updated 03:05 pm EDT, Wed June 22, 2011
BTIG says iPhone the bestseller at carrier stores
The iPhone is the most popular phone at US carrier shops by a wide margin, BTIG found in a study [reg. required]. Apple had the top spot at 58 percent of 250 AT&T and Verizon stores. About 20 percent of stores said Android was in a dead heat with the iPhone, and just 21 percent cited Android as being the frontrunner.
Apple unsurprisingly had the best success at AT&T, where it represented 65 percent of the provider's sales, but it also had the majority at Verizon, where it was 51 percent. About 38 percent of Verizon locations showed roughly similar popularity, where only 11 percent gave Android the unambiguous lead. Every Android-led store cited a 4G device.
Only one percent of stores cited another platform besides Android or the iPhone, and none mentioned basic feature phones out in front.
BTIG acknowledged that its reports of HTC Thunderbolts outselling iPhones were short-lived. Its very short battery life, as little as four hours when 4G is active, quickly became a major problem. The Thunderbolt is now only the bestselling Android phone at 10 percent of Verizon stores where 90 percent now give that distinction to the Samsung Droid Charge and its noticeably longer battery life.
Researchers noted that Apple was only likely to keep its top spot as the market got wider and that Android wasn't guaranteed a position. Technically savvy users lose relevance when growth takes off, and Apple's size as a brand gave it an inherent advantage. A preliminary estimate saw Apple shipping 17 million iPhones in its soon-to-end spring quarter, a decline from 18.65 million in winter but double what it managed a year earlier.
"This is Apple's market to lose," BTIG's Walter Piecyk said.