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Android predicted to outrun iPhone by 2012

updated 02:50 pm EDT, Thu August 5, 2010

Android variety could overtake iPhone in 2 years

An aggressive estimate by iSuppli today has Android passing iOS for share by 2012. While Apple still has a comfortable total user base today, Google is accelerating quickly enough that it could claim 75 million active phones by 2012 where Apple would grow to just 62 million. That ratio could widen further in the following two years to where Android would have 22.8 percent share, at over 100 million phones, where iPhones and related devices would shrink in relative share to 15.3 percent.

Analysts at the group said they still thought the iPhone would set a standard for smartphones but that Apple's insistence on a vertical design, where it makes both the hardware and software, would limit its potential. Google has the advantage of many hardware manufacturers that can reach carriers, countries and prices where Apple isn't necessarily willing to go.

Apple has routinely insisted that it's concerned with providing the best experience and not necessarily making sacrifices in quality or control to get to that objective. Some have criticized Apple, however, for potentially repeating what they see as repeating the mistake it made in the 1980s of refusing to license its OS early on and thus giving up its potential reach.

Other analysts have disagreed and note that much of Apple's problem stems from its exclusivity in the US. Verizon is the largest individual seller of Android phones in the world. Suspicions have been raised that a Verizon iPhone could mute Android as many customers might simply be buying the Droid line out of loyalty to the carrier or the cost of jumping to AT&T.

by MacNN Staff




    Joined: Dec 1969


    Android predicted to outrun iPhone by 2012 - Reall

    If Android did not overtake Apple at some point - now that would be a surprise. The sheer number of vendors will make it impossible for Apple to keep up in numbers.

    This game is not about quantity but QUALITY at least for some of us.

    I got my iPhone because it was functional, did what I wanted to do and was gorgeous. And most importantly for it never failed me, not once, not even AT&T's poor service caused a failure.

    I will probably never buy another brand of phone. And say what you may my iPhone 4 - not a single problem - works as advertised.

    I am willing to bet a $1 that by 2015 the Android market will be another PC market - fragmented, with poor quality and horrible service.

    So who really cares about the Android market. I wish Apple would raise its prices but spend more on quality I am willing to pay the extra money for a better product.

  1. Herod

    Joined: Dec 1969



    who cares.

  1. t_c

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Of COURSE Android is a threat ... and there's a lot more that they can do to make it a bigger threat (i.e. push for standardized connectors for integration and maybe put in safeguards for the quality/piracy stuff that's going on now).

    Certainly opening up the carriers will increase sales. It's nice here in Canada where you can pick pretty much any carrier. They should really at least do the Verizon thing in the U.S.

    Not sure if different models would help too? (i.e. sligthly larger?)

  1. Orbifold

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Android a moat around iPhone castle

    "In business, I look for economic castles protected by unbreachable 'moats'."
    -Warren Buffett

    Microsoft, Samsung, and Nokia can't compete with Apple at the high end and Google has preempted the low end. But as Eric Schmidt says, Apple and Google can coexist because the make money differently. Google needs mobile advertising revenue and Apple needs profits on the phone. What Google really needs isn't an iPhone killer but a mobile ad platform.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's rather interesting that they can

    predict that far ahead. I'm only saying that if Apple uses other carriers in the U.S. that would offset the speed in which Android takes the lead. I'm certain there must be plenty of Verizon and Sprint customers that would want the iPhone if it were available. Also, Apple could come up with some cloud storage strategy that would pull in even more users. The future isn't fixed for any OS, so I suppose they're saying Android wins at a certain point if everything remains the same for another year. As an Apple shareholder, I'll stick with Apple's walled garden and higher price/quality strategy even if it limits market share. With iPad and iPod Touch units included, Apple will still move an awful lot of iOS devices.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    If They're Available BOGO ...

    ... then it's BOGUS.

  1. CarlRJ

    Joined: Dec 1969


    In other news...

    Zune predicted to outrun iPod by 200x.

    As others have said, given the number of vendors/models, it'll almost be a surprise if it doesn't happen, but that doesn't mean they'll be better phones, just more numerous.

    And news agencies LOVE "$NEWTHING will kill $FRONTRUNNER" stories... If I had a dollar for every "Doom killer", "Quake killer", or "iPod killer" story I ever saw...

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Joined: Dec 1969


    WAIT! Lemme guess...

    The little green robots are coming to get us, right wrenchy?

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    2012 is the year

    Let's see: the Apple/AT&T 5 year exclusivity deal ends in 2012, and the "real 4G" with all-IP all-packet-switched protocol will be rolled out in 2012. This will allow Apple to build a single iPhone for all 4G networks around the world, including Verizon.

    I suspect that Apple is rope-a-doping all the AT&T criticism until 2012, so they can avoid the complexity of adding an extra assembly line for a CDMA-only iPhone for Verizon and/or avoid cramming dual CDMA/GSM circuitry into the 2011 iPhone.

    The CEO of Verizon is going to give a keynote at next January's CES. But he's not going to announce a Verizon iPhone. He'll probably hype some kind of cheesy Android tablet that runs on what he will call "4G" even though it's only actually the interim LTE speed-bump. Tablets seem to be important enough for CEOs to demo. Remember Ballmer last year? LMFAO.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple needs iAd revenue ASAP

    @ Orbifold - ..."Google needs mobile advertising revenue and Apple needs profits on the phone."...

    That's true now. But as we've all seen, hardware costs relentlessly drop year after year. In ten years desktops, laptops, pads, and cell phones will be so cheap that it will be hard for Apple to maintain their hardware profits.

    And that's part of the reason why they bought the company that became iAd. To establish a non-hardware revenue stream for their developers and for themselves. Providing revenue to developers is a great way to attract them to iOS, and the iAd revenue Apple receives will give them an alternative to hardware revenue.

    So Apple needs advertising revenue as much as Google does. And not just mobile ad revenue. The next-gen iOS Apple TV + MobileMe cloud + North Carolina data center would be perfect for delivering HD-resolution iAds to millions of living rooms...

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