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For First Time, Android Surpasses iOS as Largest Smartphone OS

I guess it’s a good thing Apple decided to finally jump on board with Verizon if they want to try and compete with the juggernaut now known as Android.  In Millenial Media’s new Mobile Mix report, our favorite mobile OS took over the top smartphone spot on their network for ad impressions.  An 8% increase month-over-month helped propel Android to the forefront, giving it a 46% share while iOS dropped back to 32%.  The two battled it out to a tie over the last couple of months, but a strong holiday push must have made the difference and we’re wondering now if Andy will ever look back?  A 14% gap is pretty significant if you ask me.  

Here are some other bullets from the new report:

  • Android ad requests grew 141% from Q3 to Q4 and since January, Android has grown 3130%
  • When breaking down the revenue generated by apps in Q4—Android had a 55% share as opposed to 39% for Apple. Android had a 13% increase quarter-over-quarter.
  • HTC claimed the number three position in the Top 15 Manufacturers – with a 9% month-over-month increase. There is a direct correlation with this increase and HTC having the highest number of devices (nine) in the Top 30 Mobile Device-Ranking including the debut of four new devices on the Millennial network: HTC Nexus One (Passion), HTC Evo, HTC Droid Incredible, and the HTC Desire.
  • Verizon experienced a 2% increase month-over-month in December. Verizon’s impression share is likely a result of the popularity of Droid devices and the carrier’s ability to offer 13 of the Top 30 Mobile Devices

Talk about some serious numbers there.  And just think, we’ve only got four new 4G LTE devices on the way, an impressive lineup from AT&T and the XOOM all coming in the first half of this year.  I love Android.


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  • VZ iPhone. It Begins.

    “When breaking down the revenue generated by apps in Q4—Android had a 55% share as opposed to 39% for Apple. Android had a 13% increase quarter-over-quarter.”

    With all them Android phones on numerous carriers vs 1 phone and 1 carrier, yet only 13% difference. Thanks for clarifying for us Kellex. Hope you will post the statistics again when iPhone 5 comes out in summer.

  • Michael

    Pretty impressive!!!! for Apple that is. Considering iOS of one and only device known as the iPhone, competing with the whole army of Androids. Can’t wait to see how this statistic will inevitably change when the iPhone hits the market on 2/10 and in summer, the iPhone 5 and its new iOS that will crunch these numbers.

    Enjoy while you can!

  • DarkStar087

    My brother has an Iphone 4 and he had to jailbreak his just to be able to do the same things my droid incredible could do….and yet….People still say Iphone is still better then droid?…smh

  • The iPhone fanboys are clearly just looking for attention. {{-_-}}

    • VZ iPhone. It Begins.

      The phone itself gives enough attention here so, no.

      • Because people still won’t realize that Android is better. Not our faults that some people are stupid. But that will take care of itself in due time. {{-_-}}

        • VZ iPhone. It Begins.

          Right back at ya!

  • Kaledus

    The rate at which this has happened is indeed impressive. Even if there are more carriers for Android, it has only been around for only a considerable amount of time compared to the iphone.

    Personally I do like the iphone and its neat interface which slightly trumps that of Android, but I am always disgusted at the amount of greed Apple has to pull towards its customers for services it charges. Like you think you are getting a good deal, but it is going to cost more just to get what you want out of it unlike other phones.

    Also, for Apple to be very selective with carriers may only hurt it in the long run. Let’s put it this way, you may be the dominant party in a race, but you aren’t going to win if you slack off or put your effort all into one single thing you hope will succeed. After all, what happens if it doesn’t?

  • Kameleon

    Was this review US only I keep reading 4 carriers and 1 for the iphone but I don’t think this was US sales only but I might be mistaken. They had great success this last year. lets see how iphone coming to verizon will change this statistic. I don’t think iOS will catch up just because Verizon jumps on-board. maybe with something magical and Iphone5 but not the same phone.

  • Anonymous

    Wow only 23 comments (now 24). Must be because Android was said to be on top. Had it been the other way all the humps would have been on here crying and whining.

    Quite impressive indeed. But as you smart people know this data does not indicate which device is better. People that drive a Ferrari do not think the Hyundai is better because it sells more. Right people?

    To the humps: No I am not saying iPhone is a Ferrari and Android is a Hyundai. I have both devices and love them both. (not a Ferrari and Hyundai though).

  • ImmaDroid

    A great victory for Android indeed! It’s about time people realize the iPhone is not all that… it’s called a fad people! Sooner or later it will be uncool to be seen with one.

    Android is everything the iPhone wished it could be and some! Android has so many phones to appeal to all different users in the world whether it be a big hi res screen, powerful processors, physical keyboard, or whatever you would like to own. Android gives you many choices whether you want a lesser or a top of the line phone, all options exist because not everyone in the world has the same tastes. Apple on the other hand has one option, that’s it.

    Think about this if you will…
    Would you rather have a pizza without the cheese, sauce, and crust (iPhone), orrrr would you rather have a pizza that has all the cheese and all the toppings you would ever want? (Android) The choice is yours. But I’d rather have a pizza and not that other mess.

    ImmaDroid and Android was my idea.

    • Michael

      You’re obviously not from this planet. Haha, what a joke you are, but hey, it’s who you are.

      • ImmaDroid

        Lol I don’t get it? Maybe you’re an idiot? Android is made to appeal to all users. You pretty much have to settle with whatever Apple gives you. Yeah.. I’m not from this world… and neither are all the Android users apparently. Go spam your iDontCare phone mess elsewhere ya dunce.

  • WishRyder

    To me, its not a matter of how many phones it took to dethrone IOS, its a clear depiction of what happens when Apple chooses to put its one egg in one basket, where Android has many eggs in all the baskets. Android can appeal to a larger market, from entry level to high end on all carriers.

    This might not say a lot to apple fanboys, but I bet it resonates hard with apple.

  • not impressed its take all these Android Phone against 1 iOS iphone…. that right there alone show just how powerful the iphone is compare to Android (smh).. people need to realize that no matter how much you dislike the iphone the fact of the matter is every Android phone that is release is always suppose to be the iphone killer WOW…you never here the android killer every phone that is release is always and will always but up against the iphone. and no im not an apple fanboy

    Droid X, Apex 1.3.1, OC 1.35mhz

    • Anonymous

      All these Android phones? Maybe it’s a smart thing to have OPTIONS… Something the iphone knows nothing about. Why have just one phone? That one phone better have EVERYTHING I need/want. Iphone absolutly does not have the options that of Android. Do you really think its sad to have more than one Android phone available? Take that Iphone and stick it uo your arse!

      • Michael

        Cause all they need is just one. Why drum up more expense and cost when one device has been generating significant amount of revenue, and still does today! It

        And, the fact that Kellex constantly compares Android phones with the iPhone is a statement itself that he recognizes the impact Apple has in smartphone market ever since it launched in 2007, today, and tomorrow. Ever noticed how he rarely mentions about other OS of RIM or Windows? and they have more than one device, yet can’t even come close with the Apple and Android OS. Speaking of operating system, iOS is by far much superior, smoother, responsive, and consistent than OS of Android.

        Open souce, open source… yeah I hear all the fanboys shouting out this chant right now, but just remember, all that openness is allowing all the hackers, viruses to walk right in and steal and corrupt whatever information they want from you. We all know that having too much freedom is never beneficial for anyone, or any thing.

        All you Android fanboys can hate and spit on iPhone all you want, but I got news for you.

        Even Verizon’s main page recognizes what iPhone has done to the smartphone industry by stating that “The phone that changed everything”. Also, “iPhone 4. Verizon. IT BEGINS.” These are not random tagline, or sales pitch that some guys off the street came up with. It’s the marketing team, PR’s that all got together and they all recognize what iPhone has done, what it’s doing, and what’s going to happen as it truly is “the beginning” that will once again change and innovate the upcoming technology.

        So get off of your high horses and give some respect to the iPhone. Obviously, I have respect for Androids just as much as the iPhone since I’m a fan of “Droid Life” and from being a Droid owner myself. Why can’t the rest of you do the same? State your preference and opinions about it, but don’t be arrogant and become a jackass about it.

        • Anonymous

          I think it’s funny you mention how the openness of Android leaves it vulnerabe to hacks and such. I guess you didn’t hear about the adobe pdf hack of the iphone os that gives the hacker ROOT control over the phone. Before Apple’s last update, the only way to secure it was to jailbreak and download a patch. Not to mention, security software such as Lookout is not available to Iphone. So much for security. Fyi, I have both a Droid X and an iphone 3gs. My 3gs is now reduced to being used as an air mouse for my media pc because I got tired of having to jailbreak and update it just to get the functionality of my Android device. Go Apple!

  • L33tmoaf

    It took Android 4 carriers to outpace iPhone that was on 1 carrier here in the U.S. Not impressed one bit yet.

    • Anonymous

      Not only 4 carriers but 1 phone against like the 30 Android OS equipped phones. Honestly, if anything this shows how good iOS is because despite being only one 1 carrier and only having 1 phone with the OS, it dominated an entire other group of phones and it will reclaim the lead shortly on February 10th. Then when iPhone 5 comes out this summer, we’ll come read Android excuses again haha.

      • And why are you on droid-life again? shouldnt you be on your knees infront of steve jobs?

        • Anonymous

          I like reading about minor Android victories and then seeing the false hope it gives commenters. It’s also pretty cute how defensive you guys get when we try and give you the full picture instead of just the Android bias in the article.

          • I have been to plenty of apple websites and their stuff is just as biased, and yeah there are more android types of android phones. But iphone has been around for almost 5 years, since android has grown most rapidly in the last 10 months i would say its a good achievement. Im sorry that it upsets you so much that you must come to an android website to comment.

          • Anonymous

            Not really. Unless you’re going to Apple sites that are full of trolls, most Apple fans can also see why Android is a good alternative. For example, Android devices are gigantic so people don’t have to decide between a tablet or phone and the quality bar for the Android Market apps are low so that new developers can have a chance at making something good. The only thing that honestly upsets me is the misleading information about Android like how it is competitive with iOS.

          • Anonymous

            As far as the apple fan boy is concerned, the 30 some odd devices that run android is called “fragmentation”, which to everyone who isn’t and android user is a BAD thing. You people need to make up your mind on what is good and what is bad. So the iphone 5 wont be part of the LTE network, how do you feel about that? It doesn’t seem very cutting edge, being behind the rest of the pack now. The iphone had a good run, but this is the inevitable; they just can’t produce cutting edge features and new improvements when there is so much regulation and oppression.

            Come back with an “I don’t care”. That’s all I’m expecting.

          • apple is the best

            As long as the iphone 6 does I will be happy. F’ing Verison has yet to show when they will have LTE in my state not to mention my town, so what will an LTE phone do me in 2011 if they don’t have it live until 2012-13.

            If LTE was implemented already I would be agreeing with you but until it does all it is a pipe dream in Portland.

          • Dredamanfoo2

            ……Go away troll. Do us and yourself a favor and stop wasting space on the internet with your garbage on this site. Just go away and take your ignorance with you.

          • apple is the best

            Why should he go away. The android community is about choices. So we should embrace Apple fans too. Your attitude is what makes either Os look bad. I personally like both platforms. I use my X for my phone. Then I have a touch for the games not on Android.

            Sent from my Droid X. Surprisingly as locked down as the IPhone. Thanks Moto.

          • So where’s the Playstation app for iPhone? Go away, trollie. {{-_-}}

          • apple is the best

            Uhmm why not use a playstation or psp. That is why they were invented. I think you just like to say troll because it reminds you of how miniature you uhmm stuff is. I hate to ask but does it have rainbow hair like those damn troll figurines? If so you might want to get it checked out because tha sh*t ain’t right.

        • Michael

          oh hahaha you’re funny, NOT! Since you have this mentality, makes one wonder… come out of the closet!

      • VZ iPhone. It Begins

        of course.

      • VZ iPhone. It Begins

        of course.

      • VZ iPhone. It Begins

        of course.

    • iphone was out for nearly 3 years before android. Enough time to manipulate the minds of everyone to make them think its the greatest thing ever. To be able to turn the tables is a great feat.

      • VZ iPhone. It Begins.

        Excuses excuses.

    • Calculatorwatch

      I think you will be impressed. Think of it this way: Apple’s been developing software for like 20 years, and doing a decent job for the past 10 or so, Google’s been doing it for about 3. What I’m saying is they’re just getting their bearings. Anyone can do what Apple does if they’re determined to do it right, hell WebOS is just as smooth and polished as iOS and even more clever (but not marketed as well), and you should watched the video for honeycomb if you don’t think Android will be there soon. Not to mention the major manufacturers of Android phones are clearly capable of producing much better hardware for the same price. Once people realize that Android gives them everything that iPhone doesn’t it’ll be just another classy Apple compromise.

      • Michael

        We shall see.

    • Michael

      on POINT!

  • wheels

    seriously? another one of these stories? should we be surprised that an entire stable of phones has more users than an OS that only runs on one phone?



  • Anonymous

    And the iPhone 4G will come out and everybody will somehow forget about Android and flock to all those brand new life-changing features…

    • not when they realize its the same iphone that everyone was bitching about when it was released like … what … f-ing 6 months ago at least?

      • pezjono

        June 24, 2010
        More than 6, coming up on 7 months ago.
        And i*hone 5 is planned for this summer. I just don’t get why people deal with *pple and their BS. They release a new product with a feature the previous generation lacked and call it revolutionary! And people buy it!

  • Andrew Hewitt

    If they want to continue the upward growth of Android, they need to release another flagship phone with tons of marketing behind it like the original droid.

    • the droid was verizons iphone killer. now that they have the iphone, do you think theyll ever put as much money into another android phone?

      • yes Cody, due to the fact that Verizon realizes there are people (such as me) that loathe the tyranny of the apple brand and it’s restrictions…..
        (i dont purchase things such as itunes, mac, or iphones)
        Im not trying to be a troll, of cause “war”, just stating my humble opinion. 🙂

      • NYCLawyer

        Some people prefer the newest technology, features, expandability and the ability to customize your phone. Others prefer devices that perform magic.

    • Oh, you mean the Droid Bionic, the iPhone 4/5 (again) killer?

    • Oh, you mean the Droid Bionic, the iPhone 4/5 (again) killer?

  • I know what follows a story like this. A story from the apple camp of how some Android phone was compromised, or lines forming outside a Verizon store already or how the Android market overcharged someones credit card or some other mindless fruit fly food. Just watch.

  • Anonymous

    I bet Galaxy S series had a lot to do with it. 😛
    I guess that’s obvious to many of us here.