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Gartner: Android outsold iPhone in the US

updated 08:25 am EDT, Wed May 19, 2010

Gartner sees Android passing iPhone worldwide soon

Android phone sales have overtaken the iPhone in the North American market for the first time, Gartner found today. Thanks to a 906 percent surge in shipments worldwide to 5.21 million phones, Google's mobile OS outpaced Apple's in North America and the US in particular. The analysts didn't readily provide numbers, but it suggests that the majority of Android phones were sold in the US as Apple sold 2.7 million US iPhones.

Worldwide, Apple still comfortably outsold the combined Android platform, jumping from 10.5 percent of the market a year ago to 15.4 percent. Gartner however expected Android to overtake the iPhone before long as its worldwide sales grew six times larger over the same space of time, from 1.6 percent to 9.6 percent. Research VP Carolina Milanesi explained the rapidly closing gap as an inevitable result of sheer scale, as Apple's approach makes it harder to grow.

"You have one vendor with one model and eight to nine vendors with many models -- of course you get bigger volumes," she said.

Most Android sales came from HTC and Motorola, which shipped 2.6 million and 2.3 million total smartphones each. Samsung has also been a significant contributor.

Gartner's overall statistics vary from those of IDC, which gave Apple a larger 16.1 percent share and sixth place in all phone sales; the former put Apple at seventh place behind Motorola.

The new data makes it more difficult for Apple to reject possible market pressures. The iPhone maker dismissed an NPD study as being unrepresentative but has yet to answer to market share results.

How Android and iPhone will perform by the end of the spring isn't clear. Android is expected to get a lift from the Droid Incredible, Evo 4G and other flagship phones in the near future, but the launch of the next iPhone expected in June should prove a catalyst to Apple's already higher sales.

by MacNN Staff



  1. sammaffei

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Do you think...

    That Verizon's "buy one, get one free" offer has anything to do with it? Ya think?

  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969



    haha, you guys love talking about BOGO to refute any sales figures. Apple was selling the iphone 3g for under $100 for the last year. That's better than many BOGO deals.

    Android is going to outsell the iphone by the millions. It's just a result of it being an open OS on multiple handsets. It doesn't mean its better. Relax. Don't be so insecure about your phone purchase.

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    My Goodness

    I would certainly hope so...with all the different models and carriers..... Looks like Google's setting some lofty goals there....

    Keep in mind Apple had No intention to sell as many iPhones as they have... They wanted like 2% of the market.

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I mean come on....

    It's like Ford announcing they sold more cars than Lamborghini...

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not the Apple model

    Apple has never been a champion of the marketshare mentality. Whether forced or inherited from the PC decade, they've looked to tightly control new products & their overall experience from Macs to iPods to iPhones now to iPads. There IS only one iPhone.

    Android was destined to be successful because it provided a free development opportunity, beating even Microsoft at their own game of providing an OS to the masses (but for a fee in Redmond's case). But along w/ "free" software comes all the other elements in that Pandora's Box...incompatibility, poor support, non-traditional development expertise & cycles, as well as Google at the center of the OS advancement (which in your opinion may be either good or bad).

    Apple seems more than happy to be where they are with their products, share and profits... and I am, for one, glad to know this competition will keep them developing better products.


  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Roehlstation has it

    While I applaud the growth of Android as an OS....... its an OS not a phone. The article says that GM sold more cars than the Ford Focus....

    Android is an OS used on many many models of various phones... the iPhone is a single phone that came in 3 (now 2) models. If you want to talk OS, talk iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.. if you want to talk phones,,,,,, pick one.

    PS. the trouble with Android and any numbers to compare is that every 6 months they quit making the current model and make a new different model that uses a different version of Android.

    Just a thought here.

  1. phillymjs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This time of year the iPhone target market is mostly in two camps:
    1) People who just got one during the holidays
    2) People who are holding out for the newest model to be released in the summer it's no huge surprise that the iPhone was overtaken.

    The techie discussion boards are laughable these days with all the Android fanboys who are crowing about this. I'm half waiting for them to break into a rendition of "Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead."

    What's funnier? Two weeks ago those very same fanboys on those very same sites were crying that evil old Apple has an unassailable monopoly in the mobile OS market. Make up your minds, guys.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    BOGO is fair game

    Verizon's buy one get one free, is just part of the many reasons.

    First of all, Android was on all the major carriers, not limited to just at&t.

    Some models of phones where buy-one-get-one free.

    Some models were for the non-contract market.

    Some models were sold to the unlock market. In Europe some iPhones are sold that way too, since the laws force Apple to have an unlocked version in some countries....but overall the unlock market is a larger space for Android.

    You have multiple phones, coming from many manufacturers and the effect is that some Android phone somewhere, has just been updated most every month.

    As we go forward, Android is fixing to go with a vengeance into prepay markets and downscale, and into the accelerating 'replace feature phone' market. In addition to going upscale, and with Android 2.2, flash support.

    So, why BOGO is supposed to be a free pass...I have no idea. BOGO is just one of the many ways Android is implementing explosive growth and what it comes down to, is they have explosive growth.

    I wish for Apple the same, but Apple has Steve Jobs, he's a mixed blessing.

    His attention to detail and requirement for ease-of-use excellence, has made apple into a powerhouse.

    At the same time, his need for control means, he will, as he did with Mac, not license the device, and watch in wonder as a different business model takes the market and he will once again give up a market lead and head the company into a small niche of the marketplace.

  1. thebiggfrogg

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I like the small niche; a bit bigger is okay, but I don't want Apple owning big hunks of the market with all the problems that entails (see Wintel lowest common denominator decisions for one and the plethora of viruses targeting that OS for two). I hope Apple has a significant share to stay healthy, but not a dominant one. I also hope they keep their system relatively closed. You can have your 500 flavors of Android and 100 different handsets and all the accompanying headaches. Yuk!

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nokia is the leader worldwide

    Nokia sold 100 million handsets last quarter. mull that around for a bit, 100 MILLION, in a QUARTER.

    Now, the common wisdom is that Nokia is just going to get skunked....but really think about it, how?

    Of that 100 million, 80 million was in the feature phone segment, an area where Apple won't compete, and the other 20 million which were smartphones, were largely sold to the razor-thin markup non-contract markets, in Europe yes, but also to emerging markets like India and Russia and Brazil, where price is king.

    Apple doesn't compete at the low end of the market, they have no plans to compete in that market. Yes someday the 'feature phone' will be a thing of the past - but will it be because the whole world got rich and goes up-market? Or will it just really be because smartphones move down-market? You know the answer.

    The latter is the answer, and also the reason that Apple will not, cannot, plain won't be the market leader.

    They aren't now, and they never will be.

    Now Nokia might lose out....but it will be to an Android or a Blackberry. While Blackberry is passe here in the states, they are still growing with a vengeance in those emerging markets, where the sheer volume of people will annoint the market leader....want to know whose going to win, on a world wide basis? Look to the India, China, and Brazil. Looks like Android, Blackberry and Nokia are set to duke it out, while Apple is targetting those countries upper class - and staking out a profitable, but clearly niche marketspace in those countries.

    I'll never convince you. You just don't understand that the U.S. isn't the whole world.

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