A surge in Android sales has seen Google’s open-source smartphone OS shoot past the iPhone in the US consumer market as Windows Mobile slumps towards single-digit insignificance.
Apple’s all-conquering iPhone doesn’t look so unstoppable now. US analyst firm NDP reports that Android has lapped the iPhone to snatch second place behind BlackBerry in the US consumer smartphone market .
The win comes on the back of a dramatic uptick in sales from the third quarter of last year which continued through to the end of March.
That gain appears to have come at the expense of BlackBerry and Apple, which both saw dips of close to 10% in market share during the same six months.
NDP says that Android-powered smartphones accounted for 28 percent of the US consumer market in the first quarter of 2010. BlackBerry holds the lead with 36 percent – not too shabby for a company whose primary market has always been business customers – while Apple sits in a somewhat humbling third place with 21 percent.
For now, the iPhone appears to have flattened out while the US waits for
the fourth-gen iPhone which is tipped to go on sale next
Windows Mobile continues its southwards trajectory, tumbling from over 20 percent at the beginning of 2009 to little more than 10 percent. The steep slope of the Q1 figures for this year indicate that the next two quarters – before the first Windows Phone 7 devices arrive at year’s end – are going to be exceptionally painful for Microsoft and its smartphone partners.
One of the factors responsible for Android’s strong performance is that devices are now available from several manufacturers across all US carriers, while Apple restricts the iPhone to AT&T.
Verizon’s launch of the Motorola Droid last year, which was accompanied by extensive advertising and marketing efforts, plus the debut of Google’s own Nexus One on T-Mobile and AT&T at the start of this year, were both major drivers for Android.