Jobs: iPhone sales spank Android
'You will read this survey. And only this survey'
Steve Jobs suggests that you should forget anything you may have read about Android sales surpassing iPhone sales in the US.
"There have been a lot of stats floating around, market research, studies. Some are okay, some are questionable," Jobs said Monday when announcing the iPhone 4, according to Engadget.
The most questionable survey on Steve's mind might very well be the May 10 release by the NPD Group, which reported that US sales of Android-based phones surpassed those of the iPhone in the first quarter of this year.
According to NPD's survey, Android phones accounted for 28 per cent of smartphones sold in the first quarter, compared with 21 per cent for the iPhone. RIM's BlackBerry remained top dog with 36 per cent. And by "dog," we mean no disrespect.
In his keynote address, Jobs pointed instead to the just-released survey from The Neilsen Company, entitled — rather directly — "iPhone vs. Android", which paints a very different picture. According to Neilsen, RIM is indeed number one in the US, but it has slipped 2 per cent since the previous quarter, falling to 35 per cent. The iPhone — and not the sum total of a gaggle of Android-based phones, as NPD claimed — is number two, close behind at 28 per cent, and up 2 per cent.
Third place in Neilsen's rankings goes to Windows Mobile phones at 19 per cent (down 2 per cent), with Android-based phones lagging far behind at 9 per cent, though up 2 per cent quarter-on-quarter.
Perhaps part of the discrepancy between the two estimates is the simple fact that the NPD group survey didn't include "corporate/enterprise mobile phone sales". That omission becomes relevant in light of the recent comment by Ron Spears, CEO of AT&T's Business Solutions division, that "Four out of 10 sales of the iPhone are made to enterprise users."
That could skew the numbers a wee bit, don't you think?
In any case, The Reg has learned from painful experience to take most if not all survey results with a grain of salt — even when they're as intriguing as some of the other data provided in Nielsen's new report. For example:
- Forty per cent of iPhone owners have incomes of over $100,000 per year; only 28 per cent of Android-phone owners are that comfortable.
- When they get their next smartphone, twice as many Android-phone owners want to switch operating systems than do iPhone owners (14 per cent versus 7 per cent).
- Only 34 per cent of Windows Mobile phone owners want another such phone; BlackBerry owners are more satified, but not by much: 47 per cent want to switch.
But in regard to the duelling surveys concerning whether or not Android-based phones have overtaken the iPhone, we now have the definitive word of one Steven Paul Jobs that the iPhone outdistances Android more than three-to-one, and is closing in on RIM.
And if Steve says it from the hallowed keynote stage, it's gotta be true. Right? ®
Glad they cleared that up
It's really important to me to make sure that my next phone is one of the most popular ones on the market. Every quarter I check the market share of each OS and run down to CPW to buy whichever is currently in the lead.
Seriously? Not even remotely interested.
I have a Hero, I'll be moving to a Desire (or whatever's the latest Android) when I decide to (not on contract).
The iPhone 4 finally looks like an interesting phone to me (no more stupid curves; maybe it's easier to hold now?), but the iTunes ball-and-chains, the developers fees, the opaque app approval process, and the retrospective app refunds at His Lordship's deman are just massive switch-offs.
Android might not be quite so polished (not my opinion), or have some of this hardware yet, but I feel like Google actually want people to develop for it.
Steve's Afraid, Very afraid
With good reason. The Desire is a stonkingly good piece of kit. The benefit of Android phones over the iPhone has always been their freedom and flexibility, but they were let down by their sluggish performance and lack of polish in use. That is certainly the issue with my HTC Magic and most of the 1st gen Android devices.
Having played with a colleagues HTC Desire, however, it is clear that that problem has been resolved. The user experience is as smooth and slick as the iPhone, without any of the lock-in and control freakery.
Now, the only advantage the iPhone has over a top-of-the-range Android phone is the bling factor. If you don't mind being seen with a phone that isn't an iPhone then there is no benefit in choosing an iPhone over an Android phone.
jobs is scared.
very scared of android - otherwise why bring it up?
Also the mainstream press who used to do what they are told - are not his lap dogs anymore (as apple is no longer hip/cool). The extended coverage of the foxconn factory is an example of this.
Time, Mr Jobs, time...
It is all but inevitable that Android devices will usurp the iPhone in terms of sales (and likely BlackBerry & Symbian too, in time), you only have to look at the number an breadth of scope of Android devices being released now to see that.
iPhones will never be sold at <£100 contract free, Android devices already approach this (Pulse was £150 last time I checked, down £50 since launch about 8 months ago). Or, for monthly contracts, a relatively low <£20/mo contract will see you into a mid/high end device for nowt upfront.
Android devices are chasing down every last niche in the marketplace. Huge mega-screen phone? Check (Streak). Sleek & fashionable? Check (Legend). Cheap & cheerful? Check (Pulse/Tattoo). Camera-focussed? Check? (I see xenon flashes & improved optics in more recent handsets).
Apple on the other hand offers a swish new device for £n, or a slightly older, slower one for £(n x 0.7) and demands a hefty monthly fee in addition. So you can choose to be in the with the crowd and get an iPhone 4, or resign yourself to wannabe status and get am iPhone 3GS, as long as you are happy coughing up £30+/mo for the privilige.
I don't think Apple would want it any other way though, they surely want their product to retain its premium appeal and to chase sales as the smartphone market evolves ever more mainstream would surely hurt that. The long-proposed iPhone Nano may change this in time I guess, but even then the precendent with the iPod would surely indicate that even that will not chase the true low-end.
Usually always? What percentage is that?