May 10 AT 5:57 PM Taylor Wimberly 31 Comments

Android passes iPhone sales in U.S. smartphone market

New market research from The NDP Group confirms Android phones outsold the iPhone last quarter in the United States. RIM’s Blackberry OS remained at the top with 36%, while Android jumped to number two with 28%, followed by the iPhone OS at only 21%.

Now that all four major U.S. carriers (and several regional) are selling Android phones, we can’t say this comes as a surprise. A dozen smartphones across all the carriers should result in higher sales (just look at Blackberry).

The real question now, is how long will the iPhone remain an AT&T exclusive? Engadget is reporting that Apple and AT&T signed a five-year deal that reportedly does not end till May 21st, 2012. Can Apple afford to keep the iPhone locked to a single U.S. carrier while Android adoption continues to rise?

Q1 2010 smartphone sales in the U.S.

Data from The NPD Group.

Source: The NDP Group

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website geekosphere101

    I’d say it’s more due to the new iphone coming out in a month factor than the sheer amounts of Android handsets on the market. Once the 4G, HD, whatever its called drops, I have no doubt that iPhone will outsell Android for a few months.

    • http://Website Storm14K

      Sure I think there will be the normal spike of iPhone users upgrading to the new iPhone. The question is how long will that last. And I think they have lost the more techy crowd as its been reported over and over that the iPhone OS 4 only plays catch up to Android.

      Also alot of iFools claim that people are holding off on buying for the new iPhone. Well I have to question….did iPhone sales actually drop off? Its quite possible that they didn’t because another report says smartphone sales are way up. The iPhone may be selling as normal and Android is just outselling it period.

      Its funny it took so long for people to realize this. I believe the added sales for Motorola and HTC outnumbered Apple and there were articles on how Android saved Moto and made HTC much more of a household name. It never dawned on folk to put the two together?

      Lastly I don’t think the iPhone coming to Verizon is gonna do much more than give Apple a short spike. Right now the iPhone actually enjoys not having to sit next to a high end Android device over there at AT&T. What happens at Verizon when people compare them side by side.

      • anakin78z

        I actually know quite a few people who have gotten and even upgraded their iPhones in recent months, so I don’t think too many people are waiting until the new one comes out ( a few are, I’m sure. Hell, I’m sure there’s even people waiting on getting Droids because they think the iPhone is coming to Verizon. )
        I think the fact that Android is on every network is pretty huge for them. My android phone selection is pretty much determined by my carrier, cause I’m not looking to switch.

        Anyhoo, I wonder if this news, coupled with the admob stats, is going to bring an onslaught of apps to the android market. It’s pretty damn hard not to consider Android now, I would think, especially if you create ad supported apps. I’m just not looking forward to all the crappy ports…

    • http://Website erick

      Android is just a better phone that come in all sizes and shape to fit any individual and all four major cell company sells them apple need another big carrier like Verizon if not those who have the old iPhone will just up grade and they will not gan any new costumers,bedside android is a open OS phone not a lock down phone that jobs control. Freedom is what yo get with the android phone

    • Canterrain

      What’s telling is if you look at the second chart Rim and OSX follow almost the same pattern.

      With the virtual explosion of android, what I look forward to most is how competition will drive innovation between these three companies.

    • Hal (GT)

      Well, since Apple is only on the one carrier and Android phones are on all, it’s not big surprise is it? Plus there’s the whole thing that Android isn’t locked into one piece of hardware. It’s the same trap Apple fell into originally when it came to personal computers years ago.

    • http://Website just some dude

      Android is a step ahead of the iPhone, now with flash support , front facing cams, native tethering. The new iPhone that is about to drop is nothing special, if it has front cam and hd vid recording and hdmi out then Android is still ahead because we already have that. So the new Iphone is already old. LOL. Its been real Iphone, move over for the iPad, oh wait Google is comming out with its own version too, mmmm sorry apple. Its been real. LOL

    • http://Website Greg

      Goodness! Is any even slightly negative post voted into oblivion? I think he’s right. He didn’t say “it will outsell it because android sucks.” He said iphone will outsell android for a few months. I agree.

  • http://Website bubbles says

    When the Iphone 4g comes out, the sales will be through the roof, but so will the HTC EVO. Yes the Iphone will outsell the EVO, but Android sales will still remain strong. It is just the fact that Android beat the Iphone just makes me smile.

  • krazytrixxxsta

    you sound like a hater :)

  • krazytrixxxsta


    • http://Website geekosphere101

      I’m no hater, just stating the obvious. With the whole Gizmodo drama I doubt there are too many people out there who would be looking at a smartphone and wouldn’t know that a new iphone is coming soon. Certainly there are those holding out for it, as well as iphone 3G purchasers who will be due for new contracts this summer.

      Once Steve Jobs gets up there and preaches about how magical, awesome, amazing, intuitive, easy to use, and better than ever this new iphone is, they will be selling like wildfire. I doubt the introduction of the EVO will be able to hold off the new iPhone. Apple simply does a good job marketing, Android is still the new kid on the block.

      • Jorge

        Sadly this is true, and most consumers don’t research the products they purchase, they just trust friends, family and what they are exposed to by the media. If all Android phones were pushed as hard as the Droid was Android would have outsold the iPhone a long time ago…

      • http://Website Bob

        But the EVO is on sprint and IPhone will not come there.

  • http://Website JD

    I don’t think EVO could possibly out sale iphone 4G or whatever. I have an old G1 and my friend has an iphone 3G. I consider the 2 of the on par since there isn’t a thing that she can do using iphone and I couldn’t and I think G1 is much more friendly in use. That being said, she’s a huge Apple fan and I have plenty of them around me. Almost all of them are looking forward to the new iphone. There is no reason the new gen iphone is not gonna perform.

    I think the biggest thing with Android is how it relates with “geek”. You probably need to poke around a little bit. And it looks much more intimidating than the naive iphone OS. I think Android captures a lot of male market but what about the female market? I am definitely interested in how Android does there.

    I was looking forward to SE for a feminine phone but Xperia was not it.

    • http://Website The Omega Man

      Funny that you should mention this, as I was thinking the same thing. However, whenever I go into my local verizon store it is the women that all either have or a buying DROID! The guys tend to buy Crackberries! Even my lady has a DROID and loves it! She put her beloved Palm Treo down and hasn’t looed back! I showed her once how to download apps, and she now tells me about all the cool stuff that she has found in the marketplace. Android is really no different than using a modern GUI based PC, just with a touch interface instead of a mouse. Android does not hide this from the user like some “other,” mobile phone OSes do!

      From what I see, women like to text a lot, which is why they get the DROID verses the ERIS or the Incredible. I figured that the weight and the design would turn women off…..I was surprised to learn quite the contrary! Software like MotoBlur and HTC Sense are masking the RAW Google experience quire a bit, but they do, for the most part, what the average smart phone user wants a smart phone to do these days. Then if they want the real power, there are the apps!

  • http://Website the_omega_man

    Generally, it goes something like; he who has the majority of the indusry support behind them, WINS in the end. This is regardless of which solution is technically the best. (Right Sony?) This like many other technically driven consumer level markets is putting Apple, and to some extent at&t, into a technical market futures corner. This has become the HD DVD vs. BluRay HD media battle for 2010 and beyond. And it seems to be playing out to be Apple vs. Everyone Else at the top level. Apple is no Toshiba, in this battle for your smartphone dollars, when it comes to marketing or current market share. Apple is well established, leading in developer support, well funded and is in it to win it. I think that this round goes to Android. We’ll see, at the next round. All the major players are having to step up their respective games (quickly), to stem the current Android Momentum.

  • http://Website B

    Damn, Windows is old news. “Fell from the top 10 to not mentioned at all.”

  • Geary Saddler

    Honestly, the Iphone will be the best phone overall because even your child can operate it (that’s true folk’s). But, if it’s true that the AT&T exclusivity is through 2012, there network will be going to instant hell. Though, if Verizon some gets that iphone that data plan is going to be expensive as hell since they don’t want to go through the network issues AT&T is going through. Though, there are some people not living in reality. one phone vs many hardware options, and an o/s that is equal or better to the iphone. The iphone will cater to a niche market in the end. And Verizon or not, over time one option vs. many will push Android to the top. Add Microsoft windows 7 series comin soon the we know android OS will pushed to the top, iphone OS second place..

  • Todd Moses

    I am angry at Apple over the Flash debacle. Having a write once platform for all of the mobile platforms would of been great. So seeing this makes me happy. Plus I have a Nexus One and think it is much better than an iPhone.

  • http://Website Scott

    I’m glad the Droid came out. I’m ecstatic it is taking off in sales. I’m elated it’s getting press and is an open OS. And, I am also truly sincere. No I am not an Apple hater, on the contrary, I am a total Mac guy. But that doesn’t mean I but something just because it has the Apple logo on it. I really love my iPhone and there are more apps in the app store then I could ever use. So why am I happy about the Droid? Because It breads competition. Apple needs it. It’s better for the consumer.

    I want better Apple products and the only way we get better is to have competition. I could care less which phone wins the top sales, I just want something I like and can use. As far as the open OS, well iPhone users have two choices. Stay with the setup and be secure or Jailbreak your phone and use at your own risk.

    Yes, Apple closed it’s doors to clones in the early days, that was the best thing they could have done. Yes it cost them then, but look at them now. As of today Apple stock rose $5.57 and closed at $262.09 and Microsoft? Up $0.56 closed at $29.44. Apple is tight and that’s hard to deal with. But that also makes Apple a solid OS.

    I don’t doubt the Droid OS is making a lot of faces smile, especially those who are not fond of Apple. I say more power to them. It only makes the consumer win and that’s were you and I stand. So let the battle begin and be fought with all the blood and guts all these companies have. We will just have to sit back and reap the rewards!

  • http://Website cubicleslave

    I am a Moto Droid user, and I am scratching my head why the droid is doing so well. I sort of regret getting it, because of one crippling limitation: it does not allow you to make hands-free bluetooth calls. You can receive a call, but if you want to dial out, the “voice dial” app is useless. It requires you to use your hands to unlock the phone, then launch the app. Then after speaking your command, it requires you to use your hands to tap to confirm that your command was correctly understood. This procedure is illegal while driving in many states, including mine. I consider the Droid a beautiful, extremely functional computer. But as a telephone, my 5 year old LGvx8700 basic flip-phone does a better job, including bluetooth voice dialing. This voice-dial limitation has existed in the Android OS since day one, predating the Moto Droid. I’ve googled up a forum post from November 2008 where someone was complaining about it. And over the ensuing 18 months, Google has not said one peep about it, totally ignoring it! If you are a droid user, I encourage you to write about this problem everywhere you can. Then maybe Google will do something about it.

    • http://Website Bel

      Froyo is about to fix that. One of the features that is part of the release is BT voice command. :)

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  • kungpaodragon

    What bugs me is many Apple fans are people who own some Apple device as a fashion statement or a testament to their character or wealth. I will not knock on Apple because I believe they do truly make great products and they bring innovation. But I will never discount others like these Apple fans do. Spending $3k on a Mac that doesn’t crash like a $300 PC is not something to brag about. Neither will I spend so much for an iPhone when I can get better hardware and OS with a N1 or Droid. I can even replace the batteries!

    I wish they would just not act like they’re better because they own Apple products which supposedly make them better than others. Fact is, iPhone is great. N1 is great. Droid is great. But they’re the ones spending more for an iPhone for equal or less power and be on (for most anyway) a inferior AT&T network.

    • http://Website PersonalOpinion

      I 300% concur with you. Absolutely love it and I think the same way.

  • http://Website m3kenz

    For iphone and android phones.. just think about it.. how many Android phones comes out in a year compared to iphone???

    Yes, iphone is a great phone but not that great with it’s shortcomings and same goes for android.

    But, with that ratio of android phones being released against iphone, the advancement of android is something we cannot ignore.

    What I believe is.. if you want to be controlled or be dictated what you can do with your phone.. stick with iphone.. even with jailbreaked versions. Else, go for android.

    Both got their own advantage and disadvantages but it all boils down to your own taste and more importantly how you will be using your phone. :)

    Yes.. just got my first smartphone (been used to smart-less for over a decade).. nope I didn’t get the iPhone.. i instead went with Galaxy S with it’s lightweight plast-icky feel.

    Love it or Hate it! ^_^

  • http://Website Todd

    Were you surprised that the Nexus One has completely failed in the market and has been cancelled?

    • http://Website Jay

      Last I heard it hadn’t been canceled. Google just wasn’t going to sell it by itself anymore. They were looking to carriers to sell it like any other phone you might buy. Before the only way you could purchase it was through Google’s website. I have never bought a phone on the internet, especially one that costs $600.

  • http://Website Jay

    I don’t know, this seems kind of… wrong. Not the numbers, I’m sure those are accurate. It’s just that the Android OS is on so many phones now. It’s like saying that cars with Chevy engines outsold the Ford Focus. Maybe this isn’t a totally accurate comparison but I think you get where I’m going with this. Now if you said the Droid X or EVO outsold the iPhone that would be more interesting to me. I’d also be interested in Android surpassing the Blackberry OS.

  • http://Website iphonekiller

    the downfall of iphone is near! :D