Android tops iPhone in US (no thanks to the Nexus One)
Googlephone munches more crow
Google continues to eat crow over the Nexus One.
On Monday, Sprint - America's third largest wireless carrier - told Gizmodo it had changed its mind about joining Mountain View's online handset store and offering service in tandem with the Googlephone. As recently as March, the carrier said that it would partner with Google on a version of the Nexus One known as, er, the N1.
The announcement comes just two weeks after Google announced in less than straightforward fashion that Verizon, America's largest carrier, wouldn't be joining its online Nexus One store and that Vodafone would only sell the phone in retail shops. Like Verizon, Sprint runs a network based on the black sheep CDMA standard, and it would seem that Google has abandoned plans to offer a CDMA incarnation of the handset it insisted on calling a "superphone" when it was launched in January.
Google continues to sell the original GSM version of the phone from its online store, and T-Mobile - who placed its eggs in Google's basket from the earliest days of Android - still offers service with a subsidized version of the handset. But it's quite clear that Google's original dream for its superphone is well and truly over.
Analysts estimate the phone has sold a mere 500,000 devices, but Google always said it never expected to sell many devices. It wanted to create a "new way" of buying smartphones.
In launching the Nexus One, Mountain View insisted it wasn't competing with existing Android partners like Motorola and Verizon, but obviously, these partners saw things differently. You can bet that Verizon and Vodfone, a part owner of Verizon, talked their way out of Google's online store, and though Sprint may have fallen by the wayside because Verizon's exit made a CDMA phone less viable, it's gone nonetheless. Sprint says it abandoned the Nexus One because of the "upcoming availability of the award-winning Evo 4G," an Android phone sold through traditional channels.
As it turns out, Android is thriving in such channels. According the latest numbers from NPD Group, Google's mobile OS has moved past the iPhone to grab the number two spot in the US market. NPD says that Android accounted for 28 per cent of smartphones sold in the first quarter, compared with 21 per cent for the iPhone. The RIM BlackBerry is still top with 36 per cent.
Of course, Google wants to keep this market share. And to do so, it must eat that crow. ®
80s Redux? Control Freak Failure .. Again?
The real news here is Android overtaking the iPhone and the real questions: whether Steve Jobs is about to repeat the single biggest mistake in computing history (not licensing his O/S and thus handing a 25 year near monopoly to Bill Gates) and gift the phone market to Google?
Jobs wants to dominate the phone market the way he dominates the iPod/Music market. He's a control freak and having tasted that degree of dominance - along with the excitement that's beyond any woman's (or Filipino pool boy's - I never really worked out his sexuality) gift - he wants more.
His strategy is promote the iPhone via cool, 3rd party apps which he then locks into appearing on his platform alone by making it as expensive and inconvenient as possible to port them to other platforms.
Then, even when non-fanbois come to replace their iPhones, they buy another one because it's the only thing that runs their favourite fart app.
It's not a bad strategy - I had Nokias for years because I'd paid for a copy of Route 66 that only ran on Nokias - but it only really works while the iPhone platform offers the greatest number of potential customers for the developers of the most interesting apps.
Once the iPhone no longer offers the most potential punters - and it looks like it won't in the next 12 to 18 months - it obviously makes more sense to develop for the platforms that do. That they happen to be more open and easier to port code between just helps make that transition all the easier.
Result, everybody starts developing for Android/RIM and eventually the iPhone goes the way of the Mac: a pretty irrelevance worshipped by media types who's computing needs really only run to a word processor and a printer.
And that Fart app, of course.
You'd think Stevie boy would maybe have learned his lesson after a quarter century of eating Gate's dust, but maybe control freakery always trumps common sense ..
RE: Google Nexus One
I'm not really convinced Google ever really wanted to sell the Nexus One, I think it was more of a case of Google saying to the carriers "get a move on supporting Android or we'll do the bizz ourselves!" Google's end game always seems to be the OS/browser so they can control it and push advertising at the user. I'm reminded of when AMD made the first chipsets for Athlon just to get people to buy the Athlon, which prodded nVidia into producing a better solution. AMD didn't actually want to be in the motherboard chipset game, it was more a matter of necessity. I think Google thought it was necessary to threaten the carriers with the possibility that Google could go to a one-stop-shop of Google handset, Google OS, and then VOIP over Google's net if the carriers don't play along.
Some good news for for Android and you mostly bury it in a rant against the nexusone. Android should celebrate its victory over the overpriced closed shop of the iphone.
Article mentions US
I may be wrong but it looks like these details are for the US only where Nokia, somewhat confusingly, has always been a small player.
Market Share vs. Margins
I don't necessarily disagree with your assessment here.
But, I think Apple's long term strategy is not to dominate the market (not that they don't want to, but its not a primary goal.) Their goal is to pump out high margin devices. And the margin on Apple products is pretty amazing.
Toyota may sell more cars than Porsche. But that doesn't detract from Porsche.