Lets be clear before we examine this one again. We are not really comparing Apples to Oranges here (Sorry for the unintentional pun). Because iOS is installed on many more devices than the iPhone. So as Android’s market share approaches the iPhone’s market share we are comparing Android as in installed OS on many smartphones to physical Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones. That is not intended to diminish the Android market share figures. Just to clarify that iPads and iPod Touches still give iOS a healthy install advantage over Android. That may well all change of course, as more Android Tablets and other gizmos hit the market place. But that is a battle for another day!
The subject being discussed today is the market share of Apple’s iPhone vs the myriad of smart phones running Android. When those figures are examined we have Apple losing 1.3% of US market-share in the three months ending in July. Over the same period, according to ComScore, the number of smartphones running Android grew by 5%. Some say that in as little as a year and a half Android will have overtaken the iPhone in the marketplace. That may be so, but it is not really a fair head to head comparison that is valid whilst the iPhone 4 is still being clamoured for on networks where people’s only option is an Android based device!
The main problem Apple faces is simply that is has not put the iPhone on enough big carriers, as we all know. Android is actually only available on 59 carriers world-wide, as opposed to 154 for the iPhone. But of the 59 carriers that Android is on there are both cut price Android phone models being sold as lost leaders, and some of the largest wireless carriers with the most consumers; Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) Germany, NTT DoCoMo (NYSE: DCM) and China Mobile.
Apple are surely aware of this, and the recent reports that you’ve read here about the possibility of an iPhone expansion to Verizon or T-Mobile seem to be something Apple needs to consider more urgently to keep its advantage over Android.
Apple’s rumored recent deal with Qualcomm seems to be an indicator of a step in that direction. And all adds up to at least some new North American networks in the iPhone 4’s not too distant future…
Still waiting for an iPhone on your preferred network? Or given up and gone Android? Let us know in the comments…