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Android’s Market Share Balloons to 61% in the U.S. During Q1, iOS Drops to 29%

According to new research presented by NPD Group, Apple’s record setting last two quarters were not enough to help it fight off Android in the battle for top smartphone OS. Their numbers show that after Q1, Android has grabbed a hold of 61% of the U.S. smartphone market share, with Apple dropping from 41% to 29% in the same time period.

I’m not sure anyone would have predicted numbers like these, but then again, this is OS market share we are talking about and not phone sales by one manufacturer, a category that Apple still clearly dominates.

Together, Android and iOS make up for 90% of the U.S. smartphone market. That’s, nuts.

Via:  CNET

Cheers Pops and duke69111!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Q5QH5VVXNQVUTKYXPTCRZNGINY Jay

    I like my android phone, would never buy an iphone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zack.summers.37 Zack Summers

    I love how there’s iOS fanbots on a android site which is also on a android app (Google currents)

  • Cook2010

    well….at least iphones LOOK nice….lol

  • DroidDoesnt_2

    “NPD announces that Android surpassed iOS in contradiction with the carriers’ reports”http://www.tech.sc/npd-announc…
    Based upon the Big 3 carriers ACTUAL NUMBERS, who combined account for 80% of all smartphone sales in the US, it is mathematically impossible for Android to have a 61% share in the qtr, regardless of the results of NPD’s “survey”.

    In the words of Denzel Washington in the movie Malcolm X, “You’ve been had! Bamboozled! Hoodwinked! Run amok!” lol!

  • DroidDoesnt_2

    Ha ha ha! I love it when facts and actual data trumps fiction!

  • jeff3yan

    Apple doesn’t know how to price its products and that’s why they sell so badly.

    • Pakk1969

      What are you talking about “sell so badly”? No single Android phone has ever come close to any single iPhone for sales. These numbers are a comparison of entire ecosystems. You’re comparing a half-dozen iOS models against more than hundred Android models. If Android wasn’t “outselling” Apple in the aggregate, it would be downright laughable.

  • Avi

    That’s, nuts.

  • GNex Owner

    The thing that people need to remember with Apple’s record sales is, how many of those sales are to existing customers? It’s great for Apple’s bottom line to sell millions of phones, but it may not be increasing their market share because they are just replacing a phone, not adding a new one.

  • Jordan

    I call BS. When we look at Wikipedia’s list of wireless providers, we get these numbers

    Verizon Wireless (108.7 million)
    AT&T Mobility (103.2 million)
    Sprint Nextel (55 million)
    T-Mobile USA (34 million)
    TracFone Wireless (17.75 million)
    MetroPCS (9 million)
    U.S. Cellular (6 million)
    Cricket Wireless (6 million)

    When the top 3 all said that Q1 had more iPhone sales than all other smartphones combined, how in the world could the iOS share fall to 29%? I’m not disputing that there are more Android devices out there, I’m disputing how big the gap is.

    Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_wireless_communications_service_providers

    EDIT: Sorry, had to fix formatting. Disqus lied!

    • Google

      Hahaha, exactly. Because this “data” comes from an online survey. Verrrrrrrrrry scientific. I guess we should take a survey over the data from a companies earning report. Hahaha

      • Anti-Troll

        Trolllollolol

        • Jordan

          Perhaps you consider his comment trolly, but the underlying message is still factually true. See the below techcrunch link for more information (warning: MG Siegler). For right now, look past yours/his biases and read up on how Comscore/NPD get their data – it’s through incentives-based surveys. These kinds of data collection create self-selecting data sets that are not representative of the population as a whole.

          Relevant paragraphs:

          In comScore’s case, their MobiLens data comes from “an intelligent online survey of a nationally representative sample of mobile subscribers age 13 and older”. They don’t disclose the number of people surveyed, but you can bet it’s not a massive number (sure enough, it’s not, see update below). In NPD’s case, they survey 12,811 people.Which numbers do you trust? Millions upon millions of actual sales reported in a legal manner by public companies or surveys of thousands of people?Further, as Ethan Kaplan points out, “NPD and the like are incentive based surveys so naturally skew a certain way. Teens, college students, etc.” Several others have made this point over the past few days. The numbers comScore and NPD use in their statistically small surveys are likely skewedfor a number of reasons. And again, now we have actual sales data that heavily suggests that’s the case.

          Source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/02/winning-in-neither-name-nor-spirit/

        • Jordan

          Perhaps you consider his comment trolly, but the underlying message is still factually true. See the below techcrunch link for more information (warning: MG Siegler). For right now, look past yours/his biases and read up on how Comscore/NPD get their data – it’s through incentives-based surveys. These kinds of data collection create self-selecting data sets that are not representative of the population as a whole.

          Relevant paragraphs:In comScore’s case, their MobiLens data comes from “an intelligent online survey of a nationally representative sample of mobile subscribers age 13 and older”. They don’t disclose the number of people surveyed, but you can bet it’s not a massive number (sure enough, it’s not, see update below). In NPD’s case, they survey 12,811 people.Which numbers do you trust? Millions upon millions of actual sales reported in a legal manner by public companies or surveys of thousands of people?

          Further, as Ethan Kaplan points out, “NPD and the like are incentive based surveys so naturally skew a certain way. Teens, college students, etc.” Several others have made this point over the past few days. The numbers comScore and NPD use in their statistically small surveys are likely skewedfor a number of reasons. And again, now we have actual sales data that heavily suggests that’s the case.
          Source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/

          • Jordan

            Sorry, had to make another comment because of Disqus formatting issues.

    • http://benv.ca Ben Vinegar

      Hey – I’m with Disqus. What happened? Were you trying to do a formatted list, or? … If you give me more details, I’ll see what I can do to fix it.

      • Jordan

        Hi Ben. I copied/pasted the top 8 providers from wikipedia. The c/p had links and bullet points. In the editor, it showed up correctly but when it was posted the text was wrapped together. I then tried to manually edit it but my edits would not save. I then posted a new comment.

        • http://benv.ca Ben Vinegar

          Okay, I know what’s going on. You’re right – we are “lying”, in that the textarea accepts copy-pasted HTML, but doesn’t actually process it. We’ll sort this out. And thanks.

    • Androidandwp7equalsPower

      If you do the math there is only an error of +/- 2%. So the chart is still relevant.

      • Jordan

        Sorry, but this is still incorrect. Business Insider calculated the iOS share in Q1 to be 63% of the top 3 sales. The top 3 (VZW, ATT, Sprint) control 80% of the market.

        • Kiri

          Don’t forget about the non-contract users that don’t buy phones from the providers. It’s trending now because of big money saving for the same thing. Maybe the difference that you guys are disputing is due to the non-contract phone buyers?

  • Jordan

    I call BS. When we look at Wikipedia’s list of wireless providers, we get these numbers

    Verizon Wireless (108.7 million)[1]AT&T Mobility (103.2 million)[2]Sprint Nextel (55 million)[3]T-Mobile USA (34 million)[4][5]TracFone Wireless (17.75 million)[6]MetroPCS (9 million)[7]U.S. Cellular (6 million)[8]Cricket Wireless (6 million)[9
    When the top 3 all said that Q1 had more iPhone sales than all other smartphones combined, how in the world could the iOS share fall to 29%? I’m not disputing that there are more Android devices out there, I’m disputing how big the gap is.
    Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_wireless_communications_service_providers

  • Tim Swann

    thanks for quoting my company’s press release!

  • Steve

    This is great news! I like how sites like BGR will still report how apple is dominating, but real sites like DL report the truth. Those guys are so delusional and fake. They probably hold contests on who can cram the most apples in one’s anus. Probably a pretty close contest too lok.

  • iNfAMOUS70702

    i could’nt care less about what OS someone else is running on their phone…they have their preferences and i have mine….the 90% U.S. marketshare for android/iOS is whats more mind blowing

  • EC8CH

    Google to Apple:

    I drink your milkshake!

    • DroidDoesnt_2

      Common sense to EC8CH: you’ve been had!

      Uh, you might want to read this before you get too excited, my fandroid friend:
      “NPD announces that Android surpassed iOS in contradiction with the carriers’ reports”http://www.tech.sc/npd-announc…Based upon the Big 3 carriers ACTUAL NUMBERS, who combined account for 80% of all smartphone sales in the US, it is mathematically impossible for Android to have a 61% share in the qtr, regardless of the results of NPD’s “survey”. You’ve been had :-)

  • Sqube

    I’d like to see these numbers when the iPhone 5 comes out. Until then, I don’t think it means overmuch.

    • Droidzilla

      And then when the 5S comes out, or the 6. You sound just like the WP fans who said, “Just wait for Mango!” and are now saying, “Just wait for WP8!”

    • DroidDoesnt_2

      These numbers don’t mean much NOW, much less when the new iPhone comes out:

      “NPD announces that Android surpassed iOS in contradiction with the carriers’ reports”http://www.tech.sc/npd-announc…
      Based upon the Big 3 carriers ACTUAL NUMBERS, who combined account for 80% of all smartphone sales in the US, it is mathematically impossible for Android to have a 61% share in the qtr, regardless of the results of NPD’s “survey”.

  • Mark Lewis

    Quarterly sales != market share

  • indeed

    This confirms that during iOS BEST quarter (release of the 1 phone), that Apple cannot overtake google in total sales. In addition, during that same quarter Google out sells Apple for phones by a total of 8%. After which, the chasm gets extraordinarily large. iOS cannot gain on Android and continues to get hammered EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

  • EC8CH

    Proof people want a bigger screen.

    • Butters619

      I used to use an iPhone (yeah boo hiss, suck it), and honestly after stepping up to a larger screen it is impossible to go back.

  • Bionicman

    awesome. anyone can make all the excuses they want but the numbers don’t lie. and by the end of this year, im switching my wife to Android from her iphone 4 as well. I’m done with Apple (various reasons).

    • DroidDoesnt_2

      Not so fast….
      “NPD announces that Android surpassed iOS in contradiction with the carriers’ reports”http://www.tech.sc/npd-announc…
      Based upon the Big 3 carriers ACTUAL NUMBERS, who combined account for 80% of all smartphone sales in the US, it is mathematically impossible for Android to have a 61% share in the qtr, regardless of the results of NPD’s “survey”. You’ve been had :-)

  • TROLOLOL

    the drop in Q3 was due to everyone was waiting for the Galaxy Nexus to come out

  • http://techonblogger.ward.pro/ TechRumblings

    I consider prices on eBay and Craiglist to be good indicators of the desire for mobile phones and I can say that the iPhone 4S fell in price super-fast relative to previous versions of iPhones which supports that interest in the iPhone 4s(ame damn phone) quickly waned. However, I suspect Apple knows what its doing and was really focused on foreign markets so this info. is only part of the story… Still good to see though, given that the US market is the most lucrative for carriers and has a strong influence on the rest of the world.

  • Detonation

    I’m not sure why this surprises anyone:

    iOS = one high end phone, $200+ dollars on contract
    Android = tons of phones ranging from near-dumbphone to high end, many free on contract, most $200 or less

    • skitchbeatz

      I don’t think anyone is surprised.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1519620310 Zac Rodriguez

      iOS actually equals 3 phones ranging from free to $200

    • phaded

      Hey, retard, all high end Android phones are more than $200, try more like $300. Not to mention these phones are the ones flying off shelves. Idiot…

      • Detonation

        Calm down there big guy. Verizon is the only one that charges $300, everyone else charges $200. And that’s the high end phones…carriers have twice as many no name low/midrange android phones.

  • RedPandaAlex

    Apple sales spike when they release their new device, then fall back down. Happens every time.

    Also, this isn’t really marketshare–that implies total user base. It’s sales in the 1 quarter.

    • Sven Enterlein

      That was my first thought as well. Now is the time when everyone gets hyped about the next generation iPhone and waits for it. The numbers will revert once it has been released. Sigh.

      • RedPandaAlex

        I don’t know what you’re sighing about. Even when they release their one phone for the year, more Androids are sold, and Apple will probably sell even fewer in the next two quarters than they did this quarter.

    • Google

      No it is an online survey of recent smartphone purchasers. This info is terrible and anyone who reports it is dumb.

  • Nemesis099

    I think the real take away is that this is a two horse race which in some ways to me is sad. Competition is terrific for the devices as well as the consumers as it pushes better products. With only two real competitors some of that drive might be lost.

    • Josh Groff

      It beats having a one horse race like Apple had prior to Android’s release.

      • Nemesis099

        This is very true but I would still like to see Microsoft and Blackberry come back to have round 10% of the market each as they can bring fresh ideas that Apple and Google might incorporate into their systems as well.

        • Josh Groff

          Windows 8 is looking better by the minute, cross platform OS’s have always been a neat concept, I hope they do a good job with it, haven’t seen much out of Microsoft worth mentioning in a while.

          Also, BB10 could earn RIM some nice market share if it’s as solid as it looks, I’m looking forward to what this year brings.

    • Droidzilla

      It is a two horse race for the OS wars, but it’s a multiple horse race for the hardware choices. I wouldn’t mind seeing another OS player, but I think the multiple hardware vendors for Android make it so that we aren’t lacking for competition-based innovations and price points.

      If anything needs more competition, it’s the US telcom provider space; not the handset manufacturers.

  • sc0rch3d

    that seems a little odd that it’s an exact 12 point swing from one time period to the next. i wonder what the growth of the smartphone population was in that period.

  • Liderc

    Honestly, this is only because there are more cheaper devices running android than iOS. This was always going to end up happening. Before a smart phone was a luxury item, since it’s become a necessity(nearly), more people are buying them and they choose the cheaper device, which only android provides.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Android is the better OS, I just don’t think it’s becoming more popular because of that, it’s simply economics.

    • Apostrafee

      The iPhone 4 is only $99….thats as expensive as a great Android. I’ll bet more people bought the iPhone 4 at that price then bought the Illusion or the HTC Rhyme or the Stratosphere all priced as low or lower. From what I have noticed from customers I see everyday is that they are actually asking for Android devices either because they haveheard from a friend they are better or because the 4S didn’t WOW them

      • Jason James

        or because ppl dont want to spend $100+/month to hold an iphone on att when they can get an android unlimited everything for $50 or less depending on state and carrier.

    • Droidzilla

      The top selling Android phones are always the top priced Android phones (Evo, SGSII, etc.), so your theory is incorrect.

      • Liderc

        You don’t understand economics. The “Top seller” is never the most expensive product, ever. This is because the average consumer isn’t going to spend 2-300 on a smart phone. The average consumer is what makes up the majority, therefore what ever they buy will be the cheapest product while retaining average quality. Do the research, I assure you I’m right.

        • OhAaron

          You’re actually not right. The top selling device will be the one that the customer feels provides the most utility per dollar. Stop tossing around the word “economics” like you’re smarter than everyone else. I’m sure that most of us went to college.

          • Liderc

            Name a product that is the highest dollar product available that retains the majority of the market share.

          • OhAaron

            You must have missed the part where I said MOST UTILITY PER DOLLAR. That doesn’t mean that it has to be the highest priced item available. It also doesn’t have to be the cheapest.

          • Liderc

            Nor did I, my post in case you missed it:


            The average consumer is what makes up the majority, therefore what ever they buy will be the cheapest product while retaining average quality. ”
            While retaining average quality.

          • Guest

            You must have missed the part where I said MOST UTILITY PER DOLLAR. That doesn’t mean that it has to be the highest priced item available. It also doesn’t have to be the cheapest.

    • EdubE24

      You are absolutely correct. Even if the fine folks on this blog don’t agree. I would love to see the sales figures of each device. I would bet my paycheck that there is not one android device that outsold the iPhone 4S 16 GB. Even with Verizon pushing the double the data when buying an LTE device promotion. Let me guess, it’s all about choices. If this site has taught us anything it’s you think that all phones suck besides the one you own, especially the worse then iPhone owner Nexus fanboy!!

  • T4rd

    Lol, from that graph, you can see people flock from Android to iOS in Qtr 4 2011 (4S launch), realize how mediocre it is, then go back to Android in Qtr1 2012. Good stuff.

    • http://twitter.com/kbrosnihan KB

      So true!

    • vinnyvega

      The graph doesn’t show people “jumping ship” it shows sales per quarter. When the 4S was released it was garnering 41% of all phone SALES, after the wave of people that were waiting for the new iPhone bought one the levels stabilized to what they were the before the launch. The article headline is misleading, look at the word “sales”.

    • andy

      Not really the case. Remember the graph also shows Q1 2012… aka the launch of the Samsung S3 which sold in huge numbers.

      • T4rd

        No, the S3 launched in June for most carriers. Which is at the end of Q2.

  • Murphy

    bring back the old disqus!

    • John

      Agreed. I like this new Disqus on a desktop browser, but I definitely don’t on mobile devices.

      • http://benv.ca Ben Vinegar

        We’re working on some mobile improvements. Hold tight!

        • John

          Thx for the update Ben. Looking forward to it..

        • Josh Groff

          Really liking the mid-typing spell check and new comment notifications, plus it seems you guys worked out a lot of the old bugs (replies posting as new posts instead of replies, replies sometimes not even posting, double posts.)

          Keep up the good work. :)

          P.S. I love down-voting, it’s awesome.

        • LionStone

          I’m happy that I can now see the ‘likes’ on the stock browser on my TB…but I can’t see the cursor and it types out slow as molasses.

    • http://level2studios.com/ Jared Sartin

      Yay, fist comment is off topic!

  • http://twitter.com/HuRa Hussain Rahim

    Look at these quarterly fluctuations. These NPD numbers are junk.

    Go with Nielsen and comScore. Much more reliable and consistent.
    http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/who-owns-smartphones-in-the-us/

    • RedPandaAlex

      These are SALES, not total marketshare. You can expect Apple to spike in the quarter that they release their one phone per year.

      • Google

        No these are not sales. These are results from an online survey. Please get you facts straight.

  • Michael_NM

    I don’t care. iOS still makes more money, and it has the wifis and geebees. Blah, blah, blah

  • Kyle Fullmer

    i bet business insider feel pretty silly now after 3 weeks ago saying android was reaching end of life.

    • http://twitter.com/GRZLA Grizzly Atoms

      I can’t recall a time in the passed 2 years that bloggers and reporters have said Android can’t last much longer. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen a doomsday article about Android on Google News. I love my Galaxy Tab 2 and my Galaxy Nexus and don’t see myself jumping ship to another OS for my phones/tablets.

      • http://twitter.com/mth3rd Matt Hughes

        It is because the Tech Journalist/Blogger world are infatuated with Apple. Not sure why, they just are.

        • Bionicman

          and they all use macbooks. i love mac os for editing videos but other than that, i feel so limited using it. to each their own i guess.

          • http://y.ahoo.it/Xg8W2 BRYANNA

            @twitter-62888409:disqus aŝ Jacõb anŝwêrêd I am ŝhõćḱêd that pêõplê ćan prõḟit $8170 in a ḟêw weêḱŝ õn thê intêrnêt. ḋid Yõu ŝeê ṫhiŝ wêbŝiṫê..MakeMony3.notlong.com

    • Google

      hahaha. You believe a survey over the actual sales numbers reported by the Networks in the SEC filings? hahahah. Good one. iOS is outselling Android on all 3 major networks. This is a fact. This info comes from an online survey. hahaha. Really it just tells you that people who use iOS are less likely to fill out a boring ass survey.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/YQPQJZVKR33D5F2NHDSAWNFQKA Zachary

      as Norman responded I’m alarmed that a mother able to earn $6446 in 1 month on the computer. have you read this page LázÿCásh5.Çom

  • jcorf

    Wow, I did not expect this.