If Apple is preparing for a New Year’s bash, it may be with some nervousness. Android, the Google software powering Verizon’s Droid and other smartphones, may be a party-crasher, a new report says. Internet measurement firm comScore announced 17 percent of people intend to buy an Android phone within the next three months compared to 20 percent for Apple’s iPhone.
“While iPhone continues to set the bar with its App Store and passionate user base, and RIM remains the leader among the business set, Android is clearly gaining momentum among developers and consumers,” said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile.
Possibly more threatening for Apple is the many ways iPhone and Android users overlap. While 94 percent of iPhone owners are most likely to use mobile media, 92 percent of Android users also identify with the quality, according to the report. The same nearly mirror-image appears in usage of other smartphone applications, ranging from news consumption, social networking and instant messaging. Only in e-mail was there a significant disparity; 87 percent of iPhone owners use e-mail on their device while 63 percent of Andrpoid users do so.
“Overall, these data suggest that Android users will behave more like iPhone users than other smartphone users,” said the report entitled “Android: Crashing the Smartphone Party.”
Verizon and Motorola advertising for the Droid appears to be helping Android’s awareness with consumers. Only 22 percent of mobile users had heard of Android in August. By November, that number rose to 37 percent. “Not only is general awareness increasing about Android, but intent to purchase an Android-supported device is also increasing among mobile phone users,” according to the report.
This isn’t the first warning shot from Android. Earlier this month, Time Magazine picked the Droid for its gadget of 2009. The Droid has also passed the Apple in brand awareness in that all-important age and gender group: males 18- to 34-years in age.