Smartphone Wars

New Subscribers Prefer Android To Apple, According to Q2 2010 Reports

Jessica Thornsby

Two new surveys report gains in Android market share, and Android beats iPhone when it comes to winning over new subscribers.

It’s been a good week for Android fans, with the release of two surveys that show an increase in smartphone market share for Google’s OS.

First up, the smartphone market as a whole is continuing to grow. A survey from the Nielson Company indicates that the smartphone market has risen from 23% of the U.S. mobile market in the previous quarter, to 25% in Q2 2010. Nielsen predicts that smartphones will have overtaken traditional mobile phones, in the U.S. market, by the end of 2011. This trend is supported by the second survey, by Canalys, who reported a growth in the worldwide smartphone market of 64% annually in Q2 2010.

In a growing market, it’s all about the new subscribers. According to the Nielson Company survey, over the last six months Android has acquired 4% more new subscribers than Apple. The Apple OS accounts for 23% of the ‘Recent Acquires’ market, while Android accounts for 25%. However, it’s worth noting that these figures do not include the iPod Touch and iPad, which run on the same operating system as the iPhone, and also that these figures come from the second quarter, which means they will not properly reflect the boost Apple is expected to receive from the launch of the iPhone 4.

Blackberry is in the lead when it comes to new customer acquisition, at 33%. However, it might not pose such a big threat to Apple and Google: the past six months have seen a decline in new Blackberry customers, suggesting Blackberry’s lead may not last for much longer. The percentage of new Blackberry customers, has dropped from 45% of the new market, to 33%, over the six month period.

Apple does have a strong customer base, though, with 89% of existing iPhone users planning to stick to the iPhone OS for their next smartphone purchase. When it comes to enticing away iPhone users, the other operating systems make little impact: 6% of iPhone users would consider switching to Android for their next purchase, with 2% wondering about making a move to Blackberry. Android is in second place among the major smartphone developers when it comes to brand loyalty: 71% of Android users are planning to stick with Android, although quite a chunk (21%) are planning to purchase an iPhone next, which could be a problem for Android.

Meanwhile, the Canalys survey focuses on the number of global device shipments, and reports that the growth in the shipment of Android devices across a range of vendors, is the “most remarkable” of all the shipment figures. They cite a growth of 886% in shipment of Android-based smartphones in Q2 2010.

This trend is also visible in the Asia Pacific market. Android devices combined reached almost 475,000 units in China, in Q2 2010, which is even more remarkable considering Android had no presence in China a year ago. And, this trend looks set to continue, with China Mobile currently developing its own Android-based platform. When it comes to the Chinese smartphone market, Canalys are optimistic about Android’s potential, predicting that it will be amongst the platforms that will “drive growth in the coming quarters and years.”


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