Stats back from the first quarter of this year show Android accelerating past past Apple for the OS for the number-two position in the US.
The data comes from the NPD Group’s Mobile Phone Track and reflects the continuing growth of the open source OS (although Apple have since disputed these figures – see below).
According to the market researcher’s figures, Android grabbed 28 per cent of the market, a fair way behind long-time leaders RIM (BlackBerry), but enough to surge past Apple’s OS with currently 21 per cent of the smartphone market in the US.
“As in the past, carrier distribution and promotion have played a crucial role in determining smartphone market share,” commented Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD.
“In order to compete with the iPhone, Verizon Wireless has expanded its buy-one-get-one offer beyond RIM devices to now include all of their smartphones.”
In the States, strong promotional sales of the Droid, Droid Eris, and Blackberry Curve put Verizon Wireless’s smartphones sales close to rivals AT&T.
US carrier share
The carriers’ market share now breaks down as AT&T at 32 per cent, Verizon Wireless at 30 per cent, T-Mobile with 17 percent and Sprint at the back of the pack with 15 percent.
“Recent previews of BlackBerry 6, the recently announced acquisition of Palm by HP, and the pending release of Windows Phone 7 demonstrates the industry’s willingness to make investments to address consumer demand for smartphones and other mobile devices,” observed Rubin.
“Carriers continue to offer attractive pricing for devices, but will need to present other data-plan options to attract more customers in the future,” he continues before racing down the pub to defeat all-comers in Yard Of Ale competition in his local bar (the last past of this sentence may not be true).
Update: 12.05.2010 – Apple quibble!
It seems that these figures have upset Apple, who have unusually gone to the trouble of issuing a rebuttal – and a rather unconvincing one at that.
This is a very limited report on 150,000 U.S. consumers responding to an online survey and does not account for the more than 85 million iPhone and iPod touch customers worldwide.”
This sounds a bit desperate to us: iPod Touches aren’t considered smartphones in anyone’s book, and NPD’s research was clearly focussed on just the US market’s first quarter sales.