Years ago I predicted that Android would top Apple’s iPhone in smart phone unit market share. After all, every smart phone manufacturer who wanted to survive and prosper could get Android OS for free. Even cheap smart phones have Android, so it stands to reason it would win the market share war with all comers.
A funny thing happened on the way to reality.
Remember the Mac and Windows wars? Apple lost the market share war to PC makers and Windows. The penalty? Apple is the most profitable personal computer maker on the planet.
We keep hearing how Android is ‘winning‘ against the iPhone but the evidence, other than units sold, is rather anemic. Maybe we need to define winning.
Apple has a definition for winning. Money. Unit market share doesn’t mean diddley squat if there’s no profit. And it doesn’t look like Android is winning the profit wars.
People who keep track of such things have pointed out something crazy. Apple’s iPhone has almost 75-percent of the world’s mobile phone vendor’s profits. Samsung is second with 26-percent. HTC is third with 1-percent. Nowhere to be found on the list are the mobile phone giants of the past– Motorola, Nokia, or Microsoft.
They’re all losing money in the wake of Android winning (whereby ‘winning’ I mean second place).
It gets worse.
In the U.S., Android is winning, at least, according to NPD’s latest survey of mobile phone users. NPD says Android grabbed 61-percent of the U.S. market while Apple’s iPhone was in second with 29-percent.
That’s winning, right? Not so fast.
AT&T said the iPhone accounted for 78-percent of all their smartphone sales last quarter. Verizon said it accounted for 51-percent of theirs. Sprint said the iPhone accounted for 60-percent of their new smartphone customers. The overall average is 63-percent iPhone. Not Android.
AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint account for over 80-percent of the entire U.S. cellular market. 63-percent of 80-percent should give Apple’s iPhone about 50-percent of the market, not 29-percent as NPD stated.
The difference is this. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint have real numbers. NPD has survey numbers. If you stick with reality, Android isn’t really winning in the U.S.
Allow me to advocate on behalf of real numbers, not made up numbers. With over 70-percent of the industry’s profits, and over 50-percent of all smart phone sales, Apple is winning. Android is not.