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back to article Android's US market share continues to slip

Apple may be taking its lumps these days – what with a falling share price, pesky activist investors, troubles in China, and the like – but there's one important area in which Cupertino is steadily gaining ground: US smartphone sales. For the past 100 months, the stat-happy analysts at comScore have been tracking mobile-device …

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Meh

Longevity

...meh.... the more longevity a human being has, the more senile they are considered to be. In computer terms, any system from 2005 is considered old news or really outdated.

Dig deeper and one will find out that Apple has their hand in that bean counting company somewhere which explains their longevity.

Just being cheeky for a late Friday afternoon....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Longevity

I've been around for a year or two and my conclusion is different. The real story here is not that Android is losing anything significant since it is already more than half of the market, but that 1) RIM is tanking and it appears that users may be switching from RIM to iPhones, possibly and 2) Windows remains feeble and is not grabbing the corporate market from RIM. In other words it's a two horse race and month on month, year on year these 2 will go up and down against each other and the others will remain in the stable.

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Meh

Like a woman's monthly cycle

There are ups and downs.....

And downs and ups.

Statistics if they are to mean something should not be based on a snap shot.

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Stop

Re: Longevity

You're 1) blowing things out of proportions 2) ignoring the fact that this is pre-BB10/Z10 numbers for Blackberry.

As far as I can tell they had a pretty successful launch last month here in the US and a very good one beforehand - and I'm an Android guy,I always hated BBs for their idiotic, outdated OS and devices (I was very impressed with WebOS but only bought a Touchpad on firesale, Pres were always built on rather mediocre hardware...but. I had more than my fair share of the usual force-closed, crappy Android apps, their old WinMo-style slowdowns etc so I decided to keep an open mind and on one of my lunch break last week I went to a TMO store (Manhattan) and

1. first I had to get the guy to hook up a charger to their SINGLE display Z10 because it was fully discharged (yes, you read it right.)

2. go out and have a lunch because he said it is at least 10 minutes until I can use it (might be just he was clueless)

3. when I was back it was on in Retail Display Mode - which is the most annoying lick-based video demo crap I've ever seen

4. he didn't know the pass to deactivate it so we had to call another store person

5. she found the pass but it simply sent it into a reboot, ending up in the same mode (password was OK, I found it online in 30 seconds)

6. so eventually I had to hack my way out of this mode by pushing/holding the voice control and requesting a browser...

...and voila, I was out, running free.

I played about half an hour with the Z10 and I have to admit I was *VERY* impressed.

The BB10 OS, more precisely its swipe-based UI is simply *BRILLIANT*, way less clunky than my JB-based Xperia T, I am simply speechless when idiot reviewers claim it comes with "steep learning curve" - it's something that I picked up in about 10 minutes, without ever asking a question from store people or viewing any help, videos, nothing.

All I keep hearing about is 'missing Netflix in the app store' etc - but seriously, who cares? Besides as far as I know you can sideload most of your Android apps...

...although BB10 comes with its Map I'd still prefer sideloading Google Maps which, as I heard, works as long as you are using Maps and navigation but GPS is missing when you are using the look up feature (restaurants whatnot around you)... dunno but BB needs to beef up their Maps quickly.

Anyhow, I was so impressed I'd even give up my superior camera for that superior UI and unified communication Hub (email and IM are very heavy for me, both for work and personal) - and, again, I'm a pretty solid Android user. That being said I'll sit out until 10.1 comes out, in the meantime list up all my Android apps and take a look, how can I convert/sideload or simply switch to a BB10-based one... as long as BB can keep up the growth in the app store and keep bringing out new features in updates they will have a very worthy alternative on the table, I'm telling you (as I hard over half of their new customers are coming from Android and iOS already.)

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Remember the US market is heavily operator controlled

All it takes is one operator to do a deal with Apple/Samsung/Nokia/Blackberry and it can shift a quarter, then that can look like a trend.

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Linux

It's because Americans pay the same on a long-term contract no matter the phone we buy

"...the pricing model followed by US carriers insulates the monthly price of a data plan from the upfront subsidized price of a device. As a result, one data plan costs the same on a Samsung Galaxy Exhilerate or an iPhone 5, and the natural relationship between price and demand is artificially suppressed (upgrade policies have made this even worse). This gave high-end smartphones (including the iPhone) an unnaturally high share of the smartphone market." (http://www.tech-thoughts.net/2013/03/whats-wrong-us-smartphone-market.html)

If it costs the same on a contract to have a cheap-ass phone or the latest, greatest iPhone 5 or Galaxy SIII or Galaxy Note, then you are going to get the more expensive phone. Interesting that ComScore's latest report shows that Samsung and Apple both gained market share, and that it was Motorola and HTC that lost market share. So, it's not really Apple vs Android - it's Apple + Samsung vs Everyone Else.

In fact, what is surprising is that under a US contract pricing model that strongly favors the iPhone, Apple is still losing so badly to its Linux-based competition.

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I haven't used Android extensively but is it any more correct to call it Linux based than it would be to call iOS BSD/Mach based? (Serious question)

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You can get to its *nix base pretty easily. The file system has the layout you would largely expect.

That said, you can use android without the slightest clue it is linux under the hood and most do.

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Linux

>"That said, you can use android without the slightest clue it is linux under the hood and most do."

You could say that about any flavor of desktop linux for the past 10+ years. With all the GUI programs and desktop environments, how many people really muck around with configuration files and the command line anymore?

I'll bet most users of Ubuntu and Mint have no clue what the difference is between /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, /usr/sbin, or that they even exist. Try telling someone they need to download the kernel headers for some module to compile properly, and they'll ask questions like "what's the kernel"? "what's a header"? "what's a module"?

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Thumb Up

@Adam 1

That's what I was looking for. Cheers for the straight answer.

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Re: It's because Americans pay the same on a long-term contract no matter the phone we buy

"Driven by Quality and Patriotism, U.S. Shoppers Will Pay a 10 to 60 Percent Premium for the Made in USA Brand Across a Broad Range of Product Categories, According to a Boston Consulting Group Survey" ... "Nearly 60 percent of U.S. consumers had chosen Made in USA products over less expensive Chinese goods at least once in the month before the survey."

(http://www.bcg.com/media/pressreleasedetails.aspx?id=tcm:12-121840)

I'm sure that most Americans assume that all American brands are "Made in USA".

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WTF?

Re: It's because Americans pay the same on a long-term contract no matter the phone we buy

In fact, what is surprising is that under a US contract pricing model that strongly favors the iPhone, Apple is still losing so badly to its Linux-based competition.

What is surprising to me is that an innocuous article about phones can bring the linux fanbois out of the woodwork...

You think end-users give a damn if their phone runs linux, BSD or friggin VAX?

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Re: It's because Americans pay the same on a long-term contract no matter the phone we buy

Not sure the OP ever insinuated that they do, that seems to be entirely your assumption. Not like it was an incorrect statement either, does use of the word Linux touch a nerve for some reason?

What the OP seemed to be observing is that under a system where the price you pay remains the same whichever phone you choose, it should be a worry for Apple that such a proportion of people still don't go for what's marketed as the cutting edge fashionable choice.

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Anonymous Coward

I haven't used Android extensively but is it any more correct to call it Java based than it would be to call iOS Objective-C based? (Serious question)

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Anonymous Coward

@Ross K

Ad hominen alert.

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"With all the GUI programs and desktop environments, how many people really muck around with configuration files and the command line anymore?"

In a perfect world you'd never have to, but I always found something I had to faff around with terminal to get working which I hate doing (same with OSX - "it just works" my a$$...)

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Windows

Re: It's because Americans pay the same on a long-term contract no matter the phone we buy

> runs linux, BSD or friggin VAX?

Where can I get this VAXFONE?

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you are correct on both counts

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@m a d r a

It's not Java based, as it's neither written in nor runs Java

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FAIL

Re: @KjetilS

no but the Dalvik VM is based off an open-source implementation of Java - and Dalvik is a core part of Android, so yeah you could say it is based of Java too

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: It's because Americans pay the same on a long-term contract no matter the phone we buy

>"Where can I get this VAXFONE?"

EXACTLY what I was thinking!

I want a phone that runs its OS on magnetic tape.

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FAIL

A story based on bullshit measurements?

Really??? Come on you can do better.

Measuring ONE Android manufacture and calling it Android. Fail...

Surveying people. FAIL.

"MobiLens data is derived from an intelligent online survey of a nationally representative sample of mobile subscribers age 13 and older."

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Re: A story based on bullshit measurements?

Sounds more like

"Results against what my personal Bias wants to read??? FAIL"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A story based on bullshit measurements?

> Measuring ONE Android manufacture and calling it Android. Fail...

Where does the article say it's doing that? Also, Android statistics are broken down by manufacturer in the 2nd chart of the article so the author is obviously aware that Android != Samsung.

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Anonymous Coward

Missed the point of the OS chart

It does seem, Señor Shitpeas, that there's a river in Egypt down which you have oft sailed. Do you believe in no surveys and/or polls whatsoever?

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FAIL

Re: Missed the point of the OS chart

Not at all.

We all know Android ACTIVATIONS are contiuning to skyrocket, and activations are REAL data. Surveys are bullshit.

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Re: Missed the point of the OS chart

The entire market continues to skyrocket; given that the real story implied by the numbers seems to be "no monumental changes", you'd expect Android's numbers to go up accordingly.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Missed the point of the OS chart

"Surveys are bullshit."

You don't half spout some bollocks...

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WTF?

Symbian? or is it Mythian?

If Symbian has 0% in the OS market share, who is making the hardware then? Where are they in the manufacturer graph, and why are they shipping barebone mobiles? I'm not doubting iOS is catching Android, but I'm questioning those graphs.

Only thing that looks promising about the graphing up there, is that maybe a company is shipping a barebone "Run what you want" mobile, in which case I'm "All In" with whatever company that is.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Symbian? or is it Mythian?

> If Symbian has 0% in the OS market share, who is making the hardware then? Where are they in the manufacturer graph, and why are they shipping barebone mobiles?

Who says anybody is making Symbian hardware that's sold in the US, and "Symbian" ISN'T in the manufacturer graph.

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Paris Hilton

it must be late

But why doesn't the IOS graph match the Apple graph?

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Boffin

Re: it must be late

Look again; it does.

Although whoever created the graphs did a poor job, changing colours and time period scale between graphs which did not help make it clear.

Interesting how smooth the graphs are though; the 2 year contract approach in the US, obviously works to smooth the peaks and troughs of iPhone/Galaxy model launches.

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Re: it must be smooth

"comScore's latest report, which calculates stats on a three-month rolling average" irons out rapid fluctuations to give better idea of the overall trend.

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Go

It would be passing strange

For Apple not to get a bump on the launch of a major new iPhone would be odd indeed.

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Re: It would be passing strange

Exactly. I could swear I remember reading similar articles like this around this time last year, then a bunch of doom and gloom articles about Apple's falling US share in the summer round about the time people start waiting on the next iPhone everyone knows is coming.

I fully expect to see some "Apple is doomed, US market share falls by big%!" articles this summer, with Android benefiting from the pent up demand for the GS4 and many iPhone buyers holding off their purchases until next one is released.

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Re: It would be passing strange

But then surely the interesting thing is the year-on-year trend? We're very close to 6 months in to the iPhone 5 now and were almost six months in to the 4S at the same time a year ago as both were October launches. The S4 is coming only about 11 months after the S3 but the S2 was twelve months before that so Sansung is essentially puts the Samsung on an annual cycle too.

For my money the iPhone trend is real but essentially insignificant because the change is small and appears to be limited to one market.

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Re: It would be passing strange

"For Apple not to get a bump on the launch of a major new iPhone would be odd indeed"

So you missed the part about the figures using a rolling 3 month average to smooth out fluctuations then?

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Anonymous Coward

The real success story ...

Wow just look at MS share soaring just like RICHTO and The Vogon said it would. Oh wait

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Re: The real success story ...

They are just resting!

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Happy

Re: The real success story ...

Nokia are pining for the fjords!

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It's not a per cent lead, it's a point lead

> but that 12.8 per cent lead

Surely this must be in someone's style book somewhere. It's a lead of 12.8 points, not 12.8 percent

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Meh

Bit of a non-story this

The smartphone market in particular is like Wacky Races - Apple releases something and there's a very predictable sales bump and then Samsumg release their latest Galaxy phone and that does the same too.

The reason Samsung is slightly tailing off is that people are waiting for the S4 (and similarly a rise in Apple can be attributed to people being too impatient and wanting the shiny NOW and switching to the iPhone 5 - plus all the locked-in folk with Apple who are stuck on an upgrade treadmill that has no hardware competitors to tempt them away whilst being able to stay with iOS).

This has been happening for years, but the difference recently is that it's *Apple* playing catch up to Android (and yes, because of the single-vendor hardware for iOS, it is Apple vs. Android just as much as iOS vs. Android).

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Anonymous Coward

Androids are Instantly Obsolete

The biggest problem with the Androids is that they are basically unsupported, and once you buy one the typical manufacturer has no further interest in you. If you want a bug fix, buy a new phone (in two years when your contract is up, or right now with a fat roll of cash).

This is a major reason I went with an iPhone, as long as the phone's processor can handle the new iOS, you get it for free. Forever. None of this Android baloney where even if the mfg coughs up a new version, the ILEC won't put a dime into getting their bloatware installed and then pushing the resulting mess into the field. Oh no, that cuts into profits, no sirree sir, those chumps that bought the phones, they can just wait and buy a new fixed phone and a shiny new contract to go with it (or pay full fare for a new phone).

So, basically, once you buy an Android phone you are branded a chump having an obsolete phone, especially if you have some bugs since they are unlikely to be fixed in your lifetime. If you want a phone to work, get an iPhone. For what it is worth, I wanted an Android phone, but they all were buggy and for all intents and purposes unsupported... why pay basically the same price as an iPhone and get a poorer quality experience and, in the long run if you want to use the phone a longish time, end up paying a higher price in time, effort, and most of all cash??

Call me a fanbois if you want, but jailbreaking a phone to fix it is not my idea of a good way to spend time. It might be your idea of a pleasant diversion, and if so, have at it. I've quite enough firmware to create as it is, and I'm PAID to do so, enough to afford an iPhone even.

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Re: Androids are Instantly Obsolete

I've had this same conversation to a large extent and though I wouldn't necessarily say they're obsolete immediately, they are so much sooner than other equivalents (well perhaps not MS...WinPho 7 - 8 for example).

When it comes to my phone of choice, like yourself, I don't want to have to root it, hack it, crack it or in some other way manipulate it just to make it usable, but then I have a very low demand in what I want from it so probably don't fall into the 'average' tech user of phones.

I have a colleague that's forever telling me how good 'droid is..especially the OS he's shoehorned on that's written (his words) by some teenager in his bedroom...and how his phone can do all sorts of gizmos and tricks that my iPhone can't but he never quite gets the point - for _me_ the phone works well. It does what _I_ want, well enough for _me_.

It's a phone. It's not representative of a mindset or lifestyle (and if it is you have a real issue). I couldn't care squat if someone has something fast, bigger, brighter or shinier. But like I said, I'm not in the target market :-)

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Re: Androids are Instantly Obsolete

I must be hallucinating, cause every Andriod phone that I've own has gotten updates.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Androids are Instantly Obsolete

So all the phones you've ever owned are now running the official builds of the most recent possible OSs that support their hardware? That doesn't square with anything I've read, unless you only buy Nexuses.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Androids are Instantly Obsolete

"It's a phone. It's not representative of a mindset or lifestyle (and if it is you have a real issue). I couldn't care squat if someone has something fast, bigger, brighter or shinier. But like I said, I'm not in the target market :-)"

Indeed... I have a laptop, a desktop, an HTPC, and a tablet. I do not need to run BitTorrent on my phone, nor do I have any interest in watching movies and TV on a "giant" 5 inch screen when I have a 42 inch TV at home.

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Re: Androids are Instantly Obsolete

" Androids is that they are basically unsupported, and once you buy one the typical manufacturer has no further interest in you. If you want a bug fix, buy a new phone (in two years when your contract is up, or right now with a fat roll of cash)"

clearly that's not true. I have gotten bug fixes.

You said you will get the latest OS update the Iphone can handle. my Andriod phones has the latest OS it can handle. Right now my Driod 4 has 4.1.2 on it. Considering that 4.2 is the latest OS I would say that's damn good.

Of course you hole premise was that andriods do not get updates. When I proved that wrong you changed to well does it get the latest up date even thought you said the Iphone gets the latest update it can handle. latest update and latest update it can handle are not the same.

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Meh

Re: Androids are Instantly Obsolete

I think this argument fails if you do a bit of market research on Android updates before you splurge your cash. It's hopefully common knowledge (not seemingly in your case because you never mention it) that Nexus phones are the ones to buy if you never intend to root/ROM your phone. They get the latest Android release first and are indeed "non-obsolete". I think conveniently forgetting to mention Nexus phones does indeed mark you out as a bit of an iPhone fanbois!

Where Android scores heavily, IMHO, is its choice - you do indeed have the Nexus phones if you never want to hack anything, but then a myriad of alternatives if you do (though I'd steer clear of the Samsung Galaxy S3/S4's in this case). Most popular models of Android phones have custom ROMs and this is where, again, you do a bit of research.

http://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/ is a nice place to start - it has official and unofficial device ports sections so you can see which phone models can run CyanogenMod. Heck, I have Nexus 7 and 10 tablets which can run the very latest official JellyBean 4.2.2, but I still rooted/ROM'ed them to CyanogenMod because it gives me even more config options than the stock Android does.

iPhones are fine if you're not technically savvy, like being locked into Apple's ecosystem and have enough dosh to afford one, but there's a fair number of people who don't feel that way. Note that even C|Net (Apple fans the lot of them) has a new "prizefight" video between iOS 6 and Android Jellybean and, qute shockingly, Android actually (narrowly) wins!

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Coat

Re: iPhones are Instantly Obsolete

Sure, the OS version might say "version 6", but does it have all of the v6 features?

I'd love to see you play with Siri on an iPhone 4, just for instance.

I guess this means that iPhones are obsolete the moment they are released! Lolololroflchopper *cough* *hack* NURSE, my pills please!

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