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Research firm sees U.S. Apple iPhone owners outnumbering Android owners by 2015

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Research firm sees U.S. Apple iPhone owners outnumbering Android owners by 2015
You might remember the scene in the blockbuster hit Titanic when ship builder Thomas Andrews is talking to the head of the White Star Line, Bruce Ismay, about the ship sinking. Andrews tells Ismay that the Titanic sinking is a mathematical certainty. Based on their own research, the Yankee Group sees the number of  U.S. Apple iPhone owners surpassing Android owners by 2015. If the figures provided by them are legitimate, it is a mathematical certainty.

Based on a survey of 16,000 consumers over the past 12 months, the Yankee Group has 50% of U.S. smartphone owners sporting an Android handset with 30% of them owning an Apple iPhone. But there is one stat that shows how Apple will bridge this gap and eventually overtake its rival. First, one survey shows that over the next 6 months, 42% of respondents will be buying an Apple Phone and 42% plan on purchasing an Android model. That is split exactly down the middle, so that stat doesn't seem to help the Cupertino based Apple at all.

Eventually, the number of Apple iPhone users in the U.S. will overtake the number of Android users

Eventually, the number of Apple iPhone users in the U.S. will overtake the number of Android users

But when you peer into the loyalty numbers, that is where the picture starts to brighten for Apple. Of those current Apple iPhone owners surveyed, 91% plan on sticking with the device while 6% say that they will switch to Android for their next device. That compares with the 76% of current Android owners who will stick with the platform for their next phone. But 18% of current Android users plan on buying an iPhone for their next handset. So that means while 6% of current iPhone expect to make the switch to Android, a whopping 18% of Android users plan on jumping ship to Apple's smartphone.

Based on data from the Yankee Group, 34% of the U.S. population currently owns an Android phone while 20% own the Apple iPhone. By next year, Apple should pick up an additional 7% of the population cutting Android's lead in half from a 14% gap to just 7%. By the time 2017 rolls around, The Yankee Group has Apple iPhone users making up 42% of the U.S. population versus 34% for Android, proving that platform loyalty can make all the difference in the world.

"Think of the Apple and Android ecosystems as two buckets of water. New smartphone buyers — mostly upgrading feature phone owners — fall like rain into the two big buckets about equally, with a smaller number falling into Windows Phone and BlackBerry buckets. However, the Android bucket leaks badly, losing about one in five of all the owners put into it. The Apple bucket leaks only about 7 percent of its contents, so it retains more of the customers that fall into it. The Apple bucket will fill up faster and higher than the Android one, regardless of the fact that the Apple bucket may have had fewer owners in it to begin with."-Carl Howe, VP, Yankee Group

source: YankeeGroup (subscription req'd) via AllThingsD

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posted on 26 Apr 2013, 08:40 35

1. Reverence (Posts: 224; Member since: 16 Jul 2012)

Apple is struggling to survive and they are say that iPhone is gonna surpass android...JOKE OF THE DAY!

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 09:16 17

11. MobileCaseReview (Posts: 242; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

How are they struggling? I'm just wondering from a fiscal point of view, so if you can please explain the figures to me from a revenue stand point.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 11:28 5

22. night_elf (Posts: 51; Member since: 02 Apr 2013)

It's very easy, they were not comparing revenue the were comparing users, and its a fact that there are more iPhone->Android then Android->iPhone (I'm not talking about "planning" but I talk about actual switches). So when thinking that Apple user base is pointing to stagnation (maybe regres in the future) to say that the will surpase Android is plain stupid, they cant beat Samsung alone which has a great user grow. Also ignoring Windows Mobile in that is rediculus I'm pretty sure they will grow a lot more than 7%. So lets stop dreaming and lets get real, we are talking about Apple vs. Samsung, Google, HTC, Sony, ZTE, Huaweii, Motorola, etc. etc. its a hopeless fight for Apple.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 19:43 5

38. JeffdaBeat (unregistered)

Although I agree with you in that I don't think Apple will pass Samsung (Samsung makes multiple devices a year, Apple only makes one), I do have to disagree with your assessment that number of users determines success and failure. Apple has an incredible amount of money that would tied them over if things went incredibly sour in the tech industry. Samsung doesn't. If things went sour for whatever reason, Apple would be able to wait it out longer than Samsung would. The question is how much does each company get per phone. Samsung could sell 3 phones, but still profit less than Apple selling one. If that's the case, Apple doesn't have to outsell Samsung in the slightest.

But a really great example would be the Wii vs. PS3 and XBOX. The Wii was incredibly difficult to get for almost 2 years after its debut, selling more than Sony and Microsoft at the time. Yet Nintendo isn't riding high on the money horse. In fact, people were worried whether they would be able to stay afloat.

The key isn't to be the biggest seller, it's to be the most desired. I've said that when Apple was on top and I still say it. As long as Apple keeps their brand high and people interested...even if it's less than before...they will be fine for years to come. And you know Apple fan...we stick around even when popularity is gone.

posted on 27 Apr 2013, 00:23 1

43. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Though I don't agree with you on some of your points and I don't think anyone in their right mind should root for Apple, I gave you a thumbs up because you don't post often enough, Jeff. It's nice to see you again.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 11:37 4

23. Reverence (Posts: 224; Member since: 16 Jul 2012)

Look at their Stock price, its about $400, then you see their ceo crying at Steve's tomb..WHY??
and ya i saw that report and their revenues have increased but their profits are falling...secondly what sort of innovation is apple bringing in iPhone? new unlock pattern?? PHULZ...small screen, ugly UI...dude if you put iphone 5 4s and 4, you might find it difficult to play..it gets worse because of the fact that now HTC is offering a build quality which is on par with iphone's..there is no reason to buy an iPhone, so how will it surpass android..secondly android is available on billions of phone, and you think that 1 phone can out sale all of them?? come on

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 11:37 8

24. night_elf (Posts: 51; Member since: 02 Apr 2013)

Market share: 1Q12 -> 1Q13
Apple: 23.0% -> 17.3%
Samsung: 28.8% -> 32.7%
Source: IDC (Is this what you call Apple growing? LG will surpass Apple in 2-3 Years)

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 15:22 2

35. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)

Apple is dying, all their mindless customers are finally waking up to reality.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 20:46

39. ph00ny (Posts: 1509; Member since: 26 May 2011)

They had one of the lowest growth rates out of all the major players despite the fact that smartphone market grew at a significant rate. Also this is post iphone5 which was released later than HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S3.

Adding to this, they've started to sever their ties to samsung with parts supplies and this will further impact their product launches (Samsung saved them in the last few ipad launches when other manufacturers struggle to meet the yield required for the screens)

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 11:20 10

21. roscuthiii (Posts: 2241; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)

Apple's doing fine. It's AAPL that's "underperforming".

Which is what this article really is... Someone polishing their AAPL.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 17:59

37. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)

The REAL joke of the day is Reverence's post.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 08:42 17

2. tmcr7 (Posts: 180; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)

April fools is already over right? :))

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 08:46 10

3. Aeires (unregistered)

So much fail in this prediction. WP isn't going to flat line at 7%, it will grow more than that due to better and better handsets getting released. Same thing for Android, OEMs are upping their game with some incredible phones. The only part of that graph that is completely plausible is the non-smartphones will decrease.

posted on 27 Apr 2013, 03:52

45. WakaFlakaD (Posts: 527; Member since: 30 Apr 2011)

Improving doesn't translate to people wll absolutely want it. Besides, WP will not be the company that keeps improving. You are being too positive right now. At the same time, I do wish to see what WP can bring to the table. Potential is definitely there

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 08:51 18

4. james1 (Posts: 97; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

Whoever did this research was probably high or on crack!

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 08:53 14

5. scriptwriter (Posts: 396; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)

Facts can be manipulated to make the outcome go one way or the other. The fact that this research has manpulated here is that the android share will stay at 34% for next 5 years. How bout doing some real research on all android devices rather focusing all attention on apple.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 08:56 11

6. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

This has happened for the past couple of years: some firm out there claiming that people are going to leave Android in droves once they can.

Unfortunately, actual sales numbers don't support their predictions.

I see Android's growth probably stalling out in the next couple of years and maybe slipping a little, but as long as Google can keep things interesting and the hardware vendors support the software properly, Android's market position overall will likely stabilize.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 08:58 7

7. Planterz (Posts: 2110; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)

The fact that they conjecture WebOS and Symbian being in use 4 years from now makes this whole "study" suspect to me.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 11:56

26. corporateJP (Posts: 2458; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)


posted on 26 Apr 2013, 22:29

41. jroc74 (Posts: 6019; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

Wow...I didnt notice that. WebOS is still available for phones? Thats news to me... I have to agree with you.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 08:59 5

8. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)

Wow! This is not true!

Windows Phone only 7%?
BlackBerry only 3-2%?

Don't forget, better and better smartphones will be released, and the percentage will not be low like 7% or 3%, the percentage (Windows Phone&BlackBerry) should be at least 10%, I guess...

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 09:02 8

9. buccob (Posts: 2733; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

Everyone can make their own guess.. and if your lucky prediction come true in the future, you will make a name for yourself... if not... then nothing happen

As much as I like Sony today and HTC... Samsung smartphones, specially flagships are the ones who will move the advantage back to Android...

Apple is scared of it, and they are desperately trying to compete with the momentum Samsung have... They are making their display a bit bigger, adding a cheaper model.... but in the end... Samsung has the marked flooded with devices that might not be great (except for flagships) but they fit almost every taste out there...

The US is a phenomenum when it comes to buying iPhone/Androids... I have explained this before... but the great majority knows the vast advantages of Android...

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 09:07 3

10. tiara6918 (Posts: 2111; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)

16,000 consumers or 16,000 fanboys?

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 09:22 9

12. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1345; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)

I still remember when stock analyst predicted $1000 Apple stock shares by the end of 2012. I wonder if the same prediction software was used?

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 09:27 4

13. Nikolas.Oliver (banned) (Posts: 1574; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)

You can't predict market share nor any other things that have lots of variables with math, smartphones market share has a lot of variables

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 09:29 4

14. nbringer (Posts: 180; Member since: 11 Sep 2012)

the 18% will buy an iPhone, curse the day and then go back to Android...

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 09:43 12

15. akki20892 (Posts: 3902; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

we don't know future, let's wait and see what will happend in future, who know future.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 10:03 2

16. Meleagru (Posts: 92; Member since: 03 Dec 2012)

I don't remember one study ever coming true. It's impossible to predict how the market will react. That said, Google seems to be working on much more interesting things than Apple. For first time users, the iPhone is better because it works out of the box. Barely. And you can't go beyond what you get out of the box. Android is a bit less newbie friendly but there is a lot more scope for improvement. It just takes people too long to realize that you can make your Android phone extremely personal and just to your liking. If Google can reduce the learning curve, they should be able to gain even more market share.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 10:06 4

17. TylerGrunter (Posts: 1543; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)

There is so many assumptions wrong in that "mathematical certainty" that is just laughable...
1) It assumes that non-smartphone oweners will distribute evenly for Android and iOS, while normally Android gets more.
2) It assumes that there will be no changes in the marketplace.
3) It assumes that Android and iOS will keep losing customers at the same rate every year.
4) It assumes people tell the truth in this surveys, while it has been demostrated that many tend to say they'll buy an iphone and then buy and Android instead after checking the market.

posted on 26 Apr 2013, 11:03 4

18. Zayuh24 (Posts: 149; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)

The ignorance of this graph is that the Android numbers stayed the same for the entire study. It's physically impossible for ANYTHING to remain the same even a year after it's introduced. It either grows or falls, and recent search shows Google as a whole is on a SURGE.

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