Verizon iPhone Surge Yields First Slip in Android U.S. Sales Share in Two Years
Market research firm NPD today announced the results of its "Mobile Phone Track" survey for the first quarter of 2011, covering U.S. mobile phone sales. According to the study, Apple rode the strength of the CDMA iPhone launch on Verizon to eat into Android's share of the smartphone market for the first time since the second quarter of 2009. Android does, however, continue to hold a strong lead in market share.
The Android OS lost ground for the first time since Q2 2009, falling to 50 percent of smartphone unit sales in Q1 2011 compared to 53 percent in the prior quarter. Apple iOS share rose 9 percentage points to comprise 28 percent of smartphone unit sales. BlackBerry OS also lost ground, falling 5 points, to 14 percent.
The iPhone surge comes even as Apple has reportedly sliced CDMA iPhone 4 production to half of its initial 2011 projections.
Looking at all mobile phones, Apple ranked third among manufacturers with 14% of the market, behind Samsung at 23% and LG at 18%. And with continued strong growth from the iPhone and Android, smartphones for the first time represented the majority of U.S. mobile phone sales at 54%.
Apple's iPhone 4 ranked as the top-selling mobile phone in the U.S. during the quarter, and perhaps most surprisingly, the iPhone 3GS took second place in the rankings. Despite essentially being a nearly two-year-old device, the iPhone 3GS almost certainly received a strong boost during the first quarter after AT&T and Apple dropped the price to $49 on a two-year contract. The iPhone 3GS is not available on Verizon.