Smartphone wars: In US, iPhone is top device, while Android is top OS

Nielsen reports on market share for smartphones in the US, with an interesting split between domination for OS and domination by actual device. Google Android is currently the top operating system, at 39 percent, with Apple’s iOS at 28 percent, and the RIM Blackberry at 20 percent. "However, because Apple is the only company manufacturing smartphones with the iOS operating system, it is clearly the top smartphone manufacturer in the United States." iPhone has 28% of the market. All of this is based on June, 2011 data.


  1. Where do all these Android-owning people live? Because I know like 7,000 people with iPhones and literally *one* person with an Android phone. I know more people with Palm phones than Android phones.

    1. I have the opposite experience.  I used to know a lot of people that had Blackberry and iPhone devices, but they’ve been ditching them for Android now.  At this point in my circle of friends, coworkers, and acquaintances, a direct correlation is forming between iPhone users and Mac users, which isn’t a good sign for Apple’s market share if it’s an overall trend.

    2. Tyler; I don’t know what area of the country you live in, but here in the upper left corner I know way more people with the Droid than the iPhone. Probably got them at Costco. That’s what I did.

      Just as a matter of personal curiosity I wonder how much of that Blackberry share is through corporations. Every salaried employee at my previous job had a company supplied Blackberry. It’s an international company with a ton of managers. That sort of thing has to skew the numbers somewhat. I only know one person with a Blackberry that isn’t their work phone.

  2. Cue the John Gruber whiny hitpiece in 3, 2, 1…

    @Tyler, the friends of mine who are *not* techie early adopters now mostly have smartphones purchased in the last 12 months, and most of them carry Androids. I think the price point has a lot to do with it.

    1. Price point? My iPhone 3GS from Orange was free. Are people being paid to take Android phones?

      1. Well, my 7,000 people are ‘Mericans, so we pay for everything over here.  And, if you can imagine a tech newb walking into a store (because that is what they would do, mind you) and talking to a sales person.  “Well, for $49 (our price in America for a 3GS) you can get this from from Apple that has been out for like 3 years. Or for $99, you can have the latest-greatest Droid Explodicon! Or, if you want the newest iPhone, which is over a year old now, that’s $200”

        That is what I mean by price point.  Is the 3GS better than the Explodicon?  I reckon by your posts you would think so.  But a first time smartphone user doesn’t have fanboy leanings yet.  They hear “old” and then they hear “cheaper and does the same thing.”  Ring up the Android sale.

  3. Where do all these iPhone-owning people live? Because I know like 7,000 people with Androids and literally *one* person with an iPhone. I know more people with Nokia phones than iPhones.

  4. Where are all these people living in technology monocultures? Because I know like 7,000 people with smart phones and other kinds of phones, and there is a healthy mix of device types. I know more people with smartphones than I do people with camels.

    1. You don’t live over here in the Republic of Purchasejustificationistan, in which every single person (that you remember) has made a technology purchase that justifies yours. We have great tapas, though.

  5. Where are all these people living with healthy tech ecosystems?  I know like 7,000 people with camels, all of whom use blackberries. I know more people who are Androids than humans.

  6. I wonder what this would look like for Canada. Living in eastern Canada, I see a strong majority of people with RIM phones. Bell and Telus both offer Blackberry only plans that tend to be cheaper than their comparative non-RIM smartphone plans. They also offer better contract deals for the “current” gen of blackberries than they do for other devices in the same price range like the iPhone 4.

  7. Okay, that’s an awful information graphic. At first glance it appears that Android OS and iPhone OS are the same (vertically) despite their being an 11 point difference between the two.

    Wasting time, I see that perhaps the proper way to view this is by tilting my head to the right and viewing it sideways. Maybe? Can’t tell too quickly.

    A travesty of design.

    Oh, wait, what were we talking about?

    1. A travesty? OS share is on the horizontal axis, manufacturer share by OS is the vertical. Seems a perfectly clear way to combine the two to me.

  8. If Apple is smart and doesn’t want to continue being destroyed by Android, they need to make two versions of the iOS.  One that’s locked up like the current iteration (smartphone for dummies) and one that’s wide open (smartphone for smarties).  That way people can choose for themselves if they want to be coddled and limited by Apple or not with their smartphone.

    It’s a shame the Apple revolutionized phones but then never stepped up their game and created an open version and be truly revolutionary and show everyone else how it’s done.

    tl;dr  Apple is getting what it deserves.

    1. Apple’s mobile device profits are now larger than *the entire rest of the mobile industry put together*. If that’s being “destroyed by Android” and “getting what they deserve,” I’d like some of that destruction and retribution too, please.

  9. I don’t know 7000 people, and everyone here who says they do is lying. They might claim 7000 ‘friends’ on some social network or other, people who they wouldn’t know in the Real if that person punched them in the face, but speaking from actual, real-world observation, walking and travelling around the cities of Bath and London, I would say that the clear, overwhelming majority of smartphones actually being used are iPhones. I personally work where around 50% of the workforce have iPhones, the rest are dumbphones, and of all my actual, real friends and acquaintances, only two have Android phones, all the others are feature phones. I’ve actually only seen a couple of Android smartphones in use, and they were ripoff iPhone Samsung copies of a two/three year old design, the 3Gs. I think I see more ‘Berries than Androids. I must have seen several dozen people in Bath today with iPhone 4’s in their hands. But then, here in the UK we have more than one network offering the iPhone, and have done for more than a year.

  10. What the hell is up with all these people who think that somehow their circle of friends/coworkers provides more valid data than a study by Nielsen who specializes in market share research?

    1. Nielsen research is a lot like jury duty – you only get the input of the people who are willing to participate. I was a Nielsen family for a while. You can thank me for all the pro wrestling on prime time television.

  11. One issue that wasn’t mentioned was that in the US, the iPhones originally only ran on GSM from AT&T.  When the Androids came out, they ran on several different carriers, and people who wanted smartphones but preferred carriers other than AT&T (and therefore weren’t using iPhones) could upgrade to Androids.  Also, Verizon only supports the iPhone 4, which is fairly expensive, while there are much cheaper Androids on Verizon and Sprint.

    And as other people mentioned, Blackberry phones are almost always used as work phones tied into corporate email and messaging, not marketed as strictly personal phones.

  12. *sigh*

    Why does this have to characterized as a war.  I haven’t tried to mount an offensive against my friend who has an HTC Evo.  Nor him against me, an iPhone user.

    There can be only one?

  13. where are all this postpaid mobile subscribers living? Where I live 99% of people “buy” their own smartphone and remain free of debs..

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