Skip to comments.Nielsen: iPhone 4 Fails to Stave Off Android Invasion
Posted on 10/06/2010 9:44:25 AM PDT by SmokingJoe
The last time Nielsen declared Android to be the most popular smartphone operating system in the United States, Google's victory was incomplete. Apple hadn't launched the iPhone 4 yet, and sales were bound to spike in the months that followed.
But here we are, two months later, and Nielsen has once again found that more people bought Android phones in the last six months than any other platform.
Indeed, Apple's iPhone sales spiked in July, which was the first full month of iPhone 4 sales. Nielsen found that 26 percent of people who bought smartphones between February and July got an iPhone, compared to 21 percent between January and June. In August's survey, recent iPhone purchases accounted for 25 percent of the market.
Android, meanwhile, grabs more of the market every month. By August, Android phones accounted for 32 percent of all smartphones sold in the last six months.
Big deal, you might say. Android phones are sold by all four major carriers, and the iPhone is only on AT&T. Fair point, I suppose, but during the last two survey periods, the iPhone and Research in Motion's Blackberry phones are neck-and-neck, following a sharp decline for RIM. A multi-carrier approach does not guarantee dominance.
Still, there's no denying that the iPhone would see huge gains in market share if it ever stopped being exclusive to AT&T. In all likelihood, that won't happen until at least next year. Meanwhile, Microsoft hopes to disrupt the status quo with Windows Phone 7, and I wouldn't totally count out WebOS, now that HP is running the show.
(Excerpt) Read more at pcworld.com ...
Apple is rumored to have a Verizon phone in the works. That could be a game-changer for them.
I know in my own case, AT&T is worthless where I live and work, but Verizon rocks. If I were in the market for a smartphone, that makes all the difference.
Apple has a 2GB iPod Shuffle, an 8 and 16 GB iPod Nano, an 8, 32 and 64 GB iPod Touch and a 160GB iPod Classic. They have a product for every niche within the mp3 market and several price points. Anyone willing to buy one of these products has it with no other prices attached or limitations due to another company.
There is the 8GB iPhone 3GS, and the 16 and 32GB iPhone 4. All come with a limitation (in the US) to one carrier. They also only have one form factor.
In comparison, Android has phones on every major carrier and many of the smaller ones that now come in the three major form factors for smartphone, all touch screen, slide out QWERTY and candybar. There are a variety of price points and specials run with them too. To my knowledge there has never been a sale on iPhones. In comparison you can get major discounts and deals on Android phones from day one. I believe the Samsung Vibrant could be purchased for a dollar when it came out from Amazon. That is much more attractive than the $200 the equivalent iPhone would run you.
It would be very hard for them to maintain the lead in the market versus a foe like this. Some limitations are likely to always remain, there will probably never be a hardware keyboard iPhone for instance. And they won’t be offering nearly the number of models of phones as Android has on the market. Although I would guess sales of the iPhone far exceed the combined sales of any 3 models of Android phone by one manufacturer or probably even the best selling 3 Android phones.
I’ve always had 2 basic problems with iPods, you have to use their software to load the thing, and they all run a good 10 to 20% more expensive than the competition. I got a 32GB Samsung P3 that works just like a USB drive when it comes to loading software, has a speaker (pretty good one even), can play games (though I don’t care), has 5 “on the fly” playlists plus how ever many “permanent” playlists as you want to load, and it was $50 less than any 32GB iPod. This is why I don’t understand the iPod’s market dominance, at any level you can find better products for cheaper. The biggest thing I see pushing their market share is they’ve managed to become synonymous with “MP3 player”, kind of like Kleenix, Q-Tip and Xerox used to be, I think a lot of people don’t even look at anything other than iPods.
Which isn’t to say your analysis of why the iPhone slipped is wrong, just to say it should be true of the iPod too. I think the big thing is smartphone competition came on early enough and hard enough to prevent iPhone from becoming synonymous with smartphone so people looking into the market aren’t self limiting their language.
To your point:
"you have to use their software to load the thing..."
it ain't necessarily so (apologies to Gershwin).
For years I've used www.Winamp.com as my music manager--no iTunes!
*easy to use
*nowhere NEAR the resource hog that iTunes is
That’s still extra software. I prefer to just use explorer, copying the files as a I chose. Frankly WinAmps synch function kinda sucks, I don’t know if it’s better or worse than iTunes since I only have 3rd hand on iTunes, but I tried it and hated it (my MP3 can use synch but doesn’t have to). I still like WinAmp as a player, especially after adding Dynamic Library so I don’t have to put up with their horrible way of sorting my music, but as a synch tool no way.
I looked up the Samsung player. Interestingly although it was marked down to $260 and so about $50 cheaper than the most equal product from Apple the iPod Touch. However, it was marked down from $329.
Another aspect is that the major competitors in the smartphone market are more well known. Google, Motorola, Verizon etc are well known brands. They also have the money to get behind their product with advertisements. Other than maybe a few Zune commercials I don’t think I have ever seen an mp3 player ad outside of Apple’s. Creative was in the mp3 market before Apple, but didn’t have the money to dominate it like Apple did. And despite some offerings from others now, they are like you said too late and can’t compete with the ecosystem, which I imagine more people like than dislike.
Amazon? They always “mark down” from some price you can never find, the most I ever saw it listed for was just under $300, I paid $250. It’s a heck of a nice player.
True, nobody but Zune and iPod ever advertises. I did a lot of research for my MP3 buy, because I knew I wanted a 32GB and I knew that was going to be fairly pricey, and I don’t drop that kind of money without research. Good ol C|Net. And the first thing I learned doing my research was that there were about 10 times as many MP3 players as I thought. And then of course I wind up getting one that’s not even intended for the American market and can’t (at least earlier this year) be bought brick and mortar in America.
I am an Apple fan and enjoy their products. The only smart phone I like other than the 4th gen iPhone is the HTC Evo. I like Apple approach, i.e. we support the phone, you support the service. If I have an issue with my iPhone, it’s either Apple or AT&T with very little finger pointing. With all of these android OS phones coming out, it’s a mess to figure out who to go to for support. Google can care less about the OS and if I have an Android OS issue, how do I get it resolved? It’s because of this that I remain a avid Apple product person. This month I’m gonna buy an iPad, NOT a knock off iPad.
Good news to me...my company makes the semiconductors for cell towers. :^)
AT&T bought most of the Alltel areas. My area? Montana.
We have little GSM coverage, it's 99% CDMA.
AT&T has to upgrade towers statewide to support GSM.
And, since we're the 4th largest state in the Union, it's a fairly big job...