Androids Are On The Upswing, iPhones Are Declining

Quantcast reports that while iPhones still own the mobile web market, Android devices are quickly making up ground. A year ago the iPhone’s iOS platform owned nearly 70 percent of the market while Android hovered below 10 percent. Last month iOS slumped to 56 percent while Android clawed its way up to 25 percent.

If this trend keeps up, Android will own close to 100 percent of the market by the time the decade is half over, while iOS usage will drop into the negative percentages.

Ridiculous extrapolations aside, when and if do you think Google’s smartphone bloodhound will catch Apple, and what does Apple need to do to maintain its domination?

August 2010 Mobile OS Share [Quantcast via IntoMobile]

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  1. Gulliver says:

    As long as Apple insists on an exclusive with ATT, and only has one phone, it will lose the leadership position in 2012-13. Each update that Apple makes is just an update to one phone. Android brings out multiple phones that meet multiple needs.

  2. OldGreyTroll says:

    What does Apple need to do? Dump AT&T. Well, at least the exclusive part.

  3. dwasifar says:

    Apple can’t stay ahead in this race, because it will never license iOS to any other vendor. Android is getting traction because it is being used on many different devices from a variety of manufacturers. None of them threaten the iPhone individually, but taken together they do.

    Think of VHS vs. Beta. Sony had the superior technology with Beta and was ground into the dirt by JVC with VHS, because JVC licensed VHS to everybody. It’s the same situation here, except that iOS doesn’t even have a big technological edge over Android any more.

    • Geekybiker says:

      Who needs different companies even. This is the exact same thing that happened Mac vs PC. Closed system, only one maker vs open system with lots of makers. Apple clearly doesn’t like learning from history.

      • Hirayuki says:

        Neither do many of its users. I can’t count how many die-hard Apple users I personally know or have heard of who go through prematurely burned-out hard drive after prematurely burned-out hard drive in their Macbooks and scratch their heads and act as though it’s some rare one-off defect every time. What was that definition of insanity again? Oh, right: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

        • rav3 says:

          UNLESS you deal with computers, people always forget that corollary :P hehe, still yes you got a point.

        • Starfury says:

          We have both Mac and PC laptops where I work. Macs are about 1/3 of the install base but account for almost half or more of the hardware failures in the laptops. But people still say they’re better.

          • RayanneGraff says:

            I used to know a hardcore fanboi who only bought Apple stuff cause “the hardware is the best!”.

            In case you were wondering, yeah, he had hardware failures at least 2-3 times a year.

        • howie_in_az says:

          Apple doesn’t make harddrives, they source them from Toshiba and other companies.

  4. Frankz says:

    First and I think foremost, Apple has to get itself unstuck from AT&T.
    You can’t compare year-ago numbers, because Android was too new then, and hadn’t even had the chance to sell very much. Apple was biggest in the market, because they were first in the market. Not to mention that iPhone and it’s iOS are just 1 phone (and it’s subsequent upgrades). Android is now on many different phones by different manufacturers, and more importantly, is available from different carriers. Now that it’s had a chance to get widespread, we of course see it’s % of the market grow. A few more years and it’s market will grow. However, Apple’s share isn’t going to decline that much, especially if (when?) they open up to other carriers.

  5. Ecks says:

    I’ve been thinking about getting an Android phone to replace my Samsung Instinct, which is fairly useless. I’m just not that up on phone hardware. My carrier (Bell) offers the Samsung Galaxy S for Android, which looks like a nice phone. I’d appreciate any thoughts and opinions before I get myself into a new three-year contract.

    • fs2k2isfun says:

      Galaxy S is awesome, certainly one of the best phones on the market. I would not hesitate to buy one.

    • El_Red says:

      It’s a good phone. Seriously, 3 year contract? My phone usually dont survive that long. If you have the chance, pay extra and get 2year contract instead.

    • ddesigns says:

      The Galaxy S line is awesome. I have the Captivate (AT&T) and love it.

    • tbax929 says:

      I don’t have a Galaxy; I have a Moment. That being said, I’m very happy with it and would buy another Samsung Android phone without reservation. I don’t know if that helps with your question.

    • BiGGERX says:

      I have a Galaxy S (T-Mobile Vibrant) and it rocks. It’s fast, hackable, & the screen is beautiful. Get one.

    • Slave For Turtles says:

      Check the version of Android before you buy. I’ve got a Motorola Backflip, and it’s stuck with 1.5. It was said that we were going to get 2.0 during the 3rd quarter of 2010, and (let’s see) there are only 3 weeks left in the quarter. Even at 2.0, it’s lame since 2.2 is the current version. Just be aware.

      • Ecks says:

        Thanks, this is what I was most curious about. Also, thanks to all other commenters, it certainly helps me with my decision!

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      My Boyfriend just got a Galaxy S (the Vibrant) and he luuuuuuuuuvs it!

    • DanC922 says:

      I have an Australian Galaxy S (same as the Vibrant), and I love it. The screen is incredible, it’s fast, has a great camera with amazing video quality, has 16 GB memory expandable up to 32 GB more, and will be getting Android 2.2 soon, which will make it even more wonderful.

  6. tedyc03 says:

    It’s easy to own the mobile market when you’ve got the only phone with a browser that actually doesn’t look like ass.

    Increase the number of browser-equipped phones and you automatically dilute the share of Apple while increasing the share of Google phones.

    I don’t think Apple has much to worry about here. People aren’t switching in droves away from the iPhone, and the iPhone’s App Store (which people invest money in) is a reason for them to keep the iPhone – they don’t want to lose the apps they’ve paid so much to own.

    That said, I’m glad to see that mobile web is picking up steam. Strong competition is the only way to foster continued innovation. The iPhone was innovative when it was invented; they’ve got to keep doing it to keep growing.

    • pinkbunnyslippers says:

      I wouldn’t think of it as people leaving their iPhone for the Droid, but rather it’s the people who want the iPhone but don’t have AT&T and refuse to leave their current carrier to get it. That in and of itself is from where most of this growth is coming – it’s opened up an entire new niche of people that Apple thought they would’ve been able to lure over to iPhone/AT&T, but obviously didn’t.

      Droid’s got it’s own app store that’s been shown to be just as good as Apple’s – if Apple doesn’t think they’ve got anything to worry about, they’ve got another thing coming.

      • veronykah says:

        Yup, you are right.
        I actually have a hacked iPhone running on T-Mobile but will be buying an android phone when the next one comes out on T-Mo.
        I’d get an iPhone in a second if they offered them on t-mobile, but really want a phone that runs FAST and everything works. Not the case with a hacked iphone.
        Too bad ATT has the exclusivity with apple.

      • P=mv says:

        Exactly. I bought an android phone b/c I’m stuck with Verizon. Out of all their craptastic phones, the Droid phones are the only decent ones. I’d have an iPhone if I were on AT&T.

    • BiGGERX says:

      You clearly haven’t used any of the multiple internet browsers available for Android phones. They are up to par if not better than mobile Safari. I use Dolphin HD, which is a webkit browser, which is what Safari is.

      • operator207 says:

        You clearly do not understand non tech people either. The mobile internet for those types are literally what comes on the phone. I work with many people with many smart phones. I am expected (though it is not my job) to support all of them. Regardless of weither it is an iPhone, WinMo, Android or some dumb phone dressed as a smart phone.

        Only a handful of hundreds are able to do much more than text, make phone calls and check email. Some reboot the phone when they want to close email. Some have hacked/rooted/jailbroken their phone. Almost all (but the JBers, rooters, hack.. umm) use the default applications. Some have downloaded a couple, but must have no clue what to do with a smart phone, other than their friend had one so they need one.

        These are not corp phones, they are their own phones, but since they are tech based, and these people work for my company, I obviously have to support them.

  7. outkastz says:

    TY Google for being better.

  8. TardCore says:

    Please, iOS is one phone, the iPhone. Android is running on what, 50+ phones now? Droids are great phones, but the comparison isn’t quite what it seems.

    • MrAgen10 says:

      Yeah, that was my first thought, too.

    • Gulliver says:

      Yes it is. It is comparing OPERATING SYSTEMS. There are several mobile OS out there (Iphone, Android, Palm) . I guess Apple people think that Apple is the dominate player in personal computer game as well, since Windows is available on lots of manufacturers as opposed to just one from Apple. Now imagine your computer could only connect to the internet from one ISP. A shitty one at that. Apple can have innovation, but those that make it better, cheaper and more available to the masses ALWAYS win (VHS, WINDOWS, Blu Ray)

      • EnergyStarr says:

        Blu ray is one of your examples? HD-DVD had better features and was cheaper to license.

      • TheGreySpectre says:

        While I agree with you about OS comparison, blu-ray only won because of how much money sony was shelling out to studios to get them to use it.

  9. dreamfish says:

    Not everyone wants to drink the Steve Jobs kool-aid.

  10. Joey_Brill says:

    This was the first upgrade from Apple that I didn’t purchase because of the two year commitment.

    I have nine months to wait until my AT&T contract expires and a strong sturdy case for my iPhone. If the phone doesn’t break or get stolen, it will be interesting to see what else is available at that time. My phone + data plan is always $82 per month including tax.

    So, I predict a cage match for all the other 3GS purchasers next summer.

  11. pridkett says:

    Wow, the stupid, it hurts. Whoever extrapolated this trend failed stats. This isn’t a zero sum game. Android can gain market share and even make it look like it was relative to iOS devices, but what really happened is that the pie got bigger and android took a bigger portion of the increase in size.

    The fact is that Apple isn’t going away and is growing, Android is growing too. Android has some significant advantages, but it’s going to have fight against the idiocy of phone carriers and manufacturers that insist on loading branded crapware onto all of the new phones. One of the iPhone’s nicest feature is that it doesn’t have any of this crapware installed on it and it is a consistent experience — believe it or not, the app store guidelines do help out in this respect.

    • B* says:

      Android would do a hell of a lot better if rooting was more widely known and easier to do. When that happens, expect it to take off. Uninstalling Amazon MP3 bloatware alone was worth rooting my MyTouch.

    • XianZomby says:

      You said: “Android can gain market share and even make it look like it was relative to iOS devices, but what really happened is that the pie got bigger and android took a bigger portion of the increase in size.”

      Translation: “Android can gain market share …, but what really happened is Android gained market share.”

  12. PLATTWORX says:

    I have an Android phone and am very happy. I have friends that have both Android and iPhones. Both groups are happy, EXCEPT all AT&T customers are not happy with coverage. A friend just went from Verizon to AT&T for an iPhone and is already upset at the number of dropped calls. He may move back. I think AT&T’s lousy network is what damages the iPhone, not the phone itself.

  13. Olivier Labbe says:

    Almost everybody here thinks they should drop AT&T. Fair… In Canada iPhone must have a bigger head because almost all cariers got the iPhone, and there is no real competititor… no Droid X, EVO 4G here… only Galaxy S and HTC Desire…

  14. benjitek says:

    They just need to make a phone that can make and hold onto a call. I really like my iPhone-4, but would like it much better if I didn’t always have to use it with a case, or lose calls because of the proximity sensor. This weeks update addresses the latter, but we’re all stuck with the antenna thing.

  15. Coupon says:

    I’m surprised that people aren’t bored to death with the iPhone.

  16. b612markt says:

    Apple has a small market share of desktop/laptop computers because they refuse to license their OS to other hardware makers. The same fate is inevitable if they won’t license their iOS to other hardware makers.

    “The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over, and then expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

    There you have it. Steve Jobs is INSANE.

    • TardCore says:

      And that has really hurt their bottom line hasn’t it? Being the second most valuable company (market cap) in the country is terrible.

    • Hirayuki says:

      Damn, I just used that same quotation up north a few comments! Great minds…

    • Battlehork says:

      Apple did license MacOS in the mid 90s and it nearly killed them since the licensees made better and/or cheaper hardware. In the unlikely event they license OSes again I imagine there would be serious strings attached.

  17. dr_drift says:

    Apple will never do anything that challenges its control or exclusivity. Then you wouldn’t be super cool for owning a Macbook. Geez, man, get it right.

  18. crazydavythe1st says:

    I think you did it wrong. Obviously Android will own 100% of the market if we properly extrapolate the RIM going to zero and we creatively manipulate the data such that other goes to zero.

    Being completely serious though, it seems reasonable to think that the percentages will level out at around 40% for Iphone and Android. At that point the percentages will “dance” back and forth, neglecting to count for growth of the market (which at that point should be negligible). Then Microsoft will release some halfway decent killing them all*

    *probably not

  19. Thyme for an edit button says:

    Apple should have the iPhone available on more networks. But for AT&T, I would have gotten an iPhone. I went with an android phone on Verizon, however, when I recently bought my first smartphone. Now I doubt I’d make any switch since I like my phone, don’t want to pay for apps again that I have already purchased, and don’t want to have to un-android my mind (when I play with a friends iphone, I keep trying to navigate like I would on my android phone.)

  20. Niphil says:

    At least with android there’s a selection. I know people who got chose their phones because they wanted physical keyboards, and there’s no option for that with Apple. Hell, there’s no options at all.

    • katarzyna says:

      That’s why I have an Android–the keyboard. I can’t use the iPhone virtual keyboard to save my life. I chose the Motorola Backflip and am very happy with it.

  21. PsiCop says:

    Hmm. Here I thought “iOS” was Cisco’s switch/router OS … certainly not something that would run on a mobile phone. When did they hand that trademark over to Apple? And how much did it cost Apple to buy it from them? Or did Steve Jobs just dazzle the folks at Cisco into giving it up for free, because he’s such a wonderful and visionary guy that no one can resist his wishes? Moreover, I’m not aware that Cisco has stopped calling their switch/router OS “IOS.”

    This is really puzzling. Isn’t the goal of trademarking to have exclusive use of a trademark? Isn’t that why Monster (cable company) has fired off lawsuits against pretty much every company in the universe that has the word “monster,” or anything vaguely like it, in its name? What IP attorney thirsting to extort money from hapless companies would ever have rubber-stamped this sort of arrangement?

  22. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Note the methodology – it’s the percent of phones visiting websites signed up with Quantcast’s evil Measurement tracking service. It has nothing to do with number of phones sold.

    http://blog.quantcast.com/quantcast/2010/09/

    ” The measurements we provide are the relative proportion of pageviews attributable to the given device, browser or operating system”
    “Why do you measure the relative share, not the absolute levels? We use share because our data set is not static. Every week thousands, even tens of thousands of new web sites might sign-up for our free Quantcast Measurement program”

  23. Bohemian says:

    We are actually considering iPhones since AT&T bought Alltel. Verizon jacked the price of even the original Droids last month, now they are the same $199 as the new X models. They are offering no deals and the cost of a Verizon account is higher than any other carrier.

    • Silverhawk says:

      Small point, but actually Verizon bought Alltel. As part of the approval process they did have to sell off some overlapping markets, most went to AT&T, IIRC.

  24. ap0 says:

    So the OS that is sold with a significantly higher number of phones, across multiple carriers, form factors, etc., is slowly gaining ground on the OS that has four phones using it to date? Congratulations, you’ve almost done something.

  25. Xmar says:

    The main thing hurting iOS market share is the ATT exclusivity.

  26. The Marionette says:

    I think it’s to do with (like a lot have said) apple being exclusive on ATT, also I don’t know if it’s just me, but android-based phones seem to be more “open” than iphones. I just got the Kyocera/Sanyo Zio from Cricket and it seems pretty good. I’ve also noticed a lot more people with android-based phones. I’m guessing it’s because there’s several different kinds of android phones while there’s only 1 iphone, although there’s technically more than one, but people usually go for the newer versions of smartphones, so the iphones 1 – 3 probably aren’t being sold as much as the iphone 4.

  27. H3ion says:

    There’s an interesting article on MSNBC concerning Apple’s pricing strategies.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38980367/ns/business-bloomberg_businessweek/

    Somehow makes used car dealers seem honorable.

  28. DracoSolon says:

    Apple could let someone build a case for the iphone 4 that combined extra battery, a slide out physical keyboard, a micro usb port and an SD card slot. Apple doesn’t have to make it – just let Belkin or Giffin do it. I’m still not sure there will be a real Verizon iPhone – that inability on CDMA networks to surf and talk at the same time looks like a big problem to me. Isn’t that a key part of the “experience” that apple is always hyping?

  29. UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

    There’s a huge difference between market share and numbers of units sold. There’s also a difference between market share and profitability.

    I don’t think I’ll be worrying too much about Apple’s market share slipping, considering that its actual sales numbers remain robust. This is another example of mistaking market share for being the most meaningful figure.

  30. newsbunny says:

    I love my Droid. I get Verizon service, with which I have never had a problem, and a pretty fabulous toy.

    My only complaint is that there is no app for Scrabble. Please. Please, O Droid Overlords, please get me Scrabble.

  31. TehLlama says:

    The temporary bounce in iPhone sales when they’re on Verizon will still absolutely pale in comparison to the tsunami of Droid devices (phones and tablets) that will finally return Apple back to it’s days of playing second fiddle to Bill Gates.
    Quality integration of TV services and eventual gaming and computationally taxing applications with high bandwidth cloud settings will absolutely alter the future playing field, and Google is best poised to take advantage of it. Apple will be right back to bit player so fast it’ll make people giggle when the think back to the iPod the same was as the Apple 2E

  32. infected says:

    Ahh, gotta love the free market.

  33. DallasM says:

    I think Google will surpass Apple. Apple’s plans of total control and selling a one size fits all device just doesn’t work. Didn’t work for computers and won’t work for cell phones.

  34. smo0 says:

    I’ve read some of the comments… over all – if Apple dropped exlusivity TODAY it would not change these numbers – they may go on the upswing.. but I’ve tested both, the Andoid platform is superiour to iOS. I love my samsung galaxy!!

  35. TheGreySpectre says:

    I feel like the wacky minority in that I happen to hate my iphone but like ATTs coverage.

  36. teke367 says:

    People focus on exclusivity, but I think a big part of it is that there are “entry level” android phones out there. The LG Ally is cheap, or free sometimes, that gets the product out there. Droid Eris too. Those two phones have nothing on the iPhone, but a new customer, who doesn’t want to spend $200 on a phone, but wants a smart phone, will pick those up.

  37. jsn says:

    My next phone will be a Droid with Verizon service. I really do want an iPhone but I will not tolerate going back to AT&T. My girlfriend did it and she regrets it every day.

  38. highmodulus says:

    “Android” isn’t a phone, its an operating system spread across many different phones, too many of them quite crappy (see the latest Droid 2 disaster). By phone or carrier, none of the Android phone models is remotely close in sales or percentage. And the iPhone 4 would have more sales if you could get one (Apple’s website lists a 3 week wait for one right now).

    Android phones mostly complete against themselves, but with the iPhone have straight up murdered Palm, symbian and nokia is the smart phone market. Blackberry will probably be the third survivor thanks to its corporate supporate and user base (but the iPhone is eating into that too).

  39. pot_roast says:

    Who cares? They’re practically handing out the devices with buy one/get one offers. Of course that’s going to increase marketshare.

  40. choky27 says:

    I own a Droid since March and still love my phone, but run into a problem which will push me back to iphone. My primary Gmail account was hacked into, thief changed my password and send an email to all my contacts about me and family being robbed in England and asking for money to return. These things happen, but rest of the story made me mad as hell with Google – called their customer service which flatly refused to do anything for me as verification, sending me to their web site, which among other things asks when did you open account (for verification I suppose). I have it for several years and for the life of me do not remember when did I open it.
    So, right now I have a droid phone without a single contact in it, and looks like I will have to manually repopulate it, as Google refuses to return my account without that darm date. Can’t beat that SIM card for saving contacts.