Apple’s iPhone Takes U.S. Subscriber Share from Android in Q1

| Analysis

Apple's iPhone took U.S. subscriber share from Android in the March quarter, according to new data from comScore. iPhone users accounted for 39 percent of smartphone subscribers during the period, up from 36.4 percent in the December quarter, as shown in the image below. Google's Android remained the top platform during the same period, but saw its share decline to 52 percent from 53.4 percent in the December quarter.

"136.7 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (58 percent mobile market penetration) during the three months ending in March, up 9 percent since December," the company said in a statement.

comScore Data

Chart by The Mac Observer from comScore Data
The top (unreadable) category is a combination of Symbian and "Others"

That makes the iPhone the #2 platform, but Apple was the top vendor during the period, as shown in the image below. Samsung was the #2 vendor, with 21.7 percent of subscribers, up from 21 percent in the prior quarter. HTC, Motorola Mobility, and LG—3rd, 4th, and 5th—all lost subscriber share.

comScore Data

Chart by The Mac Observer from comScore Data

This is the part of the script where we point out that comScore's reports are not a measure of market share for new sales, but rather a measure of subscriber share. Media outlets far and wide misreport this data every time comScore issues a report.

The difference is that comScore's reports are a measure of smartphones in use in the wild, which is far removed from sales of new devices at the cash register. Apple's share gains are partly a demonstration of the fact that iPhones enjoy much longer useful life spans than competing devices, and this is particularly true when compared to cheap Android devices that represent a huge portion of Android shares.

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Comments

wab95

Bryan:

When I was young lad, I recall reading in a local Ugandan newspaper about an international track & field meet between the then USSR and the USA. I believe the story was imported in toto from a Soviet news source, because it read, ‘The Soviet Union did very, taking second place; while the poor, unfortunate United States came in next to last’. That’s right. You read it correctly; this is exactly what it said. Propaganda is a power tool, but a tool this blunt, you simply cannot make up. Undoubtedly, there were Ugandans somewhere (assuming said Ugandans read the English language newspaper) who would have concluded that the Soviet athletes trounced their US imperialist counterparts in this contest between two parties.

I am confident that, as I write this, somewhere sits an angry analyst (or pundit, or blogger - take your pick), in his mum’s dimly lit basement, pecking away at his keyboard, and preparing to spin a similar yarn in the ongoing propaganda of Apple doomed, Apple irrelevant and Apple’s lost mojo, and proclaim in effect that in the ongoing turf battle for US marketshare (not global mind you), in the contest between Apple and Samsung, Samsung is doing well coming in as the second leading smartphone vendor on Apple’s home turf in the US, whilst poor dwindling Apple only managed to come in next to last.

And somewhere, dimly-lit investors will bail. Again.

mrmwebmax

+

I am confident that, as I write this, somewhere sits an angry analyst (or pundit, or blogger - take your pick), in his mum’s dimly lit basement, pecking away at his keyboard, and preparing to spin a similar yarn in the ongoing propaganda of Apple doomed, Apple irrelevant and Apple’s lost mojo, and proclaim in effect that in the ongoing turf battle for US marketshare (not global mind you), in the contest between Apple and Samsung, Samsung is doing well coming in as the second leading smartphone vendor on Apple’s home turf in the US, whilst poor dwindling Apple only managed to come in next to last.

Love the story about the track meet and the Soviet spin on it. And agreed, that’s exactly what pundits do with Apple all of the time. Heck, it’s given The Macalope an entire career of just pointing out how foolish these pundits are.

Pundits will take any number of facts and find a way to make it anti-Apple. It reminds me of my favorite example of how any set of data can be spinned to support whatever claim the author prefers. It’s this simple: What pets are more popular in the United States, dogs or cats?

If the pundit is a dog person, the pundit would say, “Dogs are more popular, as evidenced by there being more households in the USA with dogs, rather than cats.”

If the pundit’s a cat person, said pundit would say, “Cats are more popular, as evidenced by there being more pet cats than dogs in the USA.”

Both are true: There are more dog households in the USA, while at the same time the total number of pet cats is greater than the number of pet dogs.

I’m a good example of how this happens. I currently have eight cats. I think my record for most at one time was twelve. Many households with dogs just have one, but as Ernest Hemingway famously said, “One cat just leads to another.” smile

mhikl

“this is particularly true when compared to cheap Android devices that represent a huge portion of Android shares” I would suggest edit to change cheap to crappy. Be inclusive, Bry.

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