updated 08:20 am EDT, Mon November 1, 2010
NPD has Android at 44pc due to BlackBerry drop
Android now has roughly twice the market share of the iPhone in the US but owes this to a rash of Americans defecting from the BlackBerry, NPD researchers learned today. Google's platform shot from just three percent last summer to 44 percent this year, but almost all of the gain was at RIM's expense as the BlackBerry collapsed from 46 percent to 22 percent in the space of a year. Apple did decline over the period, but at a far gentler decline from 29 percent to 23 percent.
The gains for Android came largely through the sheer quantity of devices and carriers where RIM was doing little to persuade buyers, according to NPD Executive Director Ross Rubin. Google had the advantage of multiple high-profile phones at each major US carrier. RIM, meanwhile, has usually limited its cross-carrier releases to low-end phones like the BlackBerry Curve and Pearl series where the high-end phones usually only get single-carrier introductions. Verizon is also known to have snubbed RIM by shifting nearly all its marketing attention from phones like the BlackBerry Storm to the Droid line starting from late 2009 onwards.
"The HTC Evo 4G, Motorola Droid X, and other new high-end Android devices have been gaining momentum at carriers that traditionally have been strong RIM distributors," Rubin said. "And the recent introduction of the BlackBerry Torch has done little to stem the tide."
In spite of Google's lead, no one of its devices was enough to challenge Apple or RIM. The iPhone 4 was the single most popular phone in the US during the summer. The BlackBerry Curve 8500 series was second, again helped by its presence on virtually every carrier.
Google's ability to hold on to its lead isn't certain. Leaked, if unconfirmed, CDMA iPhone production details have suggested that Apple expects rapid iPhone sales with a launch on Verizon and could soften Android's effect on the market.