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back to article Android dominates first-time smartphone buyer biz

Punters picking their first smartphone are more likely to select an Android handset. When they come to upgrade, however, there's a good chance they'll defect to the opposition. So suggests market data from US research company NPD, released today. NPD looked at sales data for Q4 2011, focusing not simply on the number of …

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Bronze badge
Holmes

And the winner is?

"Android's evolution may ensure punters stick with it, and it will grow both its first-time buyer and existing smartphone owner market share at Apple's expense. But if Apple can keep ahead with innovative and/or gimmick features, it can ensure buyers will migrate to it."

Another futurologist predicted "if it doesn't rain by sunset it will be dark before the morning"

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FAIL

where do they get them from?

What's the point of the "All SmartPhone Users" data?

It tells you nothing.

if 100% of the interviewees owned iOS or Android, it would point to mass defections to the other.

However, if 43% of respondents were iOS owners and 100% of those bought another iPhone, and 48% of the respondents swapped one Android for another Android... so what?

Totally pointless survey.

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Go

Popcorn ready for this one...both sides commence mouth frothage on my mark!

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Anonymous Coward

I was just about to post about pulling up a chair and opening a bag of popcorn myself. Mind if I join you?

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FAIL

GSCE Stats: Grade U

The hypothesis may be true but there is no evidence here to support it.

The stats apply to two different types of buyer. The smartphone repeats are by definition frequent repeat buyers. With Apples initial lead in this market the numbers don't look so good, even bad.

Whereas the newbies are taking their first step in the market and most an Android step. We have no evidence of how many are swopping OS or even in which direction.

Please don't try and squeeze an agenda citing evidence that ain't there ....

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Silver badge

The upgrade stats will be skewed

because there are more users of older iPhones who will probably want another iPhone, and rather fewer Android users from the same generation who are actually be in the position to upgrade.

It may also be that the users of Desires et. al. are still happy with their phones, and see no reason to upgrade.

Run the survey again in a year to 18 months when more of the older Android phones become obsolete (not able to run beyond FroYo), and see what it says.

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Boffin

Lock-In

This just in, most Windows PC owners upgrade to....a PC.

Why? Your collection of software only works on Windows. Same reason I tell Apple users (with a truckload of follow-along software) to stay on Apple. For those websurfers and the like, it's quite a free choice. I just know if I had $100+ worth of iPhone apps, I'd be less likely to jump ship to Android or vice versa.

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Anonymous Coward

Duh

As clearly a £100 Android handset won't do the same as a £500 iPhone. If users wanted an iPhone-like experience, they need to be buying a high-end Android handet (SGS2, XperiaArc etc).

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Pint

Migration to iPhone

I upgraded to an iPhone 4S from an HTC EVO 4G. Then three coworkers upgraded from EVO 4G's to iPhone 4S. I can't see going back to the bug ridden Android user experience. Can't speak for the others, but I have the apps and functions I need on the iPhone.

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8

What bug ridden Android user experience? I'm on my second Android phone and have yet to encounter it.

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Thumb Up

You've obviously been downvoted by the Android fanbois here even though you are simply expressing an opinion. As far as they are are concerned: "How dare you!"

Have an upvote from me.

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Meh

I went from a bug ridden iphone4 that needed rebooting so many times it became a daily ritual, to a SGS2 which is rock solid and runs rings around the iphone. Does my experience now cancel out yours and bring us back to neutral?

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Anonymous Coward

HTC EVO 4G

If you bought anything lower spec'ed than Androids developer chose to retail, then you got a reduced capability version of android. If you want the full android experience you must buy nexus or better. Cheapskate gets what they pay for. Android is available in limited cheaper variants.

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It's still amazing how few models (I guess it's 3 now only) from Apple manage to keep up with tens of Android based phones, isn't it?

I guess after some time we'll see Apple's share dropping more and we will be able to see stats based on phone models or manufacturers.

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Silver badge

Migrations

The interesting stats here would be to see how many Android users have "upgraded" to Apple, and how many IPhone users and "upgraded" to a high end Android device. These figures don't give any clues here. There will be migrations in both directions, Gil above has clearly moved from Android to Apple, personally I don't know anyone who's gone in that direction, but know quite a few who've gone from Apples to SGIIs.

Of real interested would be to look at the third generations users, how many people who've made the transition once then return back whence they've come after deciding that the grass isn't always greener, how many users keep with their second choice and how many give up in disgust and dig an old clonker out of the draw go back to a dumb phone :-)

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Holmes

Choices...

Makes sense to me. Want a new Android phone you have fairly wide choice of sub £80 entry level handsets to the expensive high end handsets from Samsung, LG, Sony and HTC

Of course I am referring to one buying a handset without a contract here, but add a decent contract and the deal becomes even sweeter.

Want a new IOS device, well it's down to a whole three options: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, all made by Apple and not exactly cheap contract free either and also the limited competition, as not all CSPs offer the Jesus phone on contract [yet] but the CSPs do offer decent iPhone deals too.

So, for the first time buyer and person upgrading to a smartphone the Android based offerings offer a lot more choice to suit everyone's budget.

As for the "rest" well that's obviously Windows Mobile combined with the stagnant offerings from those manufacturers still trying to wrestle a strategy to take on the Android & IOS monsters.

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People went in with cheap & crappy Androids, then find that it wasn't as good as the iOS devices.

Then upgrade to iOS ... Plus, sometime you get really good deals on upgrades.

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Silver badge

switching platforms can be painful & expensive

Surprises me there's any significant platform hopping. Do people really enjoy buying apps all over again or just not think about it till it's too late? Or is no-one actually buying apps they feel any attachment to, or sticking with free apps for the important stuff?

Just losing your progress in Angry Birds would seem an annoying enough deterrent for many ;)

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Childcatcher

Who? What?

Angry you say? Birds? What birds?

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Anonymous Coward

What idiot would "upgrade" from Android to iPhone?

at least with Android, any content you buy will be compatible with any other Android phone.

So if you don't like HTC's support (for instance), buy a Sony Ericsson and all your content will just work (well almost all)....

Locked in content to a single device is so 1980's However there are plenty of idiots than mean Apple and Amazon continue to make money from the idiot tax.

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FAIL

It's one thing to use cherry-picked data to build a case supporting one's bias...

But quite another to take data from another group and applying bad logic to support your bias. The stats, unless there is more in the NPD survey than reported, do not support the basis of the article. With the data presented, it states that in Q4'2011, people who never owned a smartphone were more likely to buy an Android-based phone than any other, while people who already owned a smartphone were... more likely to buy an Android-based smartphone, albeit at a lower percentage.

However, there are no listed statistics to back up the assertion that people who owned an Android-based phone were turning away from the OS to purchase an iPhone. Comparing two disparate groups and stating that it demonstrates any kind of movement away from the Android is low IQ at best, outright pandering to Apple at worst. The only conclusion you can take is what is presented, which is that Android is winning the mind and market share of those who are new to smartphones, while Apple, with a head-start in the smartphone biz, is holding 43% of all upgrades.

A more salient question that would actually answer the question of loyalty is to compare pre- and post-upgrade phone choices. Only if after looking at the data and see iOS with a larger share of the post-upgrade user base than the pre-upgrade, could you conclude that Android has a problem retaining users. Until that happens, all we can conclude with the data in this article is that the author fails basic comprehension of statistics. And if the information was present in the NPD survey and was not included in the article as the basis for the conclusion, it shows that the author fails basic journalism.

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Thumb Down

Not surprised

Having an iPod Touch, cos I Iive in a remote valley where there's almost no signal, I upgraded my old Sony 810i PAYG for a Wildfire S for those times I have access to a signal. My experience of Android and apps has been a less than satisfactory service. The Android store setup was clunky and it doesn't come anywhere near the user experience of that other store. The Wildfire device is reasonably good phone (though the sensitivity is not as good as my old Sony 810i), just the store and the apps don't match that of the fruit company.

Am I surprised by the poll? No.

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Trollface

You buy cheap, you buy twice...

that's what their data is saying :D

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Anonymous Coward

Trend Fail

For existing users on repeat buy (ie early adopters) Androids share is 48% Whereas new comers to the market are choosing Android at 57% That is ALL the chart is showing you, there is no data to support any hypothesis about change.

If last years figures showed 48% Android then there is no change for the repeat buyers. About the only thing you could hypothesis is that iPhone owners are early adopters compared to Android (the share has decreased).

As for a winner, well Apples share is one manufacturer Androids is many, that is clear. The iPhone is the most popular Phone. but Android is the most popular OS.

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