NPD Analyst: Android Outselling iPhone | Cult of Mac

NPD Analyst: Android Outselling iPhone



The horse race between the iPhone and Android just gets muddier. The latest spec on the lens is a new study from retail sales analysts at NPD Group. In the U.S., Google’s mobile phone software is ahead of Apple’s iconic handset, NPD announced Monday. Android led Apple 28 percent to 21 percent, with RIM’s BlackBerry still leading with 36 percent, according to the research firm.

But didn’t comScore announce recently the exact opposite: Apple had 25 percent of the market and Android was still in single-digits with 9 percent of U.S. smartphones? How can Apple both lead and trail Google? “It’s entirely reasonable,” comScore’s Andrew Lipsman told the Wall Street Journal.

ComScore measures smartphone ownership, while NPD concentrates on sales. So, Apple may have attracted more actual owners, while Google and its carrier partners are pumping out more Android-based handsets – and this is where we get back to the question of Verizon.

Currently, the iPhone is available in the U.S. only through AT&T. (Some reports suggest that exclusivity may extend until 2012.) Android, however, has been like a bunny rabbit, making friends with every carrier that will listen. The end result, the potential market for the Android is greater. NPD’s Ross Rubin also points to Verizon (that name always pops up, doesn’t it?) and a recent buy-one-get-one deal as pushing demand for Android.

Some are asking Apple why they remain tied to one carrier in the U.S., while the Cupertino, Calif. company sees its success overseas, where multiple carriers per country drives iPhone sales.

We may see soon, when Apple is expected to unveil a new iPhone at the annual WWDC in San Francisco. Will Apple also unveil another iPhone carrier for the U.S. market, or concentrate its growth outside its homebase?

[via Wall Street Journal and NPD]