Android Edges Out iPhone in Smartphone OS Sales

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

IT solution providers who have moved into integration and support of Apple's iPhone for the enterprise may soon be asked to expand their efforts to include smartphones based on Google's Android OS. A new report shows that smartphones based on Android outsold smartphones based on Apple's iPhone OS in the first quarter. RIM's smartphone OS for its BlackBerry device remains in the lead, however.

Apple’s iPhone used to be the upstart, sneaking into IT organizations as executives demanded support and integration with corporate email, and vendors have come through with technology to support it.  But now IT shops and IT solution providers may find themselves compelled to add support for another upstart – smartphones based on Google’s Android operating system.

A new report from market research organization The NPD Group says Android moved past Apple to take the number-two position among smartphone operating systems in the first quarter of 2010, based on unit sales to consumers. The Blackberry still rules, however, with RIM’s OS commanding 36 percent of sales. Android got 28 percent and Apple’s iPhone. OS got 21 percent.

NPD said that strong sales of the Droid, Droid Eris, and Blackberry Curve via carrier promotions helped keep Verizon Wireless’s smartphone sales on par with AT&T’s in the first quarter.

"Recent previews of BlackBerry 6, the recently announced acquisition of Palm by HP, and the pending release of Windows Phone 7 demonstrates the industry’s willingness to make investments to address consumer demand for smartphones and other mobile devices," said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, in a statement. "Carriers continue to offer attractive pricing for devices, but will need to present other data-plan options to attract more customers in the future."


Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com