updated 12:20 pm EST, Fri January 6, 2012
Analyst shows iPhone 4S holding off rivals
The iPhone 4S held off the Galaxy Nexus for the top spot in smartphones on Verizon, Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley found through channel checks. Apple's newest phone still had the top sales spot on every major US carrier that sells it in December, keeping the first Android 4.0 phone at second place. As before, the only carrier where Apple didn't lead was T-Mobile, where it doesn't participate.
Samsung's Galaxy S II was the next-closest pick and was first at T-Mobile and second at AT&T and Sprint. The Motorola Droid RAZR was third at Verizon, but the 8GB iPhone 4 took third place at AT&T. Walkley didn't include a third-place device in its Sprint listing, possibly as a typo, but showed that HTC had been kicked out of the top three at every carrier except for T-Mobile.
Apple was helped by the delays on the Galaxy Nexus, where its mid-December launch kept it out of nearly the entire fall quarter. Verizon's revelation this week that it had sold 4.2 million iPhones versus 2.2 million LTE devices in the fall nonetheless showed that Apple likely held the top spot by a disproportionately large margin, outselling every Verizon 4G Android phone and tablet combined.
Based on estimates, the analyst went on to make the prediction that Android would lose overall market share for the first time. He saw it dipping from 47.8 percent this summer to 46 percent in the fall as the iPhone leapt from 14.3 percent to 20.4. Even RIM, which has been declining through most of 2011, will have bounced back to 9.4 percent on a wave of new BlackBerry 7 devices.
Apple is estimated to have shipped 30.5 million iPhones, six million of which would have been sold to actual customers at AT&T and two million at Sprint. The combined, predicted real sales of 12 million could be "conservative," Walkley said, since there might be at least 14 million for inventory in the US alone and that there would possibly be more sales from cheaper, previous-generation models, most of all in Asia and Western Europe.
Android might still gain overall share in 2012, but it would be from other smartphone designers and not Apple.
Among tablets, the iPad would still stay in front, but the launch of the Amazon Kindle Fire will have dramatically cut Apple's share. Estimating 13 million iPads shipped, he believed Apple would drop to 53.2 percent in the fall, and 63.2 percent for the year. Amazon would have 15.3 percent just in the fall and 6.2 percent for all of 2011, getting more share than any other company besides Apple and Samsung.
Having once defined what a tablet was, Microsoft's entire Windows Tablet PC platform will have collapsed to just two percent of tablets in the fall and 2.9 percent for the whole year. It hopes to recover with Windows 8 later this year, but will be working with even less of an established base than it had when rebooting its efforts in smartphones.
World smartphone share
World tablet share