Commentary
9/27/2011
01:43 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
Commentary

Android Adoption Twice That Of iOS

Google's mobile operating system was running on 56% of phones sold in the past three months, more than all other competitors combined, says a report from Nielson.



Android took over the smartphone landscape several months ago, and since then, it is like the platform has kicked in the turbo chargers. During the last three months, Google's mobile darling captured 56% of the market on its own, with Apple's iOS coming in a distant second with 28%.

Nielson's August survey of the mobile phone landscape revealed that Android is beating all other platforms combined. Blackberry captured just 9% of owners while Windows Phone, webOS, Bada, and other platforms got lumped into the "all other" category with just 6% of purchases.

Note that while Android is sure to continue growing, the next three months won't be as easy as the last three. Its current largest competitor, iOS, is running on hardware that's nearly a year and a half old. But that should change next month as the iPhone 5, along with iOS 5, are launched. Each year, when the next generation of the iPhone comes out, growth of the platform surges. It reminds me of that scene in "Back To The Future III" when those potent presto logs of Doc Brown explode in the locomotive, each time causing the train to surge ahead.

Android though, has had a relatively steady growth rate. There is no single Android device that dictates how the platform moves ahead, which is one of its strengths. When the iPhone 4 launched in 2010, its sales track was somewhat bumpy for a few months. Initially, people couldn't get enough, but then Antenna Gate came out and that gave some pause about upgrading. If someone releases a dog running Android, no one really cares as you just go get a different Android device.

For carriers that aren't selling iPhones, Android is turning out to be the lifeblood of the smartphone business. T-Mobile just revealed that 90% of the smartphones it sells run Android, and 75% of the phones sold are smartphones. That means Android accounts for just over two-thirds of T-Mobile's business. Would anyone have imagined this when the first Android phone, the G1, launched in the fall of 2008?

I'll be curious to see how well the iPhone 5 does and how that impacts market share, but I suspect Android has nothing to fear, at least not in the short term.

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