9to5 Mac reported earlier this morning that Android’s market share is surpassing Apple’s iPhone according to the NPD Group. Suggesting that Android holds 28% of the smartphone market compared to the iPhone’s measly 21%, things are looking great for Google and friends right? Well considering the iPhone is only on one carrier in the United States (and produced by a single manufacturer), compared to the four big carriers Android is on and multiple manufacturers, why hasn’t Android captivated more than 30% of the marketplace? Heck, they should be up there with RIM by now if their phones were really that good.
I personally don’t think the numbers are all that impressive (if we pretend for a moment that NPD’s numbers are actually reliable). Let’s look at the Android phone world as a whole - we have dozens of devices out there, compared to Apple’s main three (3GS, 3G, and 2G). My argument isn’t that Android is captivating the market somehow, but rather they’re in greater abundance and you can get better deals on the phone itself. More people are buying Android phones because a lot of smart phones (and good feature phones) happen to be running Android. I don’t know if the deal still exists, but single users could get Motorola Droids for thirty dollars on Amazon’s wireless site. If it’s a family plan, you usually get a second $200 Android phone for free with the activation free waived.
Personally, I think it comes down to what you want to spend or think your spending on a phone (getting a good deal) rather than the phone itself. With AT&T always getting a bad rap, customers might be more inclined to purchase phones from better carriers that don’t provide the iPhone (and Android phones are the next best thing). Lastly, these numbers aren’t hurting iPhone sales. People are still buying iPhones in droves, and Apple clearly has nothing to worry about from the competition (they are making mad money). So while you might have dozens of Android phones in people’s hands, a select few iPhones still hold a significant amount of the marketplace - and that is what’s really impressive.