The figures they quote are based on sales data from more than 150,000 completed online consumer research surveys from each month for 2010 so far. According to NPD these surveys represent the “entire population of US consumers”. But they are surveys, not raw retail figures.
Reading through the report the figures they quote seem to show that Research in Motion (RIM) still hold the number one spot, with 36 percent of the mobile phone market in the US. Android’s share has grown quite impressively to 28 percent, and Apple has lost some ground, to fall slightly into 3rd place, with 21 percent.
The reasons that NPD give for this is that Apple’s iPhone is a victim of only being available on one network, and in one flavour. Where as Android handsets are available in more flavours, and on several networks.
Even so these results are quite a shift from a slightly different kind of report put out by ComScore earlier in the year, which showed that Android only had 5.2 percent of all web smartphone traffic in the US, against the iPhone’s 25.3 percent. By comparison though, let’s remember that those figures were based on figures gleaned up to the end of 2009 for smart phones using the internet. Not sales.
So bearing in mind that NPD’s figures today are sales figures for the first quarter of this year, it is entirely reasonable to draw the conclusion from them that Android has been selling like hot-cakes for the last few months. Which would mean that while there are more iPhones out there overall than Android handsets, Android is stealing a march on the iPhone right now.
However, both phones are still selling very well.
There is also of course the possibility that consumers are holding off buying iPhones (to some small degree) while they wait for the next iPhone. But this would have a very small overall effect on those figures, I suspect. Certainly not 10’s of percentage points which is what Android’s sales growth seems to show.
In any case the figures make interesting reading, and give us all something to think about.
Do you think Android is about to give the iPhone a drubbing? Let us know in the comments.