Apple iPhone 4S grabs back ground lost to Android
Apple's decision to launch a tweaked iPhone 4 - the 4S - rather than a brand new iPhone 5 may have flabbergasted some pundits, but punters have taken to the phone and narrowed the gap between iOS and Android.
According to US market watcher Nielsen, during the three months of October, November and December 2011, Android's share of the smartphone OS market dropped from 61.6 per cent to 48.7 per cent and then to 46.9 per cent.
It's still ahead of iOS, but over the three-month period Nielsen's numbers relate to the gap narrowed to a couple of percentage points.
iOS' share of the US smartphone market rose from 25.1 per cent in October 2011 to 38.8 per cent and on to 44.5 per cent.
The only other operating system to warrant tallying, RIM's BlackBerry OS, saw its share continue to wane during the final quarter of 2011, falling from 7.7 per cent to 4.5 per cent.
Alas for RIM, nothing on the immediate BlackBerry product roadmap - if an alleged leak is anything to go by - is going to reverse that downward slide in the near future.
Can the iPhone 4S continue to hold back Android's lead? Last week, research company ChangeWave noted that while there's usually a decline in iPhone demand over time after the peak of a major launch, this time round interest in the 4S has continued.
"Apple has never dominated smartphone planned buying to this extent more than two months after a major new release," ChangeWave noted. ®
"So one fanboi with who buys three incrementally upgraded iPhones = three Android users with a phone each?"
It's actually the other way around - I find that iPhones get upgraded and the old model given to other family members (as it's still a good handset) - yet Android ages very quickly as manufacturers / mobile operators drop models after 12-18 months and it ends up running ancient or vulnerable versions. At least iOS 5 is still available for the iPhone 3GS and that is pretty old now.
So those 3 iPhones that were sold are probably still in use whereas the older Android handsets are probably sitting in a draw.
This article has misinterpreted what Nielsen have said... And what they said was based on a dubious enough measurement criteria to begin with - let's not make it worse, eh?
First problem: What Nielsen talk about is NEW HANDSET UPTAKE, not MARKET SHARE as you talk about. Android's overall market share has NOT dropped by 15%+ in 3 months - it's actually grown. Their number of handsets being sold has just not outstripped iPhones by as much. Suggest a Find and Replace on all the market share statements.
Second problem: This survey takes the 3 months following the launch of a new halo device. Of course it's going to create a rise in demand, as it'll be picking up customers who had been holding off for a new model. I don't think it'll come as any surprise when the first few months of increased sales tail off as the rumour mill begins on the iPhone 5 / 4S++ / etc. What would be useful would be comparing the increase in demand following the launch of the 4S to that of the 4 and 3GS.
Some real analysis to with the lightweight survey would have been luuuurverly, please thankyou.
It may not just be the 4S
I notice now that the iPhone3s is now available free on some contracts so that could well be inflating the figures.
I still note on my daily train journeys, that iPhones outnumber every other phone I see.
To follow on, as well as having UI consistency, iphones have not increased in size since introduction - they still fit in the same pockets than Gen 1 did, and don't have the Don Johnson look when on a call. Some of the latest gen Androids (the note especially) are guilty of 'size creep', and having used one (S2) as a work phone for a few months, I've surprisingly found the pocketability more important than screen real estate, and was glad to go back to my old iphone. I didn't miss the increased screen size at all.
Before the deluge of fandroid downvotes floods in, I should state that your own mileage may vary.
That's because trains have become so expensive the only people who can afford to use them these days are also likely to be in the iPhone demographic...