Apple iPhone Sales Nearly Tied with Android

The Apple vs. Google smartphone tennis match has gotten a bit more interesting to watch lately. Today, Nielsen Mobile announced that Apple’s iPhone is nearly tied with Google’s Android in terms of sales. And a few days ago, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was quoted in an article about how Android smartphones outperform the iPhone.

Apple’s high-profile iPhone 4S launch in October had “an enormous impact on the proportion of smartphone owners who chose an Apple iPhone,” according to Nielsen. Nielsen says 44.5 percent of smartphone buyers surveyed in December chose an iPhone, compared to 25.1 percent in October. By comparison, 46.3 percent of all smartphone owners during the final 2011 quarter said they have an Android-based phone. Apple’s 44.5 percent vs. Android’s 46.3 percent shares is just a snapshot in time, of course. The balance could shift further in Android’s favor as more LTE handsets are introduced, and as the newness factor of Apple’s iPhone 4S—released in October—fades.

In separate news, Wozniak told The Daily Beast that, while his primary phone is an iPhone, he wishes the Apple phone did some of the things Android devices do. Woz said voice commands work better on Android, adding that Siri worked better when it was an independent app before Apple bought it.

Woz told The Daily Beast: “I used to ask Siri, ‘What are the five biggest lakes in California?’ and it would come back with the answer. Now it just misses. It gives me real estate listings. I used to ask, ‘What are the prime numbers greater than 87?’ and it would answer. Now instead of getting prime numbers, I get listings for prime rib, or prime real estate.”

What’s more, Siri too often can’t connect to Apple’s servers that power the system. “With the iPhone 4 I could press a button and call my wife. Now on the 4S I can only do that when Siri can connect over the Internet. But many times it can’t connect. I’ve never had Android come back and say, ‘I can’t connect over the Internet,’” Woz said.

Android’s voice command system delivers better results than Siri, Woz added. “I have a lower success rate with Siri than I do with the voice built into the Android, and that bothers me…I’ll be saying, over and over again in my car, ‘Call the Lark Creek Steak House,’ and I can’t get it done. Then I pick up my Android, say the same thing, and it’s done. Plus I get navigation. Android is way ahead on that.”

Woz also disses the iPhone’s battery life in comparison to Android smartphones. “With the iPhone, something happened with the new OS or the new phone, and it just started running through the battery so fast,” he said.

Woz said he loves the iPhone’s beauty but wishes “it did all the things my Android does.”


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