back to article Android spanks Apple iOS in sales as fanbois hold out for iPhone 5

Samsung is riding the rising tide of Android-powered mobile phones as the world reels from recession and Apple fanbois hold out for the iPhone 5. Global sales of mobile phones fell year-on-year by 2.3 per cent to 419 million devices in the second quarter of 2012, according to numbers from Gartner today. Smartphones accounted …


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  1. wowfood

    Is it really though?

    Is it really just a case of apple fans are holding out for the iPhone 5? Or have they finally seen sense and gone the way of the droid...

    okay yeah they're holding out.

    1. Mike Judge

      Re: Is it really though?

      Indeed, there was nothing in any of that that indicated that the iPhone5 was the reason. The rot set in with Apple long before that. I can name at least 10 Android handsets that are superior, cheaper, more functional, better performing, ,more intuitive, more flexible and more open... That is FAR more likely to be the reason.

      1. the-it-slayer

        Re: Is it really though?

        Really? Did you not think that Android phones are much cheapers than the iPhone's? In these financial times, what are the average joe, average pleb and average teenagers going to buy? Android. And considering even if you split those 10 phones from that large chunk individually, iPhone would still be beating most of them in terms of sales. I'd only say the Samsung Galaxy phone is the only contender at the moment on a one for one basis.

        Please take those fandroid glasses off though. It's really getting boring here now. Everyone likes what they want to like. Just don't put personal opinions in the way of facts.

        Personally, I think most Android phones suck because of the 4"+ screens that make your hand want to scream because you can barely hold it. But the sales don't suggest that though 'ey? Fact is, they swap the market with tat generally.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is it really though?

          Having swapped from iPhone 4 to a Nokia Lumia 800 (just wanted something cheap until WP8) you can appreciate the build quality of the iPhone. They feel solid, the buttons are nice and clicky. Everything else seems cheap.

          But it's a combination of hardware and software that you are buying. I don't like Android and it's millions of versions, the hardware may be good but it's mostly ugly. The iPhone hardware is the best made and designed, but iOS is only plodding along and I don't see kicking out all of Google's apps in iOS6 as an upgrade. That's just politics and development time wasted.

          So the only alternative was Windows Phone which is a really nice, the fastest most responsive mobile OS I've used.

        2. JEDIDIAH

          Re: Is it really though?

          > Really? Did you not think that Android phones are much cheapers than the iPhone's?

          I have never thought of this. On the other hand, I actually have an informed opinion that has come from actually looking at the facts and not just being content to spread someone else's propaganda talking points.

          Android phones are no more or less subsidized than any Apple product.

          "Cheap" simply isn't the issue.

      2. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Is it really though?

        Indeed, there was nothing in any of that that indicated that the iPhone5 was the reason. The rot set in with Apple long before that. I can name at least 10 Android handsets that are superior, cheaper, more functional, better performing, ,more intuitive, more flexible and more open... That is FAR more likely to be the reason.


        Keep telling yourself that. I remember the same things being said right about this time last year, and then even when the expectation for iPhone 5 was deflated by the arrival of the iPhone 4S that was not much changed from the 4, sales went through the roof.

        Don't worry, iPhone sales will drop again next summer for the same reason and you Apple haters can get yourselves all worked in a lather about it once again. One year, you might even be right. But not this year.


      Re: Is it really though?

      My local iFan is very close to ditching the iPhone for a Galaxy and is already quite impressed with the Galaxy Tab to the point of moving away from the iPad too.

      It turns out that 7 inches isn't such a pointless form factor after all.

      1. AdamChew

        Re: Is it really though?

        Goog fanatics are simply amazing paying good money for a dead end OS phone.

        There is one born every minute.

        1. HMB

          Re: Is it really though?

          "Goog fanatics are simply amazing paying good money for a dead end OS phone."

          "There is one born every minute."

          I'm afraid that must be yourself kind Sir, as the people who are buying brand new iPad 2's will not be getting the most exciting stuff like Siri in iOS6. It hasn't even stopped being sold and is a dead end OS for that device. Nothing new to see here.

          A larger number in iOS doesn't mean you get the features, ooo, but you do get the shiny number! Well done you!

          I've got the latest update to Jelly Bean on my Google Galaxy Nexus and I'm very impressed with it. I can say "listen to the Prodigy" and it will start playing that using Spotify. I hear that Apple are going to copy that feature soon.

          So I'm getting updates, but you seem to think I'm not, I guess that means you're just full of Apple.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Is it really though?

            You have a point about Apple's tactics, but on the other hand all iPhones released since 2009 will get a free supported upgrade to an OS version that hasn't even been released yet.

            Google's phone from 2010 didn't get a supported upgrade to Google's OS from 2011.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Holding out makes sense

      I'm a big iPhone fan, but there's something very tempting about the larger screens of the HTC One X and Galaxy III (though I hate the latter's design-it seems icy and lifeless to me). And Android is far less rubbish than it used to be, and WP7 doesn't work with retina-density screens. So there's a reason to wait to see what Apple comes up with. The other key thing is quad-core smartphones arriving-we've reached the point where the bloatware allegations about Android matter less and less.

      The other big thing that matters is the falling prices of smartphones. A lot of people are keen to trade their dumbphone for a cheap Samsung Prevail or similar. The Prevail is Samsung's best-selling phone in the USA.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Is it really though?

      Does it really matter? It's very good link-bait and that's increasingly all that matters.

    5. LarsG


      Has sent me seven text messages in three weeks offering an S3 for free if I upgrade!

      Strangely I am not on vodafone.

      Could this be why android phones are falling off the shelves?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No wonder with Samsung giving away the s3 for free on al ist every tariff.

      Soon to be found as the free gift in a box of cornflakes if it carries on like this.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Android phones are cheap, Apple phones are not

      We are in a recession so I suppose it follows that the sheep look for a bargain.

      Bottom line, you generally get what you pay for, and there is an awful lot of cheap plastic used in Android phones.

      But hey, just buy what you can afford.

      1. vic 4

        Re: Android phones are cheap, Apple phones are not

        Some are, some aren't. Top end android phones cost more than iphones. It's like anything, you get what you pay for. But with an android device you get more choice.

      2. Bodhi

        Re: Android phones are cheap, Apple phones are not

        I still find it amusing when people accuse the iPhone 4 / 4S of being a well made device. Sure they may feel reasonably well put together, however we have them in the office and about 4 have been broken in the past month by fairly insignificant drops onto the floor. Even with a decent bumper on them that terribly flash glass it's wrapped in smashes leaving the phone unuseable. Whereas a clumsy fool like me can drop his Sony all over the shop (without a case) and it generally tends to bounce.

        Durability is quite an important part of quality in my book, and I'm sorry, but the iPhone sucks major amount of donkey balls in this regard. Nokia and Sony have no problem making a drop proof phone, why can't Apple with all their millions?

        (apart from the fact they'd probably try to patent it)

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Android phones are cheap, Apple phones are not

          What the hell is your floor made of? My girlfriend has a 4S with no case/bumpers at all and she's dropped it on concrete over half a dozen times in the past year (because for some reason she thinks talking on the phone while carrying a cup of coffee and walking her dog at the same time is a reasonable thing to do) It has some scuffs on it but no cracks and certainly hasn't shattered.

          Perhaps the bumpers your officemates are using ends up concentrating the force of the blow into one place making it more likely to shatter?

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Still have to buy a new phone to get an upgrade!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They will hold out even for Dog Poo if marketed under Apple logo and brand.

    1. g e

      Re: Sure

      iPlop ?

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Sure

      Grow up.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too bad Nokia if you would have gone Android you may still of had a name.

    1. Bob Vistakin

      Wheras Apple have just turned into a bunch of Android wannabes!

  4. Armando 123

    Well-known phenomenon in the Apple world

    This was a known, predictable performance in Apple sales for the last ten years. New PowerBook rumored and the current model long in the tooth? Sales will drop before the next keynote. And it makes complete sense, too. If you wait a couple-three months, you will get a better-speced, more feature-rich item for basically the same money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well-known phenomenon in the Apple world

      yes. apple would be able to sell more, if it would enable the new iOS software features (Siri, Facetime over cellular network) in older phones. since it doesn't, people will hold out earlier than with other brands that deliver all software features to all hardware supporting the OS version, because nobody wants to have a phone that is not supporting a new cool feature. In the same logic I also expect that users are holding out for WP8 (since it will not be compatible with the current WP7 phones), any data on that? And so you get dents in the sales curve.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        This makes no sense

        "since it doesn't, people will hold out earlier than with other brands that deliver all software features to all hardware supporting the OS version, because nobody wants to have a phone that is not supporting a new cool feature"

        I hate Apple's brand engineering tactics too, but all Apple phones announced since 2009 will be upgraded (in some shape or form) to a version of iOS that hasn't been released yet.The phone Google released in 2010 didn't get an (official) upgrade to the version of Android released last year.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well-known phenomenon in the Apple world

        I suppose that it's confirmation that I am not an Apple Fanboi if I am baffled by a need to wait for new versions of WordPerfect on these systems? I thought it had died years ago.

        1. Philip Lewis
          Thumb Up

          Re: Well-known phenomenon in the Apple world

          Droll, old son, droll

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well-known phenomenon in the Apple world

        Twisted logic. People wouldn't buy new iPhone's if they knew there old one could do the same thing. Same fact why old Nokia's lasted because they made phone calls and sent texts like every other phone that came out.

        Is Siri a "new cool feature"? Not really, I can still make phone calls and texts with my iP4. Happy as can be here.

  5. Hans 1 Silver badge

    Droids & Clones

    The clone wars are in full swing and Apple is the strongest single player, leading the pack - everyone else is cloning. Of course the combined muscle of the many clone manufacturers is greater than Apple's, yet, they are all waiting for the new features of the new iOS and iPhone/iPad for the design of their next models. Can Apple innovate faster than the cloners or can Apple win the court case ? If not, they will be doomed.

    I've got popcorn in the pocket.

    1. g e

      Re: Droids & Clones

      Nice, seeing as Apple are traditionally late to market with virtually every phone 'feature' since the camera

    2. HMB

      Re: Droids & Clones

      Are you the designated troll for this evenings entertainment? :P

      Being adult for a while:

      Everything's a remix, nothing is original. :)

      Multi touch itself was demoed at TED in TED 2006. Jobs claimed Apple invented multi touch as a brand new revolutionary and magical thing in 2007.

  6. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    A lot of iPhone users I know are holding out, for two reasons:

    1) Their contracts are not up for renewal - 24 month contracts are the norm these days

    2) The iPhone 4s, other than a very nice screen, has no advantages over their existing iPhone. Siri is a waste of time, the camera is an improvement but the previous camera was acceptable for most users.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The future for iPhone is offering a bigger one.

      How this is going to work isn't clear to me: I think they're going to go for a single big iPhone, but I think this is a recipe for alienating current iPhone customers. I would have preferred that they go with an iPhone and an iPhone Grande (like the Starbucks coffee with which it shares a markup...).


      Resistance is futile.

      The local iFan that was seduced by the 7 inch Galaxy Tab 2 was so impressed by it that she broke down and go herself a G3. She was tired of waiting for an iPhone 5 and didn't see the 4s as enough of an upgrade.

      Now she's been fully assimilated.

      Early to arrive. Early to leave...

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Please compare like with like.

    If you read the article iPhone sales were up 47.5% compared with the same quarter as last year which was the comparison used for Samsung sales in the article.

    However Apple sales comparing this quarter with last quarter were down but no such information was given for Samsung. Why not?

    You don't compare one quarter's sales with the previous quarter but with the same quarter in the previous year to account for seasonal variations in purchasing. So just another El reg troll bait article?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Please compare like with like.

      Yeah, we had spotted that - which is why the story is about Android v iOS than Samsung v Apple.

      Although Samsung was up 29pc on 2011, Apple was up 47pc, even though Apple dipped from Q1 to Q2 this year - that's the backing behind Gartner's view that people are holding out for the iPhone 5.

      However that doesn't change the fact that Android grew and iOS stayed static.


      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Please compare like with like.

        A Reg hack talking about facts in an article that includes Apple? Has hell frozen over?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Serious question

    Does anyone know what percentage of iPhones are sold OTC as opposed to "contracted"?

    While subsidised contracts are the norm in quite a few countries, it is by no means the only type of sales.

    Pay as you go is exceedingly popular here, and the "actual selling price" aka. "minimum amount payable" to a carrier must be clearly published to consumers as well. Any phone is available OTC at market rate for the device.

    Today's market rate is (incl. 25% sales tax).

    SIII/16GB = 4,330 DKR

    4S/16GB = 4,440 DKR

  9. Jim 59

    Feature phones ?

    "Smartphones accounted for 36.7 per cent of all mobe sales"

    Not sure I understand - does this mean simple feature phones still dominate the mobile market ?

    1. lurker

      Re: Feature phones ?

      Yes. Remember this is globally. Quite a lot of parts of the world are well behind the USA / Europe / richer parts of the far east, which is really how Nokia has clung on to this point, this still shift a lot of basic Symbian phones in some places.

  10. GregC

    Not much anticipation here

    Round here there doesn't really seem to be much interest in a new iPhone. Of the three iPhone owners in my immediate vicinity, one has already gone to the S3 (although after the initial shiny toy period he grew to dislike the iPhone intensely, so that wasn't a surprise), another one will be going S3 when upgrade time comes, and the other is mid contract so isn't that fussed. The rest of us are all on Android already, apart from one N8 that will also become an S3 shortly.

    Now this is just a small group of geeks in an office, but round these parts the iPhone has definitely lost the "must-have" factor it used to have.

    1. Shagbag

      the iPhone has definitely lost the "must-have" factor it used to have

      Agreed. The 4S was seen as money for old rope. Hell, it even looked like the iPhone 4. iPad3? iPad3 = iPad2 + better screen res and a 'massive' 5MP camera (like the one in my £30 HTC Wildfire S). These days Apple seems more concerned with litigating past glories than with innovating for the future.

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: the iPhone has definitely lost the "must-have" factor it used to have (@Shagbag)

        The iPad 3 is an iPad 2 with a higher resolution screen, faster processors and a better camera. If you're going to define that as not being a sufficient improvement then you should probably stop paying attention to the industry as it's basically complete. I still don't believe anyone uses cameras on tablets as anything other than a last resort but the screen improvement was significant.

        You're right about the 4S though — though it had a faster processor and a better camera, the experience of using it is essentially identical to the 4.

  11. AdamChew

    Gartner numbers are just hit air

    Where did Gartner get their numbers from certainly not the manufacturers so is there an element of truth there.

    They are just guessing the numbers and hard to believe sane and smart people believe them.

    There is one born every minute and the con game which these analysis companies created is suckering everyone i.e. hot air for cash.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Samsung numbers are shipped, not sold.

  13. sleepy

    never mind the quality, feel the width

    The article says Android is 3 times as popular as IOS. Being the largest selling phone OS does not make it the most popular (which means liked by people). It's clear the majority of Android users don't care much about their phone, and don't use it much beyond a feature phone either. Android may outnumber IOS by 3 to 1, but IOS devices outnumber Android by 3 to 1 on the web. Four out of five Android users are not on the latest release 4.x, whereas four out of five IOS users are on the latest release (Android 4, IOS 5 both released Oct 2011). (Netmarketshare).

    In JD Power and other user satisfaction ratings, iPhone comes top. In Changewave smartphone buying intentions, iPhone is ahead of all Android.

    Android may one day wipe IOS off the map. But at the moment iPhone has the stronger, more loyal and more profitable customer base.

    1. Heimdallr

      Re: never mind the quality, feel the width

      Sorry but that must mean that there are many many more ipads than iphones in the market, which I refuse to believe.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My 3GS works just fine

    I'm not waiting for an upgrade I don't need.

  15. briesmith

    Mobe Manufacturers - What Market are They In?

    Not sure about the US but as far as I can tell from what I read, mobile phones in the UK is a mature market (as is the rest of western Europe - the east part may be different) with little opportunity for sales growth in numbers of phones held. (Phones aren't like TVs and PCs where there is a real opportunity to sell more than one to a customer). So the important metric I would suggest is the number of mobe owners prepared to switch OS.

    In the Symbian days changing UI - from Nokia, say, to Sony or Samsung - was a real wrench/shock and I think retailers found it hard generally to persuade us to move. Changing the actual OS - from Apple to Android or Windows - is an even bigger ask.

    This must play to Apple's advantage where as first arrivers they have established a very strong user base. That this is supported by quite strong feelings of "must have" (good Apple marketing) and loyalty/inertia means, I think, Android and Microsoft are in for a very long slog.

    Microsoft may be able to leverage its PC dominance but only if it is prepared to sync the two so that owning a Windows phone and a Windows PC becomes seamless and an obvious thing to do.This is completely the reverse of their strategy with WP7, where they went out of their way to prevent any hook-up such that WP7 mobes actually worked better with Apple and Android.

    Most people still rely on Windows for their work and home computing, making their phone an integral part of that seems a no-brainer to me.

    As for Android, if Google don't act to purify the brand it will become very discredited and win a reputation for flakiness and something nerds like. That would be a very dangerous turn of events. Joe Public doesn't like flaky, nerdy or anything that isn't comfortably mainstream as the UNIX/Linux world knows to its cost. Google need to start charging for Android development licences (I can hear you all now "that'll never work") so they can begin to exercise control over their product in the same way that Apple and Microsoft do.

    Another big ask?

  16. M man

    hurry up apple.

    Apple my lose the "flakers" by making the 4S a rip off and delaying the 5.

    i site in a team of 7

    two have iphones.

    one got thier 4 as a present so thiere dedication is "by default", being a devils advocate ive move thier pro apple stance to meh(although i think they are still pro)

    the other got a 4S and was happy, but seeing my year old neo, a new SIII, SII, HTC one and even the xperia mini all do somthing his phone cant do seems to be wearing, he is now, id say 49% happy with his phone.

    if apple delay he will come to the dark side.

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