an iPhone. The carrier lock is more of a nuisance than a road block for most. Let's also not dismiss the fact that plenty of people claim that they will jump ship from ATT and go with another carrier if/when they can. For all intents and purposes those "new" customers don;t truly do anything to the numbers.

      FWIW, saying that Android has multiple handset releases yearly versus Apple's one isn't really saying much, other than that Apple may have to up the ante in the future and do more than their once a year update. Not once did I hear it be mentioned that iOS is almost twice as old as Android (as far as availability to the public). But... people will say almost anything to protect their beloved Apple.

      The simple fact is that people are opening their eyes to the android platform as it gets more and more polished. The fact that there is a company going nearly neck and neck with Apple (who has pretty much been considered the dominating smart phone manufacturer) is quite exciting IMO. I am sure there will be plenty of fun new treats in store for iOS and Android users alike as a result!
    1. Lombardo Joe's Avatar
      Lombardo Joe -
      Quote Originally Posted by Aliquippakid View Post
      What happens when iPhone does expand to other carriers? It's gonna break android and rims hearts I think?
      Agreed. BUT, Android comes up with some bangin deals... Someone I work with just got like 4 Android phones for her whole family for buns cheap. Like $200. They're not Xs or anything, but still... You sure can't do that with an iPhone.

      I'm still taking the iPhone blindly over Droid, though.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Android is finally turning into a decent OS so this is no surprise. I would like to see the chart though once Verizon gets the iPhone. It will change dramatically.
    1. jebakerii's Avatar
      jebakerii -
      Apple's iPhone is still number one despite itself. Consider this...

      In 2010, how many phones were released with the Android OS? 66
      All Android Phones of 2010

      In 2010, how many phones were release with the Apple iOS?
      One

      How many major wireless providers have Android based phones?
      ALL

      How many major wireless providers have Apple iOS phones?
      One (the worst provider - AT&T)

      Let's not forget that iPhone is far more expensive than most Android phones and Apple maintains it's tight grip around app developers.

      So why is iPhone still #1? Because it's simply the best phone using the best technology. Much like Windows is a cheap ripoff of the MacOS - other smart phones just steal all the brilliant ideas that Apple's R&D come up with. If it's wasn't for Apple, we'd all probably still have bulky, hard-to-use Blackberrys.

      That being said, ultimately, Apple's iPhone will be the Macintosh computer of the smart phone world. They just can't compete with the shear number of phones and services that Android is available on... not to mention the price.

      But that's ok. In the end, not everyone can drive a BMW and not everyone will have an iPhone.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      AT&T is awesome where I am at. I don't see /that/ many people having an issue with it. And the new Nexus costs the same as the 16gb i4
    1. wolverinemarky's Avatar
      wolverinemarky -
      Quote Originally Posted by Lombardo Joe View Post
      Agreed. BUT, Android comes up with some bangin deals... Someone I work with just got like 4 Android phones for her whole family for buns cheap. Like $200. They're not Xs or anything, but still... You sure can't do that with an iPhone.

      I'm still taking the iPhone blindly over Droid, though.
      That's the only way droid is selling these days and picking up new customers by basically giving away their phones or am I the only one that notices that, they are trying to lock down as Many customers as they can before the iPhone goes to verizon


      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
    1. johnr9412's Avatar
      johnr9412 -
      There are sooooo many freaking devices with android on them though. I mean this really just shows how popular apple is.
    1. wolverinemarky's Avatar
      wolverinemarky -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      I honestly think that people are overestimating the whole iPhone being currently locked to ATT thing. I really don't think overall sales are going to grow leaps and bounds when another carrier (or two) is thrown into the mix. IMHO the vast majority (notice I didn;t say all... for the people planning on quoting me and calling me names) of people that want an iPhone have an iPhone. The carrier lock is more of a nuisance than a road block for most. Let's also not dismiss the fact that plenty of people claim that they will jump ship from ATT and go with another carrier if/when they can. For all intents and purposes those "new" customers don;t truly do anything to the numbers.

      FWIW, saying that Android has multiple handset releases yearly versus Apple's one isn't really saying much, other than that Apple may have to up the ante in the future and do more than their once a year update. Not once did I hear it be mentioned that iOS is almost twice as old as Android (as far as availability to the public). But... people will say almost anything to protect their beloved Apple.

      The simple fact is that people are opening their eyes to the android platform as it gets more and more polished. The fact that there is a company going nearly neck and neck with Apple (who has pretty much been considered the dominating smart phone manufacturer) is quite exciting IMO. I am sure there will be plenty of fun new treats in store for iOS and Android users alike as a result!

      Not gonna call u names but u r drinking something. 4 phones over 3 years on obe carrier versus how many android phones over all carriers still leads the pack. Are you joking that's impressive as hell if droid was locked to one carrier they wouldn't even be in this discussion. Now add iPhone and iOS to verizon and even people dont jump ship they will still sell millions and take even more marketshare from RIM and android that's just plain common sense. The competition part is true but It won't be so much conpetitive without major innovations from droid and RIM once apple expands over to other carriers in the US.

      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyinot
    1. phoenix81's Avatar
      phoenix81 -
      My problem with these figures is that apple has 1 phone with it's os on 1 carrier(primarily). So to compare is kinda skewed, crapberry and android have many phones and many carriers making it much easier to have a higher number of users.

      *guess I'm not alone after reading some posts.
    1. ClerkDante's Avatar
      ClerkDante -
      One thing that hasn't really been addressed either is the number of people who have Android phones simply because that's what their carrier currently had a deal on. The bulk of the population doesn't go seeking a specific phone. They realize "Hey, I'm out of contract, wonder what free/cheap phones my carrier has right now?". I work with dozens of these people, and they don't know an android from asteroid. They come to me when their contract is up an say "I wanna stay with Verizon, what phone should I get?"

      The iPhone has never fallen into that category. Android is doing well in it's own right. But any comparison between the two in terms of market saturation is pointless as there are far too many variables in availability and pricing to make such a comparison meaningful.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by wolverinemarky View Post
      Not gonna call u names but u r drinking something. 4 phones over 3 years on obe carrier versus how many android phones over all carriers still leads the pack. Are you joking that's impressive as hell if droid was locked to one carrier they wouldn't even be in this discussion. Now add iPhone and iOS to verizon and even people dont jump ship they will still sell millions and take even more marketshare from RIM and android that's just plain common sense. The competition part is true but It won't be so much conpetitive without major innovations from droid and RIM once apple expands over to other carriers in the US.

      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyinot
      I suppose we will just have to wait and see. I am sure more phones will sell on other carriers, but that is not what I am saying. People here think Android wouldn't have a chance as soon as other carriers get the iphone, and I don't think this is the case. Like I said, I BELIEVE that the majority of people that want the phone have the phone. And I agree. Putting android on virtually all carriers was a smart busniess move by Google. It allowed for a VERY rapid growth, and with the current improvements and improvements that are geared for the future, I don't see this train stopping any time soon. My point is, why defend Apple by stating they only make one phone per year? If Android makes it to the top, and it's because they had many phones out there, all that means is that Google had the better business plan. Simple as that.
    1. ClerkDante's Avatar
      ClerkDante -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      If Android makes it to the top, and it's because they had many phones out there, all that means is that Google had the better business plan. Simple as that.
      It depends on what you consider "the top". Having more free phones with your free OS on them may put you at the top of charts like this one, but charts like this one are, well, meaningless. Just ask Motorola.

      The better business model is the one that generates the most revenue and in the "smartphone" world that's Apple by a pretty massive margin.

      Data can be skewed in a number of ways. Just as easily this data is skewed to make it look like a tight race, if one were to, say make a pretty little chart of "revenue per handset release" the disparity would be enormous.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by ClerkDante View Post
      It depends on what you consider "the top". Having more free phones with your free OS on them may put you at the top of charts like this one, but charts like this one are, well, meaningless. Just ask Motorola.

      The better business model is the one that generates the most revenue and in the "smartphone" world that's Apple by a pretty massive margin. Data can be skewed in a number of ways. Just as easily this data is skewed to make it look like a tight race, if one were to, say make a pretty little chart of "revenue per handset release" the disparity would be enormous.

      Google brings in the money through revenue sharing, limited exclusivity deals, etc. So everything being "free" around the board isn;t necessarily a bad thing. "Free" phones are also simply fully subsidized phones, so they aren't truly "free", at least not the way you are using the term. The difference with Apple is they make their cash as soon as you buy the phone, whereas Google makes it over the life of the handset. The free handset versus the $200 handset has the same opportunity to bring in this revenue over its lifetime. I would love to see a link to some data showing how Apple's revenue in the smartphone world is vastly above that of Google. I can honestly say I haven't seen data like this, but am always willing to learn
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      Quote Originally Posted by ClerkDante View Post
      An annual handset on one carrier vs weekly handsets on every carrier.

      Pretty impressive Apple's even in the mix, let alone leading it.
      thats what i was thinking since they came out of no where compared to these other brands
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      We all know BlackBerry is dying...and it's gonna get even worse.
      The future is iPhone and Android (by Android I mean the higher end phones that are actually competitors to the iPhone, not the lower end Android phones) and I think it's iPhones game to loose right now. Android is getting increasingly better and phone makers like Samsung and HTC are making some kickass phones too, with working alarm clocks
      I welcome competition. It's a win win for us all as both platforms will be trying to innovate and be the best. As an Apple user, its always good to see someone closing the gap on Apple cos it usually means Apple will come out with something to blow the competition away
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      The thing is Blackberrys are ugly and Android has major holes in their OS, so iPhone is the only option