back to article Apple tops smartphone seller chart

Apple put more smartphones in the hands of punters than any other vendor during Q4 2011, and was the third most purchased brand in the mobile phone market as a whole. The iPhone maker's chart position comes from market watcher Gartner. Unlike other handset business stats released by other research companies, Gartner's numbers …

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Anonymous Coward

iPhone and Smartphone are mutually exclusive terms in relation to users?

Surely?

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Anonymous Coward

The big news of course, is buried in the detail.

Android outsold iOS by more than 2x.

Anyone prioritizing iOS over Android right now for development, is frankly an idiot wrapped up in his own little smartphone world and not looking at the bigger picture.

First Direct, Sky looking at you here.....

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Anonymous Coward

Profit?

There's no profit in free apps. Android users won't pay for apps so developers won't develop for them.

However the point you make that companies should be making Android apps is very made and taken. They're fools not to

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Silver badge

Not a technology issue...

Media companies like Sky are unhappy with Google's stance on copyright. Plus, in Sky's case, their parent, News International has a love-in contract with Apple - in case you hadn't noticed the "iPad Rulez" supplement masquerading as the Tech pages in every week's Sunday Times.

But, I think the general reason is simpler: Mobile apps are the new websites. Expensive to develop, pushed heavily by marketing blowhards with limited delivery skills, and ultimately of minimal value to a business.

So, after the guy with the stupid jacket and no lenses in his glasses recommended you go with iPhone first to get the "ABCs and influencers", and after you send ten grand over to his crack boutique development house, and after they deliver a half-baked piece of nonsense that produced precisely six new sales (if you're lucky), are you really that keen on pouring more of your money into another mobile application?

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Anonymous Coward

Web apps

Point your user to an optimised for mobile web site and save yourself the trouble of having to maintain apps across platforms.

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Surely both are important

Why does one get priority over the other either way...

Both iOS and Android have large customer bases... Sky and First Direct don't exactly make a bundle of money (yet) from their Apps in that

1. I wouldn't choose my bank based on the quality or availability of a mobile app

2. I wouldn't say choose sky over freeview or virgin due to availability of a mobile app, I get sky because I want it*

* I suspect Sky could probably monetise their Go service a bit better than they are currently for example offering more device activations for a few extra quid if two is just not enough.

Either way I don't see either platform ever winning out of Android, iOS or Windows + other or any of them completely disappearing for some time.

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Anonymous Coward

Another point

Another point is that to finally pull itself back on top, (and only just) Apple had to delay their handset release - by setting the device back 6 months they built up the number of Apple fans ready for renewal and crammed them into a single quarter.

These high sales stats are built entirely around delaying a product release and cramming release day stats into the same quarter as christmas sales and so forth.

It'll be interesting to see when Apple release the iPhone 5, if it's June I suspect this will be the smallest Apple iPhone release in a while. More realistically they'll make it a year from the 4S from now on and rely on the cramming product release in with Christmas stats to try and mask the fact that the trend for the iPhone has actually been a decreasing in marketshare, reaching as low as 15% of the global smartphone marketshare last year, which is only marginally better than the supposedly dead-in-the-water RIM.

They will try and mask the decline in the first quarter with press about the iPad 3, but just as with Q3 last year, investors will be dissapointed when they have nothing to hide the decline with. The clock is ticking and time is running out for Apple's period of rapid growth.

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Android phones outsold iOS phones. This does not take into account other iOS devices, such as the ipod touch or iPads. iOS devices are more homogenous, so you don't have to worry about hardware differences as much, and iOS users are also more willing to part with money for apps.

In an ideal world, developers would port for all platforms, but the fact is that iOS is the most attractive target for limited resources.

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FAIL

Errm.

This is only Google Android devices. There are in addition millions more of non-approved Android devices. You know those £99 Android 2.2 tablets that take up supermarket space...

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Anonymous Coward

@Barry

You're probably correct. You mean the £99 doorstops that will never make it being used past the first week because they are so crap?

Except for us geekynerds all the public want is a smartphone that can play angrybirds/<insert other game of choice>, facebook and ebay.

Rather obviously there are a lot more 'average' phone buyers who don't want to buy the most expensive devices in the shops (usually iPhones) so dur! the market *is* going to always favour the Androids/etc.

This is good. It doesn't mean Apple is doomed. It just means we all get nice new shiny phones with lots of new features every year or two thanks to the competition.

Who cares what the total split of the OSes actually are (except for the manufacturers obviously)?

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FAIL

Options

Seems like you should be comparing all Android phones or all Android smart phones with all iOS devices. Who cares if you have an HTC or a Galaxy S, what matters is that you have an Android.

You wouldn't compare Xboxes sold to Dell desktops would you, you'd compare it to all PC sales or all Gaming speced PCs

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Anonymous Coward

Exactly. Lets not forget Apple is now shipping 3 smartphones; 3GS, 4 and 4S.

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Facepalm

And Nokia still won't fire Elop

Surely these numbers should be enough to at least start a investigation on reasons for the stubbornness on backing an clearly failed platform? Even the almost hidden N9 running the abandoned meego is outselling the Lumias!

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Happy

@jbernado:

This is where Nokia and Microsoft's masterstroke comes in. Windows Phone is about to fork into two platforms - the very low-cost platform (enabled by the upcoming "Tango" update) and the higher-value platform ( represented by the current top of the range smartphones like the Lumias).

The low-cost platform will have less memory and less features, for instance perhaps no compass or camera or whatever and a smaller screen. It will also not be able to run all the apps in the marketplace, but a subset of apps which require less resources. This will make the platform competitive with current featurephones.

It is these phones that will be sold by Nokia to replace their current crop of featurephones, thereby converting their 111 Million in sales into smartphone sales of WP7.

Real soon now, you will be seeing WP shooting up to the top of the smartphone OS sales chart.

It is a stroke of genius - watch and learn as it happens. I'll be referring back to this post in a few months' time.

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Anonymous Coward

now make a subsitute

So now try to replace Windows phone with Android and you will see that it won't make any sense!. Cause to run android you need 2 core 1G memory whereas a windows phone happilly runs on 500MB and soon after some enhancements on 250MB with Tango. So maybe Elop knows what he is doing.

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Happy

@AC:

Exactly - this has been the plan all along. The only reason Nokia still makes Symbian and other OS phones is because Tango hasn't been finalized yet - but soon! Real soon!

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FAIL

Sorry to interrupt your monologue

Sorry to interrupt your monologue Jim/AC, but you really believe what you have just written? That a failure of an OS, which sells even less than the previous version, will magically shoot to the top of the charts just because it will release two versions? When people that want a walled garden already have apple, and those that value flexibility and power have android?

I shouldn't even comment the ac remark on the different hw requirements of android/wp. Of course if your os doesn't do much you don't need powerful hardware. As soon as wp starts supporting real multitasking, you'll surely see the hardware requisites going up.

But even now, comparing a Lumia 800 to a Blade running CM7.1, you can't see a difference in performance - and the blade is old and has a slow CPU. It loses to the L800 in screen and camera quality - but beats it in battery usage, and in flexibility you can't compare the flashy, rigid, locked down WP to the beautiful, flexible, configurable android. My wife gave me back the Lumia after less than two weeks, and demanded her Blade back...

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Anonymous Coward

Ha Ha Ha

Do you really think that all the Nokia "featurephone" users are just desperate to buy another Nokia (regardless of how poor the OS is) just because it is Nokia and they are brand loyal? Of course not.

If you are in the UK you will probably have had a Nokia at some point in time and loved it. Out of the options it was often the best and simplest. However, now Nokia is just a scratching post for the strays. The revolutionary new "Tango" (is that like the 'you've been Tangoed'; ads where a victim is humiliated or abused? - seems to have a good synergy with buying into WP7) will be poorer, slower, have no compass or camera... so a bit worse than the most basic of phone like the Nokia 5210.. and it won't be able to do a lot, but people are going to be converting in their droves. The could get an android for £60 off contract or free on the most basic contracts with far more features.

WP7 is about to fork, just like that movie Dumb and Dumber.

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Thumb Down

Re: Ha Ha Ha

Accusing someone of working for Microsoft breaks Forum Rule 7 - reported.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Ha Ha Ha

So to add to your lunatic ravings, you're also a snitch?

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Thumb Down

Re: Re: Re: Ha Ha Ha

Look if you can't play by El Reg's rules, don't cry like a baby when someone calls you out

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Re: Re: Ha Ha Ha

Snitch.

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Anonymous Coward

@Jim

Wow, you actually did report that post and had parts of it removed because I said you lapped up Marketing briefs like a Puppy licking a spilt ice-cream cone. Which I thought was quite a good metaphor...

Well done, in future I won't question your sanity or your absurdity as you are obviously a level headed and intelligent person and of course I have now realised that WP7 is, of course, the greatest platform known to man and domination of that sector is obviously assured, I just hadn't realised until my post was reported - the blinkers have been released.

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ha Ha Ha

Yeah I'm a snitch, I work for Microsoft and Nokia, and I talk to myself. Oh and I eat babies. Get over it.

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Meh

Re: @Jim

@AC:

Does this mean you are going to leave out the personal attacks now and get back to the subject matter?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: @Jim

Well there was no personal attack, the 'snitch' comments were by different people adn as for

"Does this mean you are going to leave out the personal attacks now and get back to the subject matter?"

Well I will quote thineself

"Accusing someone of working for Microsoft breaks Forum Rule 7 - reported."

"Look if you can't play by El Reg's rules, don't cry like a baby when someone calls you out"

"Yeah I'm a snitch, I work for Microsoft and Nokia, and I talk to myself. Oh and I eat babies. Get over it."

What's the subject again?

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Stop

Re: now make a subsitute

@AC "So now try to replace Windows phone with Android and you will see that it won't make any sense!. Cause to run android you need 2 core 1G memory whereas a windows phone happilly runs on 500MB"

Well that's odd then, how come my HTC HD2 (pre-win mob 6.5) phone is running Gingerbread fast with the 500MB RAM with 1 single core Snapdragon CPU and many times faster than the abortion that was Win Mobile that was on there before?

I think you need a reality check.

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Anonymous Coward

LOL

What idiot would buy a half-baked Windows Phone, when you can get a fully featured budget Android handset for less?

An Orange Sanfrancisco for example can be picked up for £80.

Perhaps Nokia thinks it's entry level userbase are retards?

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Holmes

Re: Re: Re: @Jim

@AC:

"Do you really think that all the Nokia "featurephone" users are just desperate to buy another Nokia (regardless of how poor the OS is) just because it is Nokia and they are brand loyal?"

Nokia has plenty of brand loyalty globally, they're still selling more phones than anyone else, all they need to do is flip from Symbian/Whatever to WP7 Tango and there you go.

"now Nokia is just a scratching post for the strays."

No, they're the biggest phone vendor in the world.

The revolutionary new "Tango" ... will be poorer, slower, have no compass or camera... so a bit worse than the most basic of phone like the Nokia 5210"

It will be cheaper (what do you mean by "poorer"?), just as fluid as regular Windows Phones...as for the compass/camera, that's conjecture on my part so don't quote me, and I expect different phones will have different gadgets anyway. They will be comparable to Nokia's existing SKUs.

"The could get an android for £60 off contract or free on the most basic contracts with far more features."

I expect Nokia Tango phones to be very competitive against that.

.

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Meh

Re: LOL

@AC:

Budget Android phones are half-baked. Premium Android phones are fully featured. That's why they cost more. Budget Android phones run Angry Birds Lite.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: LOL

Phones from 2.5 years ago were specified for Angry Birds Lite. The full version of Angry Birds will still run on even the HTC Hero, just stutters a little when doing a lot of multi-tasking.

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Meh

Re: Re: Re: LOL

@AC:

The HTC Hero is up on Amazon for £175. I'm talking about budget phones such as the upcoming Nokia Lumia 610 which analysts speculate will retail for less than £100. Subsequent phones based on Tango should go right down to the £80 or £60 mark fairly quickly.

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Anonymous Coward

Unlike Apple, Android don't perceive phone quality on price.The HTC Hero is over 2 years old.

The Orange San Francisco 2 is under £100 and is a fully featured Android smartphone (easily running Angry Birds)

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Meh

So if the Orange San Francisco 2 is so fully featured, then what are the differences between it and the "fully featured" Samsung Galaxy S2?

They can't both be fully featured with such a price difference, otherwise Samsung would go bust.

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I don't get it...

The article starts with,

>> "Apple put more smartphones in the hands of punters than any other vendor during Q4 2011 [...]"

Then mentions the following,

>> "In Q4 2011, then, some 35,456,000 people received an iPhone [...] Nokia topped the chart, selling 111,699,400 phones [...] Samsung, the vendor favoured by 92,682,300 buyers [...]"

>> "For 2011 as a whole, we see the same top three: Nokia, Samsung and Apple, selling, respectively, 422,478,300, 313,904,200 and 89,263,200 handsets to real people."

And finally concludes with this comment,

>> "[...] it's clear that while Samsung accounted for a big chunk of those 75m Android sales, it didn't sell more than Apple did [...]"

How is Apple the top seller again? Can someone please explain what I'm missing here?

-dZ.

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Anonymous Coward

Smartphones

It's weasel word usage of the term "smartphone" - it's been a common tactic used by Apple and others for a few years now, if you haven't actually come top of the charts, then use some arbitrary definition of "smartphone" that cuts out a number of your competitors phones but not yours and then claim you came top of the smartphone charts.

Because there is no actual definition of where the dividing line between a dumb phone and smart phone is, companies can abuse this to claim success where there really is none.

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Putting your point regarding weasel words aside, your comment does not address my question. The article starts by mentioning how Apple is on top of the charts, but then describes how the numbers of all other manufacturers are higher. I must be missing something because it seems to me incongruous.

-dZ.

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If I read the article correctly, it's a question of distinctions. There were roughly twice as many Android handsets than iOS handsets sold but because the sales of Android handsets were shared between several different manufacturers, none of those sold more smartphones than Apple did individually.

What numbers you're interested in depends on who you are. If I was interested in how much profit each company made, I'd be an investor. If I was interested in how many apps were sold on each platform, I'd be a developer. If I was interested in how many ads were seen on each platform, I'd be Google. If I was interested about how many handsets were sold with each platform running on them, I'd be a fanboy.

Jon

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Holmes

@DZ-Jay:

I completely agree - I didn't see a single stat that verified the headline.

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Black Helicopters

Good ole headlines, skew the truth!

Android outsold frisherpriceOS twofold! Maybe that would have been a more acurate headline!

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Linux

How 2012 is like 1984

The fanboys need to create their own reality regardless of what they actual facts are.

As others have said, this kind of approach would not cut it in any other area. Who cares if Apple leads in overpriced PCs. The bulk of the market does not belong to them.

The same is true of phones.

There is simply no need for this mindless "Apple is unstoppable" propaganda. What kind of future are these people pining for really? Are they hoping at a 2nd chance to out-Microsoft Microsoft?

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Happy

Re: How 2012 is like 1984

"As others have said, this kind of approach would not cut it in any other area. Who cares if Apple leads in overpriced PCs. The bulk of the profit does belong to them".

There, fixed it for ya!

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