iPhone may be poised to bump its market share

iPhone may be poised to bump its market share
Smartphone sales dropped across the board in the US for the first time in Q3 of this year. The Apple iPhone saw a dramatic drop in sales, likely because of the newly released iPhone 4S, but surprisingly all non-Apple smartphones also saw an overall drop in sales, which has analysts predicting big things for Apple, and some possibly very bad signs for Android.

The numbers from Morgan Keegan analyst Tavis McCourt show that smartphone sales from AT&T and Verizon declined in Q3 2011 both compared to Q2 and compared year-over-year to 2010. Android in particular also saw a decline in sales compared to Q2, but did report a small growth year-over-year. McCourt says that these numbers point indicate that many smatphone users may be stalling on upgrades in order to get the iPhone 4S, and claims that this could be an "ominous sign for Android vendors."

The idea that smartphone users were stalling to get the iPhone 4S seems to be a solid one, especially given Apple's strong opening sales. However, we're having trouble accepting that this is an "ominous sign for Android", because while there were some new handsets released for Android in Q3, the major releases that people have been waiting for are the Samsung Galaxy S II, Samsung Galaxy Nexus and DROID Bionic.

Q3 ended September 30th, and the Galaxy S II wasn't released on AT&T until October 2nd, and its Verizon cousin the Galaxy Nexus isn't due out until November, so there is a possibility that Android users held off on upgrading for those devices and not the iPhone 4S. Just as the iPhone 4S sales numbers can back up part of McCourt's idea, the global success of the Galaxy S II can be used to back up our idea that this may not be as terrible a sign for Android as McCourt believes. The data could certainly point to Apple taking back some market share from Android as well as other smartphone makers, but we're not sure that "ominous" is the right adjective.

source: BGR

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74 Comments

1. pkingduck

Posts: 9; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

Android is kick ass

58. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Sounds like buyers were waiting to see what both Apple and Android were going to release. I will hold off declaring victory/defeat for either iOS or Android devices until the sales results for 4Q2011 are in. I suspect that Android and iOS will show sales gains year-over-year and Nokia/WP7 and RIM will show sales declines. Same-old, same-old.

69. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Exactly. They are acting like no one was waiting for these newer Android phones to become a reality.

2. hepresearch unregistered

Well, that's funny... I was laughed and ridiculed to scorn for saying something similar a week or two ago, supposedly because no real analysts agree with me...

4. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

If you say anything even remotely postive sounding about Apple on PA you will be mocked.

9. hepresearch unregistered

I've been just as mocked for saying good things about Android devices, too. I'm convinced that I get a bad reputation here because I'm not a fanboy any more...

14. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Hepresearch, I have trouble figuring out what side your on at times...I like that about you! You shouldn't have to choose one or the other? Keep doing what you doing dude!

19. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

It's obvious which sie you're on though

27. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

You placed me in the Android box, just because I want more out of iOS and am not willing to settle. But my wallet cracks open more for Apple then any other tech company. But that's cool if you want to think of me as a "Phandroid", it doesn't matter to me.

26. hepresearch unregistered

I very rarely have a preferred side, as I like to be independent and reason on things for myself. Thank you for the encouragement, though... it is refreshing to hear from cool people who aren't always wearing the fanboy goggles. It is still fun to wear them once in a while, I suppose, so I don't fault people for standing up for what they like about their preferred platform/manufacturer/carrier/etc... but it is healthy to take them off once in a while and actually think once in a while. Anyways, good to hear from you!

3. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Michael H disagrees with android sales taking a hit. Shocker. I believe that there's a couple new things happening here. For the first time with a US release of the iPhone there's 3 major carriers offering it instead of one. Also iPhone is now available in all price ranges. Theres free, $99 and then the regular pricing. It's also available in more countries now too. I think we will see unprecedented sales of this phone. From surveys we know there's a high percentage of dissatisfied android users. A lot of them will be making the switch. Apple goes over 30% market share and android drops back into the 30's as well. With iPod and iPad sales Apple widens it's market share lead for iOS.

8. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

1) 3 Major carriers doesn't matter for this study, because this only covers AT&T and Verizon, not Sprint. 2) Edited the last part for clarity. I meant to say that the data certainly suggests that Apple may make a jump in market share, because the 4S will/is selling like gangbusters. I'm just not sure that the data suggests anything "ominous" for Android manufacturers. It's more of a semantic argument for me.

11. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Well Sprint will definitely have an impact on market share though.

17. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Sprint will have an impact, but given the size of Sprint compared to the competition, especially AT&T and Verizon, that may not amount to much.

20. The-Omega-Man

Posts: 12; Member since: Jun 25, 2011

This is only relative to the US market. In other markets iphones sell on many carriers in the same country , along with android phones. In many of those markets the iPhone is still being out sold by various Android phones. I don't see anything different happening in the US market than in the other markets. In either case the competition is a good thing for us consumers.

35. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

There's lots of markets iPhone dominates too

54. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

according to Q3, there were more markets that the SGS2 beat out the i4 in a head to head sales match. add the rest of android on top of that and... voila! Ominous nothing. Apple users were waiting for the i4s/i5 announcement. Android users have been waiting for the ICS announcement. I dont see a lot of jumping ship on either side.

5. The-Omega-Man

Posts: 12; Member since: Jun 25, 2011

And taking names.

6. The-Omega-Man

Posts: 12; Member since: Jun 25, 2011

Dream on taco50!

7. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

I think Android will take two more minor hit before the bounce back. The iPhone 5 and 5S or whatever will still have that nostalgic connection with SJ, but the iPhones after that might suffer. They're still going to be solid devices but without Steve on the throne, its gonna be a little harder sell then before. And of course with ICS coming out, Android market share won't suffer.

10. hepresearch unregistered

I doubt they will let Steve Jobs' memory drop into the shadows... ever. And I doubt that the iPhones post-Jobs will suffer from a lack of simplicity, "elegance", and clout.

12. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

I don't know I'm worried to see how Apple maintains without him. He was a big driving force.

23. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Gotta agree with taco on this one. It already feels like something was missing when Tim Cook did the presentation for the 4S. It had no luster, no umph! And no one was really excited, until SJ died...then it was like "Oh no! I gotta have it!". I was actually thinking of upgrading my computer now because I don't know if Apple will be the same in the next 3 or 4 years. Who knows, Tim may give us some kick ass devices the likes that SJ could have never imagined, but that's it...Apple is just one big question mark right now.

36. hepresearch unregistered

Everything is sort of question mark-ish... our primary methods of understanding trends are based largely on models where all participants are considered to be "rational", but these models, although accurate in many relevant cases, are still very poor over the long-term, and lack precision. As more and more participants think "outside of the box", and adopt asymmetric strategies (as Apple did in 2007 with the original iPhone release), the "rationality" of the system being measured reduces drastically, and we end up with "market disruptions". When "rationality" is sufficiently low (which is not likely to be the case for a while yet, based on current trends), then the system becomes non-linear, chaotic, and difficult to renormalize. So, what looks to us on the macroscale as rational, ordered behavior, is really just a very good balance of chaotic (quantum-like) influences on the microscale. The moment somebody thinks up something revolutionary and unexpected, and then goes "outside the box" by releasing it to the world, the balance is upset for a little while, and we get the proverbial "iPhones" and "Androids" of the mobile industry; however, one will eventually settle into the top spot for a while... until the next big mobile tech disruption breaks upon us.

56. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

1) Tim Cook is not the showman that Jobs was, but that doesn't mean he won't continue the legacy of Jobs well. Apple may just need to have Jony Ive take over announcements, or someone else. I think the company will be fine from a product standpoint, especially since it still has Jony Ive and his team. 2) I'm not saying it definitely happened, but I wouldn't be surprised if sometime down the line we find out that Steve actually died before the iPhone 4S announcement, but Apple withheld the news. That would certainly explain the somber energy of the announcement.

59. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

That exactly what I was thinking too, but thought it was too Conspirisy Theory-ish of me. Even though you cant plan death, I thought the timing was just a bit odd. My thinking on Apple's future was that Ive was the guy making it all happen behind the scenes away, so what would his death change as far as the product line is concerned. BUT...look at the post-Steve Jobs Apple that almost went under that ran around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to figure out how to compete with MS! Those were bad times. But they say Cook was the one who got his hands dirty with the things SJ didn't want to do, so its not like he isn't a capable leader. Seeing him intro a completely new device, project or whatever would help to establish Cook as "The Man" and earn him a little consumer confidence.

60. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

That is way too "they never landed on the moon" type thinking for me. Had he died prior to an announcement, wouldn't they have just canceled the formal announcement and just did something informal to kickoff the iPhone4S than? The man was Steve Jobs. You don't get away with burying the lead when it is someone of his stature.

64. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

LOL! I don't know, snow (Hehe! You see what I just did there?). If I'm Apple and our CEO dies right before the launch of the most anticipated handset in the world is due to be announced, I don't know if I would want that consumer anticipation doused with the sadness of his passing. Wouldn't that just kill all the built up excitement for that new product? By announcing his death a day or two later, you preserve all the excitement for that new product and then you get free advertising also, because the two stories are inevitably going to be linked. That gave them 48 hours of free air time in news coverage as apposed to the 24 hours that his death alone would have gotten.

66. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

my first guess when i heard the news was that he died on the day of or late the day before the announcement. They just held off telling people because it would have just overshadowed the i4s announcement completely.

13. itzmando

Posts: 119; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Android will still be increasing its activations and market share, I want to try to like Apple, but sadly their products haven't appealed to me so much anymore. I've owned ipods beginning from 2003 to 2009. Once they changed the look for the current Nano, I was like forget it. Stopped purchasing them, the reason I believe my info is relevant to my opinion on this article is that the iOS interface has grown to be boring, not in customization but in color scheme. iOS is great, stable OS BUT this statistic can only predict what is to come for these major OS's. We will see how the platforms stack up with there newest features in Q4 result appear. So, taco50's assumption of android losing market share from iOS is his prediction but no validity can be taken from it. I've been waiting to see the results just to see how each platform is doing.

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