Blog Post

iPhone More Global Than Android — for Now

iPhone Share in April 2010Android is getting the majority of its traction from the North American region while the iPhone is more global in nature, according to a new report from the soon-to-be-owned-by-Google mobile advertising company, AdMob. Of course, that’s due to change soon given that Google claims some 100,000 Android-based phones are being activated every day on 59 carriers in 48 countries.

The “devices shipped can be very different from the installed user base on a platform,” notes AdMob. It uses Apple as an example, pointing to how Cupertino “does not break out how many of the 85 million iPhone OS units are no longer in use, what the overlap is between iPhone and iPod touch users.” Well you could say the same for Android devices. I already have three Android-based phones I no longer use.

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And that is precisely why I like AdMob’s “unique devices” approach.

Android Handset Share in April 2010AdMob says that in the U.S. in April there were 10.7 million iPhone devices compared to 8.7 million Android devices. Add in the iPod touch, and the gap between the platforms increases to 2:1 in the US and 3.5:1 globally. Nearly 75 percent of Android devices are used in North America, compared to 49 percent of iPhone OS devices.

According to AdMob, in April HTC accounted for the second-largest smartphone traffic in the U.S. after Apple, with 18.9 percent of the total traffic share vs. iPhone’s 38 percent. On a worldwide basis, HTC accounted for 10 percent of traffic, though Apple leads there with a 41 percent share.

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29 Responses to “iPhone More Global Than Android — for Now”

  1. Li Xing

    I think this is great for Android, especially with everything Google has gone through in China. My main concern is the ability to get apps. When I was in China the only was I was to get the apps I wanted was through a site called RawApps.com because of China’s filter system.

  2. scottnagniwab

    Here in the Philippines, the Apple iPhone and iPad are expensive so it’s rare to know a person who owns any of it! Not-yet-cheap mobile phones with Google Android are slowly penetrating our country, I just hope Google wouldn’t ogle and steal our personal information then use and sell them (but that is already happening!). I’m really looking forward when Asian companies simply topple again the 2 mammoth companies, Google and Apple – HTC, Samsung, LG, etc. hehehe ;-)

  3. mella

    ahha, I always believe iPhone will win, and Im sticking with my iPhone.
    Now, looking forward to the multitasking OS release in the fall, Im getting astonished by iPhone 4G from this review: ifunia iphone column|iPhone OS 4: Everything You Need to Know

  4. lemon

    ahha, I always believe iPhone will win, and Im sticking with my iPhone.
    Now, looking forward to the multitasking OS release in the fall, Im getting astonished by iPhone 4G from this review: ifunia iphone-column|iPhone OS 4: Everything You Need to Know

  5. I like both these platforms and hope they both flourish and survive a long time. They are actually very similar software platforms. iPhoneOS based on Unix + C, and Android based on Linux + Java, remember that Linux is derived (cloned) from Unix and Java is part of the C family of programming languages (C++ and C# are also members). At least most developers don’t have to mess with WinMo garbage anymore thank goodness. And RIM and Nokia sell more hardware but their software platforms are egg sucking dogs.

  6. Skeet McFlash

    I fully expect Android to overtake Apple iPhone sales GLOBALLY eventually, but popularity does not mean better, may I present exhibit A ==> Microsoft Windows.

    Beware that APPLE has officially become the biggest (based on market value) technology company in the entire world, overtaking Microsoft. Apple has grown by more than 1000% over the last 10 years while Microsoft has declined by 20% over the same time period.

    BTW, Apple is not really interested in becoming the biggest, they just want to be (and stay) the BEST !

    Apple doesn’t make junk and if you want pornography then go get a Google Android phone.

    • Milind

      The problem though for Apple is that not only are they losing the grip on the market, but rather that they are now substantially behind the Android OS and the hardware. iPhone HD will narrow the gap, but as long as they continue with the yearly releases, they are going to continue to slide further and further behind. Overpriced for a top of the line product is one thing. Overpriced for weaker devices means that they are destined for a niche with only the die-hard Apple fanbase as their customers.

      • FreeRange

        Total nonsense – you have no idea what you are talking about. This is not a feature race! Oh, I have a higher res screen. Oh, I have a screen that is .25 inches bigger. Oh, I have an 8 mp camera instead of 5. Idiots all – its about the total experience and the total ecosystem which google can’t touch. Apple will continue to be the market leader on so many levels.

  7. veggiedude

    Even when the day happens, and Android OS is beyond that of iPhone OS, the top selling Android device will be lucky to have 10% share, and iPhone will be still above 35%. The Android market is competing not with iPhone, but among themselves.

  8. Soapers

    @ Adil

    I respectfully disagree – these ‘micro’ payments are insignificant to a cell phone user who has a $49.99 to $99.99 a month service fee.

    If Android does get to 50% of the world population – or roughly 1 Billion phones – there is more than enough $’s to go around to support this platform.

    :)

  9. Soapers

    @ Amit

    Totally agree – in fact I’m surprised that Android devices have not already taken over the top spot from iPhone!

    Did I not read a report on this site some dayz ago that Android is the number one platform?

    I saw the DELL handheld the other day – slightly bigger than the Droid and iPhone – and has 4G capabilities a video camera and lots of Apps.

    But clearly this is the way to go – the space between the iPad and 2×3 inch screen.

    A 4×5 Screen would be perfect for so many mobile users – still easy to carry, cell phone and video camera included – and if it has USB’s for external monitors, projectors, keyboards etc – this would be an ideal choice for business / personal use.

    Especially if it is in the $99 – $149 range

    :) I love all this new technology!

    • drphysx

      Android is now selling faster than the iPhone – worldwide even.
      (latest numbers are 100,000 Android devices sold per day)

      That’s what you call “market share”.

      This article, however, is about “usage share”, which means the number of devices actually in use.

      With its higher market share, Android is closing the gap, but currently, of course, there are still more iPhones in use.

      • Tim F.

        This article is also discussing iPhone OS, not just phones (which was the case of the previous story on U.S. market share) — in which case, no, Android is not selling faster worldwide or even in the U.S. When combining iPod Touch, iPad, and iPhone numbers, Apple is still selling better in most parts of the world (but not all).

  10. Well if the writer of this post is suggesting that we will have more android-based devices in future, then its true but that doesn’t matter for developers, why? Because developers only care for the platform on which they can make money and that can only be done through IPhone even in future, because its owned by rich people and even if Android get into the hands of 50% of word population in next 5 years, it don’t matter because they are not going to pay for the applications because they will be in the hands of poor people.

    • Santiago

      Developer support for the iPhone is dropping, while developer support for the android phones is rising. Yes developers care about making money. So why would a developer choose to pay apple $99 a year to use their developers kit, when they can create the same application through a more widely use phone for free? Not to mention that the new android OS is supposed to natively support flash which will open the doors for many new developers. People like flash apps no matter how bad it will drain their batteries and render their phones useless. It all comes down to which phone is used more. Rich people are few and do not consume as much, nor as often as poor people. Advertisement added on most free apps are likely to make more money for the developers than users paying 2-3 dollars for it. There are a lot of free and good apps on both phones, but every day the android grows a little more, and it seems to be catching up quick. I put my money on the android.

      • Scott

        It’s easy to say that “people like Flash apps” when Flash is currently unavailable on most smartphones – let’s see if the sentiment still holds when Flash 10.1 is official, particularly if it still has performance and battery life issues.

      • AdamC

        Yea, android developers are gaining in strength?

        They go where the money is and not principle because it does not fill a hungry stomach, put the kids thru college and help the wives with their expenses.

        Yea android is open as in free so will people buying cheap android phones spend money on apps – go figure.

      • Milind

        Actually the $30 is a one time charge to be able to put apps in the Market. And if the developer (eg. Gameloft) doesn’t want to sell in the Market, they don’t even have to pony that small amount up.

        I have no idea how much money devs can get through ads. But I’d say it should fairly soon, if not now, be able to cover the $1 that most apps charge on the iPhone.

    • Ok, here is the deal, iphone has > 200,000 apps, if you make an app, your rival will make a free one. The most popular way of app monetization will be Ads, atleast for the majority of developers, there will of course be some outliers. Now do you actually believe iAd is better than Adsense? Adsense has a huge Advertiser base, popular apps can get pretty decent revenue on Android. Watch Gundotra’s speech for more info.

  11. A very legit data/survey. Unfortunately Android will surpass by a light year very soon (as early as 2012). Symbian is obsolete, so it would too die anyway. That just leaves Android and no one else.

    • Jasen

      I wouldn’t count out Microsoft. They have nearly unlimited runway and have now woken up to the new mobile-centric world in which we find ourselves.

    • FreeRange

      This is all so much BS! AdMob is not a research company, and excuse me, but their methodology is totally suspect. Further, their information is self-serving in that they are in the process of being acquired by Google. Don’t hold your breath!

      Legit? You have no idea what you are talking about. AdMob is not a research firm and have a total conflict of interest since they are being acquired by Google. Further, their methodology is totally suspect, like their breakdown of iPhones in China which they claim at about 750,000 yet there were already well over 2 Million last year before the iPhone was even officially launched. Total BS!

    • “Symbian is obsolete, so it would too die anyway.”

      Really? Care to explain exactly why Symbian is obsolete. That should be entertaining if nothing else.

      As for the AdMob figures, interesting, but you’re better with the big analyst’s figures which actually show that the iPhone currently shifts more units outside the US than RIM or Android, at least for now. Ad stats re fairly regionalised after all – Smaato will show a different picture as will others.

      • Steve

        Because it’s a pile of junk Mark. Everyone seems to understand this but you. Just because some people buy the free on contract Nokia phones doesn’t mean they enjoy that OS. Most of them probably pine for an Android or iPhone OS.

  12. i wonder how much of this has to do with the fact that the iphone is only available on one carrier in the US. we may have a lot fewer android devices out there if iphone were an option on more networks.

  13. Just recently came back after living some months in Silicon Valley, I can clearly see the difference between US and Brazil.
    Brazil is one of the richest and largest mobile markets in the world, but the iPhone is still a very expensive device in Brazil (~ $1000 + contract) and won’t ever become a mainstream smartphone. Despite being offered by all mobile carriers, price hasn’t dropped much.
    Compared to Android, there is a huge trend inside universities and companies in Brazil to develop solutions for Android. It’s perceived as a cheaper platform to get started (does not require a Mac, which in Brazil is also very expensive).
    Here I see clearly Android will dominate the market with cheaper devices, mostly locally manufactured by Motorola and others in their plants in Brazil. If this pattern is emulated elsewhere, iPhone has no chance. It in fact, may have peaked in its market share.