Android Outsold iPhone In The Past Six Months, Claims Nielsen Study
Nielsen has just published their latest report on smartphone purchase in the US. According to this report, Android is now the most popular mobile operating system cornering nearly 32% of all new smartphone purchases in the past six months.
The Nielsen findings peg the share of iPhone at 25%.
The Nielsen report is significant for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the duration of study includes the weeks following the launch of iPhone 4 in the US that saw Apple selling a record number of handsets. Also, this is the second successive report from Nielsen where the firm has concluded that the sale of Android handsets are higher than those of the iPhone. It may however be noted that the earlier report was regarded inconsequential since the study looked into the period preceding the launch of iPhone 4 when a lot of customers held back on their purchase in anticipation of the new device launch.
The latest report has once again raised the important question about the sustainability of a closed model like Apple's against the open nature of the Android operating system. However, Rene Ritchie from TiPb raises a very pertinent point regarding the validity of Nielsen's study. Ritchie points out that the Nielsen study may be misleading since it compares the sale numbers of a free operating system with that of a smartphone. Ritchie writes:
"Android is great OS running on spectacular hardware. However, its used by multiple manufacturers on multiple carriers in multiple models in the US. iPhone is made by Apple and runs on AT&T on the US. Now if Droid X outsold iPhone, that would be a proper comparison."
While Ritchie's arguments make a lot of sense, we may also note that Nielsen's findings may not be too misleading considering that the iPhone is the only smartphone to run the iOS platform. Consequently, a study of smartphones running the Android and iOS platforms is not too different from a study comparing the sale of Android handsets and the iPhone.
It is however worth noting that the iPhone in the US is still bound to a single carrier and as John Gruber from Daring Fireball has suggested, the only way for Apple to effectively compete against Android is by bringing the iPhone to other major carriers in the country.
What are your thoughts on this?
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