Android Nielsen Numbers – iPhone Impact

There’s a lot of Apple baiting going along with the dual announcements by Canalys and Nielsen that Android has passed Apple in total marketshare in both the US and Worldwide based off 2010 Q2 numbers.

Let’s go to the charts, before some stunning analysis. Nielsen first (from AppleInsider)

The hockey stick is Android with a stunning climb in 6 months of over 20% in terms of recent purchasers. Now this is being framed mainly as an Apple v Android data point. Now, while interesting, it’s overlooking the fact that Android’s climb is due to two main factors. One, their recent biggest climbs quarters are at the back end of the iPhone 3GS life cycle, notice the hump in the Apple line (especially last quarter when the entire world knew a new phone was coming, making Apple’s 8.5 million iPhones sold much more impressive). Two, Android is really taking market share away from RIM and Windows (their lines are not rebounding only descending), and relegating Palm to almost nothing.

This is the 6 month recent purchaser view, so lets look at total ownership

Here Android is still trailing Apple mainly due to the 18 month headstart. Apple has increased market share steadily with a big jump with each new iPhone release during the summer. Tracking Android’s progress during Q3 with the every iPhone 4 available being sold will probably be a better indicator in the Apple v Android battle. Looking at the other lines, RIM is holding serve overall which seems fine except the Smartphone market is growing ( from 16% penetration in Q2 2009 to 25% in Q2 2010), and Microsoft and Palm  have dropped a combined 18% points in the same timeframe.

Other thoughts

  • Palm might be just dead. HP is talking big about using the WebOS everywhere, but as a relevant smartphone entity it might be done. No one is buying Palm phones, and there’s zero signs of new phones on the horizon. Their developer base must be in complete disarray. WebOS 2.0 is going to have to be as feature rich as iOS 4 and Android 2.2 for Palm to stand any chance at all.
  • RIM’s BlackBerry OS 6 release already had huge expectations, but BlackBerry is bleeding new customers and based on the same Nielsen data there’s no potential lift coming from current BlackBerry customers. According to Nielsen, only 42% of current BlackBerry users plan on staying with the phone. In comparison, 89% percent of iPhone users plan on staying with the platform, Android has a 71% sticking rate as well. The new BlackBerry devices has to get new buyers, and convince existing BlackBerry users to upgrade. Here’s an early review from Boy Genius Report (sounds like it will keep the 42% who want to stay, but isn’t going to do anything about the 51% ready to move to an iPhone or Android).
  • Canalys has published World smartphone market share numbers which are based on sales not the data used by Nielsen. Android has overtaken Apple with a 16% share in Q2 2010 versus 13% for Apple. Nokia appears to be losing the most ground, and RIM is also dropping market share as well. US smartphone market trends appear to be playing out worldwide. US market share based on Q2 sales could be even more favorable for Android since Nokia’s 38% World market share becomes reduced to 2% in the US. Apple’s iPhone 4 numbers for the rest of the year worldwide will be key to watch.
  • The power of Android releasing premium smartphones across all carriers in the US. Motorola’s Droid lineup on Verizon, HTC EVO on Sprint, HTC MyTouch phones on T-Mobile along with the Nexus One for Q1 2010, and finally on AT&T with the Samsung Captivate.
  • Apple may not be able to keep a phone design in play for two years like they did with the iPhone 3g/3Gs design. Apple may need to refresh the hardware features of the iPhone 4 next summer to a greater degree than they did with the 3g/3GS. Next summer Apple should be thinking about adding Near Field Communication technology (turn your iPhone into a Visa card), more storage (32GB for $99), better cameras, and faster processors. The current iPhone 4 at $99 for 16 GB also would be a big seller.
  • To repeat an often rant here, Apple needs to add other US carriers in the next 6 months. Apple has left an opening for Android, and it’s time to close that gap. In addition, Apple is nearly matching Android selling to a potential base of only 90.1 million subscribers with AT&T versus Android selling to nearly 270 million subscribers. MoD would love to see the Android numbers broken down by carrier in the US.
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