Google Android Loses U.S. Subscriber Share to Apple’s iPhone

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Google's Android lost subscriber share in the U.S. in the three months ending in April, according to new data released by comScore. Apple's iPhone took that share, and it took share from BlackBerry and Microsoft's Windows Phone, too.

iPhone had 39.2 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers in the three months ending in April of 2013, up from 37.8 percent in the three months ending in January. That still left Google's Android as the top platform among subscribers with 52 percent of the market, down from 52.3 percent in the previous period.

Subscriber Share by Platform

Chart by The Mac Observer, data from comScore

Comparing device markets, Apple still had 39.2 percent, making the company the top hardware maker among active subscribers. Samsung is the number two hardware maker with 22 percent of subscribers, up from 21.4 percent in the three months ending in January. HTC, Motorola, and LG (numbers 3, 4, and 5, respectively) each lost share.

Subscriber Share by Vendor

Chart by The Mac Observer, data from comScore

As we always note when comScore releases its reports, don't mistake these numbers for market share. comScore measures active subscribers, not sales of new devices. Apple has a larger share of subscribers in the U.S. than it does in sales of new devices, in part because the company's devices tend to have a substantially longer lifespan.

This is especially true when compared to the cheap and heavily discounted low-end devices that make up a large chunk of the market.

Still, Apple has been making steady gains in its subscriber share during the last few years, according to comScore's reports. This is in keeping with Apple's best-in-class customer satisfaction ratings and consistent measures that iOS device owners do more with their iPhones than owners of competing devices.

That said, Google's Android and Samsung could both take subscriber share from Apple starting in May, when Samsung released the Galaxy S4. Coming as it did roughly a quarter before Apple releases the next iPhone, Samsung and Android could both see a boost in share at Apple's expense.

Comments

Rocwurst

Bryan, you might want to note that if you are comparing OS platforms, Apple’s iOS significantly overshadows Android in the USA as evidenced by all the usage share data out there.

Apple sold 37.4 million iPhones in Q1 2013 but they also sold 19.2 million iPads and several million iPod touches for a total of around 60 million iOS devices worldwide which significantly boosts their overall platform marketshare. 

Apple is close to 600 million iOS devices worldwide versus 900 million Android activations.

Bryan Chaffin

Thanks for the note, Rocwurst. Note that comScore’s numbers are strictly for the U.S. and only for smartphones. Tablets aren’t involved.

Also, as noted in the article, subscriber share is not a measure of new sales, but rather a measure of devices that are in use. It’s a disparate data set from the sales market share reports issued by IDC, Gartner, and others.

Rocwurst

Hi Bryan, yes, I realise the constraints of this data set. 

My concern is that everyone almost always assumes that smartphone share = OS platform share when this is patently not the case.  Just look at the Android fans who consistently highlight the 74% worldwide smartphone marketshare figure for Android and conveniently ignore the 600 million iOS vs 900 million Android comparison.  Of course they desperately ignore the usage share and profitshare figures which show iOS obliterating Android.

That is why when we get these smartphone marketshare figures every quarter, it is useful to remind people that the iOS platform is actually far larger than just iPhones.

geoduck

With reports like this I like to look further down, beyond who’s leading. Note that in OSs Microsoft and Blackberry also lost share. This is despite BlakBerry 10 and the new WinPhone being out for around half a year. Not exactly setting the world on fire are they.

skipaq

Bryan, you often have asked what are Android users doing with their devices. I have been traveling recently and have come up with a theory: they are leaving them at home. Even at WDW which has international vacationers people holding up smartphones snapping photos are using iPhones way more often than the stats would suggest.

My second theory is that Droids have cloaking ability to make them look like iPhones.

Lee Dronick

  My second theory is that Droids have cloaking ability to make them look like iPhones.

They put phone cases on them to make them look like iPhones. smile

 

June

I know that this is an Apple website , but I just want to say that Android rocks.  I do not own an iPhone and never will until Apple brings it up to the superior level of Android.  It is a teeny tiny screen and low powered , and cannot do the marvelous things that Android does.  I am not a troll either.  Just your average housewife.

skipaq

Good choice for you, June.

RonMacGuy

June, thank you for your comments.  I agree with you that the iPhone screen is smaller than some of your android phones, but it is hardly ‘teeny tiny’.  Many android phones have screens that are the same or even smaller than the iPhone screen, and I love that my screen fits well into my work shirt pockets.

I am curious, what do you mean by low powered?  Also, what are some of the ‘marvelous things that android does’ that the iPhone cannot?  Please share, as you may convince me to leave iPhone and move over to android.

I appreciate in advance your response.

mhikl

June, I am just your average working husband and when I can find an Android forum that is not chocked full of Android dissatisfieds taking up all space with cries for help and support, I will, like you and other Android fans, let everyone there know how happy I am with my iOS devices. It is so much nicer to read of people’s pleasures than read them wailing for help.

RonMacGuy

Well, shucks.  It looks like June was just a troll after all.  All insults and no substance.  Oh well.

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