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Android catching up to iPhone in buyer interest

updated 06:05 pm EST, Mon January 4, 2010

Fifth of smartphone buyers want Android

Nearly as many smartphone buyers want an Android phone as they do iPhones, ChangeWave finds in a new study. Following the November launch of the Motorola Droid, demand in the US for Android phones in the next 90 days has shot up from just 6 percent in September to 21 percent in December. The number puts it much closer to the iPhone, whose demand actually fell slightly to 28 percent.

The sudden switch is enough to put Android demand ahead of the BlackBerry (18 percent) for the first time. Other platforms have continued their steady decline in demand as Windows Mobile has lost a third of its demand, falling to 6 percent, while even Palm's webOS hasn't been enough to prevent demand from halving to 3 percent.

Appropriately, Motorola has reversed course and jumped from just 1 percent of demand as a hardware manufacturer to 13 percent; the increase not only puts its demand over Palm and HTC (4 and 9 percent) but is the first increase registered in over three years of studies, the analyst group says. When linked to individual phone makers, Apple still has a clear lead as 32 percent of respondents want an iPhone while only 21 percent want a BlackBerry.

The strong marketing campaign for the Droid, as well as favorable reviews, has helped Android gain publicity in the past two months and led to the sharp uptick. However, it's also noted that existing Android phone owners are nearly tied with iPhone owners for satisfaction, as 72 percent say they're "very satisfied" while 77 percent of iPhone owners say the same. Just 41 percent of BlackBerry owners claim the same while a third of Palm owners and a quarter of Windows Mobile owners reach similar levels of happiness.

While a potential danger to Apple, it's noted that the drop in demand for the iPhone 3GS has been much softer than after the iPhone 3G was released, hinting that Apple is relatively secure. BlackBerry and Palm success, however, are both likely to be contingent on new phones shipping in the early part of this year, such as the BlackBerry Tour2 and the Pre Plus for Verizon.

by MacNN Staff



  1. thebiggfrogg

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Braggadocio! Conundrums! Zoinks!

  1. leamanc

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yeah right

    I don't think I can come up with a better response than thebiggfrogg above. Have these people actually seen the Android OS?

  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Android does.

    I have an android phone. (because of AT&T and not wanting their service) I also have an iPhone with no service on it, so it's essentially an iPod touch with a camera.

    I can say that so far, the android (HTC Hero, with Android 1.5) does, for the most part, what the iPhone does. The difference is it's a pain to use. It's not a fit and finished product as is the iPhone.

    The iPhone may be lacking in some features, but the features that Apple puts into a product are well thought out and complete. It just works.

    With my Android, it took me 15 minutes to figure out how to delete an email!! Yeah, you have to be in the message, then hit menu, THEN the trash shows up. Now that I found it, I'm more able to get around. The problem was I had to find it!!

    Another annoyance is with IMAP emails. It gives me a notification when I get a new email, but if I check that email on my computer, the notification remains on my handheld. On the iPhone, the new message indicator updates properly. Again, little details make a HUGE difference!

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Let's see how many will actually go out on a limb and pay the $500+ for this puppy. Don't automatically assume that someone will subsidize this. Apple is a known moneymaker, Android isn't.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Androids strategy is broad market

    I agree the iPhone is great, but Android's strategy is to go with more manufacturers, more carriers, and across a broader price spectrum.

    If you think that $99 is the price of the iPhone, you aren't alone, but you also aren't correct.
    That is a subsidized price, and you pay the difference back through your contract. So you are paying $400 for that smartphone.

    The prepay market not only exists, but its large Android ramps up its going to enter this market...Apple doesn't appear to have any plans whatsoever.

    So the trends you see in the charts, they will continue.

    Apple isn't going to care, they will lock up the high end of the market, and as far as I can tell, that's been their goal all along.

    But, Android will have the greater marketshare in terms of total phones sold.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I think Android will do well, but I'm still

    be concerned about fragmentation of the platform. I still can't grasp the fact that there is no gatekeeper on the Android platform. It just seems too open. I'm sure there must be the possibility of malware and trojans in apps that are just uploaded without being checked. I wouldn't think it would be good for non-tech users unless Google could somehow group delete problem apps from Android phones. I don't know if this is a comparison, but with the Windows desktop OS, you really shouldn't be downloading apps unless you have a serious anti-virus/anti-malware program. Is Android immune to virii? Maybe I just don't know enough about Android so I'm jumping to conclusions. If I were a low-tech smartphone user, I would just feel safer with a gatekeeper to protect me from rogue apps.

    Android will undoubtedly have the largest market share in a few years but I wonder if anyone will recognize Android from company to another. And how do you build apps to suit all those transmutated devices?

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Let's hear if for the droid

    First of all, I am a very happy iPhone user. A coworker here got the droid (replaced his blackberry) and he is very satisfied. I found the device quick, easy to use and the display is bright and crisp.

    One result is that Apple may be less reluctant to hold back features and have some head to head competition. The blackberry is a great device, but the market is different. Droid is going after the same market as the iPhone.

  1. FreeRange

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Android Interest may be high but...

    What nonsense. Interest is one thing but action is something totally different. First off, Android is suffering from fragmentation in that they have multiple versions of the OS that ARE NOT backward compatible, or forward compatible due to the hardware restrictions of the devices. Further, the devices lack memory and a viable apps market. Success for Android will be a slow process. It is in fact an inferior hardware, software, app and ecosystem solution and the market will quickly figure this out, regardless of current intent.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: I think

    I'm sure there must be the possibility of malware and trojans in apps that are just uploaded without being checked.

    Believe it or not, that same possibility lies in appStore apps too. Apple doesn't get the source code, so they have no way of really checking what the apps do or don't do. They can make sure they don't use invalid APIs. But you have no way of knowing that some app doesn't have a dated payload that doesn't fire until after the review cycle would be up. Or know that it doesn't grab your address book data and send it along to their servers.

    But why are people so worried about malware and trojans on a phone but not on their own computer?

  1. BTBlomberg

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Interest and buying are different things

    Al lot of these respondents may be interested in the iPhone and not want AT&T because of the area they live in has bad AT&T coverage. Also, the Droid ad campaigns are fresh and although inaccurate are fresh in peoples minds. People are easily pushed one way or another without any thought. To analyze the specs on each device and the iPhone is way ahead of all Android phones, and although they are quick now, load them up with multitasking apps and that will fall apart. Also, Android is not set up to run games like the iPhone/iPod Touch can.

    Now Google could announce a better Google phone today that makes up for that, but like others have said the platform is fragmented and each implementation per phone carrier is different making for an inconsistent experience and problems down the road. Droid will have a peak now but 6 months down the road the customer satisfaction will drop significantly.

    We just got our iPhone 3GSs last month and they are incredible. Have heard from others with Palm and Android phones of loving it a first and then the OS and hardware issues start to make phones unusable. I know that may be the norm, but I have heard from a lot of people trying out these phones having issues.

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