updated 11:10 am EST, Fri January 27, 2012
ABI says iPhone 4S rise led to Android loss
Apple's record iPhone sales have led to Android shrinking for the first time in its over three-year history, ABI Research estimated Friday. Operating on the belief that next-closest Samsung shipped 33 million smartphones, it had Android's collective share drop from 52.5 percent in the summer to 47 percent this fall. Apart from the iPhone 4S' launch effect, Android had 'sagging midsection' where LG, Motorola, and Sony had been fighting just to become profitable.
Huawei and ZTE were doing relatively well, but at 6.6 million and 4.5 million smartphones delivered, neither was major competition for Apple or Samsung.
Whether or not the reversal holds isn't definite. It could depend on whether or not iPhone 4S sales volume keeps up in the first post-launch quarter as well as the successes of any international expansion. Android isn't likely to bounce back, however, as most companies won't show their first 2012 devices until Mobile World Congress late next month and are unlikely to ship until at least the spring.
Nokia and Samsung were still in front for cellphones of any kind, although the decline of basic feature phones ended up helping not just Apple but RIM, who despite its smartphone share declines moved up from ninth to seventh among all cellphones.