Android the Next 'Must Have' in US as Apple iPhone Popularity Stalls

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By 2015, 67% of smartphones will have an average price tag of $300 or less. (Photo: Barunpatro.com)
By 2015, 67% of smartphones will have an average price tag of $300 or less. (Photo: Barunpatro.com)

BUSINESS

  • 31% of prospective phone buyers in US will opt for devices powered by Google’s Android OS
  • Apple’s iPhone falls to 30% popularity among next-time buyers
  • Android also edges iPhone in UK, according to market research report

Almost a third of mobile consumers in the United States will purchase a Google Android device as their next phone, according to a report by market research expert Nielsen.

Surveys conducted from January to March 2011 showed that 31% of prospective smartphone buyers would choose Android-powered phones over Apple’s iPhone, whose popularity among next-time buyers slipped to 30%.

Future BlackBerry user numbers dropped to 11%, while almost a fifth of consumers have not decided what their next smartphone will be.

When compared to results of the same survey conducted from July to September 2010, Nielsen’s report shows smartphone consumers to be a capricious bunch. Last year’s poll indicated that 33% of next-time buyers were set on the iPhone, while only 26% said they would buy an Android phone – a 5% shift in Android popularity in less than half a year.

BlackBerry Distant Third

Of those who purchased a new phone in March 2011, around 50% chose Android, with the Apple faithful only accounting for 25%. BlackBerry came a distant third with 15%.

According to a report by financial service provider Intelligent Environments, this trend can also be seen in the United Kingdom. Surveys indicate that 28% of UK smartphone users own Android devices, with iPhone popularity falling to 26%.

The popularity of Google’s OS is not just limited to app-addicts and the mobile-media mad, it would seem. Android has also become Uncle Sam’s latest recruit, according to the official US Army blog, and will be used to power the Joint Battle Command-Platform, a new handheld military communication device.

Key Players – Smartphone Industry:

  • Apple (iPhone – iOS 4)
  • Research in Motion (BlackBerry 6 OS)
  • Samsung (Galaxy S – Android OS)
  • HTC (Sensation – Android OS)
  • Microsoft (Windows Phone 7 OS)
  • Sony Ericsson (Xperia X10 – Android OS)
  • Nokia (N8 – Symbian OS)
  • Huawei (IDEOS X6 – Android OS)

Key Statistics - Global Smartphone Market (source: Gartner)

  • Global smartphone unit sales will top 468 million in 2011, up almost 58% on 2010.
  • By 2015, 67% of smartphones will have an average price tag of $300 or less.
  • Android will become most widely used OS in 2011 and will have almost 50% of worldwide market by 2012.
  • Apple iOS will hold on to second spot through 2014.
  • Research In Motion market share will decrease as consumer market becomes more competitive.
  • Nokia-Windows Phone partnership will make Microsoft’s Mobile OS third largest by 2013.

By James Mulholland for
James Mulholland is a Paris-based internet and broadcast journalist specializing in sports, current affairs and technology news, while also freelancing as a photographer.

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