The Volume Game: It’s Android All The Way!

by Gaurav Kheterpal on September 27, 2011

There’s no doubt that Android is perhaps the most visible open source success story of recent times. Even if that meant Google would align itself with losers to build its Android empire on selling its free open source mobile OS to mid-range companies like HTC, Samsung, and Motorola, companies who on their own didn’t stand a chance against the dominance of the iPhone.

While I admit that the multi-vendor multi-device strategy has its limitations that have been exposed by the likes of Microsoft and Apple, it’s given Android a massive advantage when it comes to the volume game. Industry watcher Nielsen reports that 43% of American smartphone subscribers use Android-based devices and as many as 56% of users who reported buying a new smartphone in the past three months said they got an Android device.

About 28 percent of those who bought a smartphone in the last three months purchased an iPhone. This is marginally less than the 31% who picked up an iPhone three months earlier. On the other hand, Android’s share of recent smartphone buyers jumped from 49% in May to 56% in August. It’s interesting to note that Android’s gain is mainly at the expense of BlackBerry and Symbian platforms.

Most people are holding off their iPhone plans in anticipation of the iPhone 5 that’s expected to be unveiled next Tuesday. The lack of a new iPhone on the market actually seems to be helping Android as “preferences of these so-called “recent acquirers” are important as they are often a leading indicator of where the market is going.” However, the report cautions that things might change quickly once Apple launches the iPhone 5 as “every time Apple launches a new iPhone or makes it available on a new wireless carrier, there is an increase in their sales.”

It’s a natural tendency for people to buy the latest and greatest smartphone available in the market. And when it comes to Android, the ‘New Arrivals’ shelf is always full courtesy the flood of new models powered by Android. Further, Android is carrier agnostic, at least in the United States. On the other hand, AT&T held a monopoly on the Apple iPhone for a long time. Though Apple launched the iPhone on Verizon earlier this year, it hasn’t launched a new model for some time.

Nielsen says that the holiday season could further accelerate smartphone adoption. What are your smartphone shopping plans for this holiday season? Do you plan to wait for the new iPhone? Or would you rather pick the latest one from the Android repertoire?

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby: RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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