updated 09:10 am EST, Wed December 1, 2010
Nielsen says iPhone in more demand than Android
Despite claims to the contrary, Apple may still have the lead not just in US smartphone market share but also in demand, Nielsen said today. As of October, the iPhone had 27.9 percent of share of those asked, which was not just ahead of Android's 22.7 percent but just ahead of RIM's 27.4 percent. Among those looking at smartphone upgrades, 30 percent were looking to buy an iPhone while Android was at 28 percent; just 13 percent were planning to get a BlackBerry, the study showed.
The researchers took a look into the demographics behind the share and suggested that a number of non-iPhone owners were disillusioned. Android was the most interesting to those with basic phones, at 28 percent versus the iPhone's 25 percent, but Apple had a disproportionately larger share from those who already had a smartphone, at 35 percent versus an unchanged portion for Google. RIM never had more than 15 percent.
Part of the reason for Android's success may have been its appeals by age and gender, Nielsen's data revealed. It had the most appeal among those 18 to 24 years old and a disproportionately large share among males, where in both areas Android had about 32 percent. Google's popularity fell off rapidly both among anyone 25 or older as well as with all women. BlackBerry demand was consistently small among all age and gender categories at between 11 and 14 percent, challenging views that BlackBerry demand was still high among older, usually more professionally-oriented users.
The results are a survey rather than raw market share and might not wholly reflect market share, but the results suggest that Android may have lost momentum in the early fall or else that many of those coming from other platforms were going to iPhones first. A relatively quiet period for Android phone launches may have played a part, since only a handful of low-profile devices like the Motorola Droid Pro and Samsung Continuum shipped in recent months where the Samsung Galaxy S and most Motorola Droid phones were no longer new. iPhone sales have historically seen relatively little cooldown and usually only taper off sharply in the last few months before the yearly upgrade.