May 10, 2010

Android surpasses iPhone in U.S. market

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Written by: Brian Duggan

Android smartphones took the No. 2 spot in all U.S. smartphone sales in the first quarter this year, right behind Research in Motion (the makers of Blackberrys), according to the market research firm, the NPD Group.

According to the report, smartphones equipped with the Android operating system now have 28 percent of the market, compared to RIM’s 36 percent and Apple’s 21 percent. The NPD Group credited promotions, such as Verizon’s buy-a-Droid-get-one-free campaigns, that helped push the Android OS over Apple. Android phones also have the benefit of multiple models made by HTC, Samsung and Motorola, which are carried by various carriers.

Android phones sold by AT&T also helped pushed the OS over the top:

“Strong sales of the Droid, Droid Eris, and Blackberry Curve via these promotions helped keep Verizon Wireless’s smartphone sales on par with AT&T in Q1. According to NPD’s Mobile Phone Track, smartphone sales at AT&T comprised nearly a third of the entire smartphone market (32 percent), followed by Verizon Wireless (30 percent), T-Mobile (17 percent) and Sprint (15 percent). “

I’m not sure if this changes the credibility of the report, but CNET also notes the methodology of the NPD Group report: Self reported consumer surveys.

“NPD’s figures are based on self-reported consumer surveys and they estimate the number of devices sold to consumers. The figures do not include sales of devices to business customers through enterprise contracts.”

Android will likely experience more growth in the second quarter with the unveiling of the (gorgeous) HTC Incredible on Verizon and HTC Evo for Sprint — but growth may still depend on promotion by their respective carriers. And this said, the iPhone is still doing well. And let’s not forget about the iPhone 4 that comes out in June.

Should be an interesting race to watch.

The punch line: In honor of Android’s milestone

About the Author

Brian Duggan
A business reporter in Carson City, Nev., which is near Reno. Verizon user and droid freak.


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