Report: Android Eating Apple iPhone Marketshare

The percentage of people who plan to buy an Android smartphone is almost the same as for those who want to purchase an iPhone -- and Research In Motion beats both of them with its BlackBerry devices, according to recent data from research firm comScore.

Consumer awareness of the new mobile OS Android is at an all-time high, due to Verizon's Droid ad campaign, which is helping to put Android in the minds of phone shoppers, according to comScore's study "Android: Crashing the Smartphone Party."

When mobile users were asked in November which phone they planned to buy in the next three months, 17 percent of respondents said they wanted to buy an Android-supported device. Of those, 8 percent were getting ready to buy a Verizon Droid, compared to 20 percent of respondents planning to get an iPhone during the same time period, according to comScore.

In comparison, when survey respondents answered this same question in August 2009, comScore said only 7 percent indicated buyer intent for either the T-Mobile G1 or the T-Mobile MyTouch -- which were the only Android-supported phones available at the time. At that time, 21 percent said they wanted to buy an iPhone in the next three months.

"With handsets on multiple carriers, from multiple manufacturers, and numerous Android device models expected to be in the U.S. market by January, the Android platform is rapidly shaking up the smartphone market," Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile, said in a statement. "While iPhone continues to set the bar with its App Store and passionate user base, and RIM remains the leader among the business set, Android is clearly gaining momentum among developers and consumers."

With the recent release of several signature Android handsets including the Droid, Eris, Motorola Cliq and HTC Hero running a more mature version of the software, it's no wonder that Android, once the ingénue of the mobile OS sector, is now a viable contender.

In August 2009, just 22 percent of mobile users had heard of Android, but by November, this figure reached 37 percent, largely spurred on by the hoopla surrounding the Droid launch.

Meanwhile, although Android's share of the smartphone market is relatively small -- the OS was rolled out just a bit over a year ago -- it doubled in the past year to 3.5 percent as of October 2009.

Developers, carriers and media companies are all interested in Android, said comScore, because users of Android handsets interact with more mobile media than the average smartphone phone owner.

Users of the Apple iPhone were most likely to use mobile media, with 94 percent of users doing so in September 2009, while 92 percent of Android device users, predominantly T-Mobile G1 owners, engaged in mobile media activities, 12 percentage points higher than an average smartphone user, according to the study.

Apple iPhone and Android users were equally likely to view news on their mobile browser and were nearly identical in their use of mobile apps. E-mail was the only major activity in which iPhone users, 87 percent, were far more likely to participate than Android users, which checked in at 63 percent.

The takeaway from the study: Android users will behave more like iPhone owners than other smartphone users. This means that Apple could stand to lose a hold on the coveted demographic.

Still, no one should count out RIM's BlackBerrys -- which surpassed both the iPhone and Android handsets in terms of buyer intent. When asked in November what model smartphone was on their list for purchase, 18 percent reported it was the BlackBerry Pearl.

Thirteen percent of comScore's survey participants checked in for the Storm, 11 percent for the Curve and the Bold and Tour series had 4 and 3 percent, respectively. The "other BlackBerry" category garnered 2 percent, the same amount as the Palm Pre.


Android, mobile, Blackberry, iPhone, Droid