According to the latest data from comScore, Android might have peaked. Meanwhile, iOS is still going strong.
New smartphone users — individuals trading in their own feature phones for their first touchscreen, Android’s core constituency — are at their lowest level since 2010: just 300k new smartphone users a week in the last quarter, compared to 1.5 million in November.
It gets worse for Google. Android added the fewest number of new users than it has since 2009. It’s effectively an all-time low for Android growth, which, as Horace Dediu points out, equals four straight months of decline.
How’s iOS doing? It’s chugging along at pretty much the same growth rate it ever has.
What we’re seeing here is the difference between a long-term strategy like Apple’s and Google’s frenzied rush for marketshare. When there were more first time smartphone customers in the United States, Android picked up a lot of customers, due to the operating system’s ubiquity, its inexpensiveness and its ability to be tailored to pretty much any type of device. As we reach saturation point, though, and pass the 50% mark on smartphone usage, we’re going to see more and more now-experienced smartphone users trading their Android phones in when their contract comes up for something better: an iPhone.