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8/3/2010
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Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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Android Tops iPhone In Sales

Google's Android platform sales for the second quarter of 2010 surpassed that of the iPhone for the first time in the US. This is not quite and apples to apples comparison though, if you'll pardon the pun. Android is available on many networks and has many different manufacturers. The iPhone just has one manufacturer and one network. Does that matter?

Google's Android platform sales for the second quarter of 2010 surpassed that of the iPhone for the first time in the US. This is not quite and apples to apples comparison though, if you'll pardon the pun. Android is available on many networks and has many different manufacturers. The iPhone just has one manufacturer and one network. Does that matter?Nielsen released the report this morning that shows Android's rise. Apple's share for Q2 2009 was 23%. It peaked at 34% in Q4 of 2009 and has dropped to 23% in the most recent quarter. Android was below 5% in Q2 of 2009 and had risen to only 6% in Q4 of 2009. Just six months later though it shot up to 27%.

The press release point out though that the iPhone is still the most desired smartphone currently available, and that highlights the key difference. The iPhone is really just one phone, available in a few flavors. Most constricting may be that the iPhone is only available on one network. Once you can get an iPhone without having to change carriers, sales should move up again.

Where is everyone else? RIM still retains the top spot with 33% share and Windows Mobile come in fourth at 11%. Symbian, Palm and Linux are at the bottom all at 3% or less.

In looking at where things are headed, RIM has a problem. Only 42% of Blackberry owners want another Blackberry. Over half of RIM's user base wants something else. Both the iPhone and Android platform have a lot of user loyalty, so defections will be minor.

This report next year should be more interesting. Palm's WebOS 2 will have shipped, as will Windows Phone 7 and Blackberry 6. Rumor keeps saying that AT&T's exclusivity is up as well. I don't expect the landscape to be materially different, but we should see some trends in the data that will show the new operating systems are gaining traction against the iPhone, or that they have missed their target and consumers just aren't interested.

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