Android smartphone growth slowing, Apple still on the rise

By , Nov 5, 2012

Not sure if this has anything to do with smartphone penetration rate in the United States and in various other markets passing the 50 percent milestone, but a credible analysis shows that even though Android’s growth was unstoppable in the past twelve months, capturing a whopping 75 percent of all smartphones sold in the third quarter, Google’s platform is slowing over past six months while iOS is still making healthy gains.

Respectable independent analyst Horace Dediu took the latest comScore data to chart the two platform’s growth. He discovered a recent split of 23.5 million for Android and 17 million units for iOS as Google’s platform gained 58 percent of the growth and Apple captured 42 percent. That’s a notable change in spread in Apple’s favor versus the 24-month period when Android captured 70 percent of the growth and iOS captured 30 percent of the growth…

According to Dediu’s anaylsis, Android is slowing over past six months while iOS is still gaining. Explaining the late smartphone adopter paradox, the analyst wrote:

Therefore, paradoxically, the late market shows that the prospect for iOS growth seems strong. Furthermore, as we do reach saturation, perhaps in another three years, the secular growth may end in the US but the loyalty of iOS usage may give iOS another advantage in a market where growth is determined by platform churn.

The rate at which non-smart to smart conversion is happening is pretty steady, as seen in the top chart. Bear in mind it shows net new users and therefore excludes smartphone switchers, but it’s “a good measure of how rapidly non-consumers are being converted to consumers”.

No wonder there are now more than a billion smartphones in use.

Here’s the key chart indicating a slowdown in Android’s momentum and a steady growth for iOS.

The chart also makes me wonder what would have happened to Android if Samsung hadn’t been so successful on the platform.

Of course, Apple really cannot expect to compete with Android on unit sales simply because Google’s platform is found on the widest array of form factors, carriers and price points.

Together, however, the two platform’s hold the lion’s share of the smartphone market.

Just don’t read too much into the numbers thrown around these days because statistics is a double-edged sword and IDCs and Gartners of this world have too often got it wrong by guesstimating data.

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  • CollegiateLad

    Market saturation. Nothing new. Windows phone will experience an explosion. Analysts will salivate all over themselves like it’s a new phenomenon. This is normal.

  • MagicDrumSticks

    1 Clicked on article expecting another biased piece of trash written by Christian

    2 exactly as expected

    3 laughed

    • http://twitter.com/doubleaa25 Adham

      Then why read it if you know you were going to see what you didn’t want to see?

      • LAGISSUEZ

        He’s like those people who go to the same restaurant and complain that everything is terrible, only to come back the next week and do it again. It’s a way for some people to feel better about themselves by telling others they are trash. When in reality, everyone who looks over at that table of people see just that……trash.

      • 4p0c4lyps3

        Lmfao, great parallel.

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com/author/dujkan Christian Zibreg

      I’m curious: What exactly is biased about it? I re-blogged Asymco’s findings, spiced it up with a little backgrounder and backlinks, added a one-line commentary at the end and provided a disclaimer about not trusting market surveys too much due to ambiguous methodology and too much guess work. NetApplications is a good example, they revised their data multiple times. Examples here http://www.electronista.com/articles/09/08/03/mac.market.share.reduced/ and here http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9227657/Update_Metric_firm_changes_numbers_Chrome_still_behind_Firefox

      • MagicDrumSticks

        It’s not the data but rather the way you present your articles that makes you look like an extremely biased journalist.

        I’m not the only one who thinks this, Infact, you have gotten quite a bit of heat in the past about writing articles in false light.

        It is an apple blog and I understand there may be some bias. But don’t turn into fox news

  • Guest

    Interesting article. This does bring up some questions though:
    1) Will Samsung be able to keep up the Android momentum? Or will their speculated remake at CES bring them, and Android subsequently, down (not like RIM. Maybe in a slump?)?
    2) Does this article incorporate the iPad Mini as well? The new iPod Touch? iPhone 5?

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com/author/dujkan Christian Zibreg

      It’s just smartphones

  • http://twitter.com/El_Barto_01 El Barto

    Markets mature, new offerings explode (anything can be twisted by ANALyst) at the end we know android’s backbone runs on the cheap garbage market. 2 for 1? Buy a line get 4 free?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604885391 Richard Borkovec

      Perhaps you’ve forgotten the iPhone does have the free version, so your point is moot. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    androids just sucks thats all..

  • http://www.facebook.com/hien.metallium Xellos Metallium

    i works in retail, 7/10 peoples got cricket android phone. its not because samsung /motorola . its the cheap androids.

  • http://twitter.com/HiTekkSteff Stephaughn Alston

    Lol, RIM went allllll the way down.