Android’s lead in the U.S. smartphone market was extended further in the second quarter of 2011 according to leading market research firm The NPD Group. The firm on Monday released its second-quarter Mobile Phone Track report, which shows that Android devices accounted for 52% of smartphones sold in the U.S. last quarter. Apple’s iOS-powered iPhone showed slight gains in the second quarter as well, representing 29% of smartphone sales. RIM’s BlackBerry platform slid in the quarter according to NPD, dropping to an 11% share of the U.S. smartphone market, while Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile and webOS sales were flat at less than 5% each. NPD also believes that Google’s planned acquisition of Motorola Mobility will not deter its major Android partners, as some have speculated. “Google’s acquisition of Motorola shifts the balance of power in the handset-patent conflict between Google and its operating system competitors,” said Ross Rubin, The NPD Group’s executive director of industry analysis, in a statement. “Android’s momentum has made for a large pie that is attractive to Motorola’s Android rivals, even if they must compete with their operating system developer.” NPD’s full press release follows below.
Activations of Apple’s popular iPhone 4 handset slowed significantly at Verizon Wireless last quarter. The nation’s No. 1 carrier reported its second-quarter earnings early Friday morning, at which time it revealed its latest iPhone numbers. Verizon Wireless activated 2.3 million iPhone 4 units in its June quarter for an average of just under 177,000 phones each week. In the first quarter, Verizon Wireless activated 2.2 million iPhones, but the device had been available for just seven weeks in the quarter. During that period, the carrier was activating an average of more than 315,000 devices each week. It stands to reason that iPhone 4 sales would slow following the device’s debut with the carrier, but this 44% drop off is a bit steep for the single most popular smartphone on the planet. AT&T announced on Thursday that it activated 3.6 million iPhones in the June quarter, but the carrier does not separate iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS activations so there is no basis for comparison.
According to a Goldman Sachs analyst, Verizon Wireless is expected to announce that second-quarter sales of the iPhone 4 dropped from the first quarter of this year. “iPhone sales will likely be a touch below the 2.2 million” units that the carrier moved during the first quarter, Goldman Sachs analyst Jason Armstrong told Bloomberg. Verizon Wireless started selling the iPhone 4 a full month after the first quarter started — one might expect with more time to move the phone during the second quarter that sales would be greater. It’s likely the jump in first-quarter sales was from built up anticipation, however, so it could be that Verizon subscribers aren’t as interested in the iPhone as most believed. Armstrong, who recently sat in meetings with Verizon Wireless’ investor relations execs, said that sales of other Verizon Wireless smartphones surpassed expectations for the quarter. More →
…the iPhone. BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk on Wednesday published the findings of a study in which BTIG researchers contacted 250 AT&T and Verizon Wireless retail stores to determine which smartphone model finds its way to consumers’ pockets the most. The study, which took place over the past three weeks, found that Apple’s iPhone was the best-selling smartphone at 58% of the stores polled. An Android model took top billing at 21% of the stores, and sales were neck and neck at 20% of retail shops. Breaking BTIG’s findings out by carrier, 65% of AT&T stores polled said the iPhone was their best-selling smartphone versus 31% that said an Android model was No. 1, and the iPhone was the top smartphone at 51% of Verizon shops polled. Also of note, when Verizon stores were asked about their best-selling 4G LTE smartphone model, 90% said it was the Samsung DROID Charge and just 10% said it was HTC’s ThunderBolt. The LG Revolution wasn’t included in the firm’s study. Hit the break for for charts depicting BTIG’s findings. More →
In a note to investors, RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky echoed a notice from Research In Motion that cut the company’s quarterly outlook citing lower than expected smartphone sales. RIM now expects Q1 revenue “slightly below” original guidance due to pullback in shipments of smartphones and a lower average selling price. Shares of Research In Motion are down over 10% in after hours trading. We exclusively reported that RIM might only announce one handset at the company’s BlackBerry World conference next week, as opposed to most of their upcoming product lineup.
Following an interview on Tuesday with Samsung Mobile boss J. K. Shin, Korea Times reports big phones and bigger aspirations are set to from electronics giant Samsung in 2011. Shin told the Korean paper that Samsung will establish itself as a top mobile brand this year, and it’s swinging for the fences. Samsung projects smartphone sales in 2011 to triple last year’s totals, skyrocketing from 20 million to 60 million units. “I think we did better than our previous goal of selling 270 million mobile phones in 2010. The 20 million smartphones sold gives us a foundation to build on in the premium segment too,” Shin told Korea Times. “Our plan for this year is to sell 60 million smartphones and cement ourselves as a global top-tier brand in this segment.” Shin said last week that Samsung plans to introduce several new smartphone and tablet models next month at Mobile World Congress. More →
Market research firm Gartner released its Q3 2010 cell phone numbers on Wednesday and, to put it mildly, it’s an exciting time in the mobile space. Overall cell phone sales across the globe grew 35% compared to Q3 2009, and smartphone sales exploded — almost doubling numbers from the same quarter last year. Gartner’s report shows total smartphone sales of over 81 million units worldwide, which accounts for 19.3 percent of global cell phone sales in the quarter.
The shining star this quarter was Google’s Android operating system, which saw unbelievable growth compared to last year. Approximately 20.5 million Android devices were sold in the third quarter of 2010, accounting for 22.5% of the global smartphone market. In the same quarter last year, less than 1.5 million Android phones were sold, making up about 3.5% of the market. The increase in Android phone sales amounts to a staggering 1,440% swing, year over year. If there was any question that Android is well on its way to becoming the most popular smartphone OS in the world, the answer now seems fairly apparent.
On the flip side of the coin, Gartner’s numbers are rather unsettling for the world’s top cell phone manufacturer, Nokia. Gartner states that the Finnish giant lost 8.5% of the global cell phone market year over year, while Symbian, Nokia’s smartphone OS of choice, lost 8% of the market. Symbian smartphone sales were up almost 10 million units over the period, but the market is growing at a far more rapid pace. The figures also show iOS losing 0.4% of the smartphone market compared to Q3 2009, though sales nearly doubled from 7 million to 13.5 million units; and RIM lost 5.9% of the market, though sales climbed from 8.5 million units in Q3 2009 to 12 million units in Q3 2010. More →