Pay careful attention to Android vs. iPhone numbers

InvisibleSHIELD.  Scratch Proof your iPhone 4!“The U.S. smartphone market grew 11% in the period covered by [recent comScore] data,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune. “So although comScore has Apple’s market share dropping 1.8 points from pie 1 to pie 2, its sales were accelerating. Of the smartphone operating systems covered in the data, only Microsoft’s actually shrank.”

Advertisement: Scratch Proof your iPhone 4 with invisibleSHIELD. Full Body Maximum Coverage for $24.99. Front and Back Coverage for $14.99 each!

“But the bigger problem [are] the dates [comScore’s data covers],” Elmer-DeWitt reports. “The iPhone 4 was launched in the U.S. June 24 and promptly sold out. Sales been limited by short supplies ever since.”

Elmer-DeWitt reports, “But more important, for most of the three months covered by the data in the second chart, the iPhone 4 wasn’t available for sale at all. And in fact, sales of the iPhone 4’s predecessors were almost certainly suppressed for all of May and most of June thanks to Gizmodo, which published photos of the new iPhone in mid-April. Who wants to buy the old phone when you know a new one (and price cuts on the old) are just around the corner?”

Full article, with chart and more info, here.

MacDailyNews Take: Pay careful attention to all of these “Android is beating Apple iPhone” reports and you’ll find that the “studies” on which they are based have chosen their dates and what they cover very carefully in order to favor Android. Yes, Android is growing rapidly. In the initial quarters after launch, that’s what happens. The same thing happened with iPhone, too.

Measuring Apple iPhone sales at their low point (everybody knows a new one is coming around June), with a massive new model leak saturating even the non-tech media, limiting to one country (in which Apple has an long-running and hopefully soon-to-end single carrier exclusive), and even excluding entire market segments in which Apple’s iPhone has a rapidly-growing presence in order to make Android phones look more successful than iPhone would be laughable if so many saps didn’t swallow it hook, line, and sinker.

Why is this happening? The answer, as usual, likely has much to do with who stands to benefit most from the disinformation.

Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. – Aaron Levenstein

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “iWill” for the heads up.]


  1. When I see that 31.6% of the smart phones in France are iPhones where there are no locked phones are iPhones, that gives me a better feel of where the iPhone will go in an open carrier situation. It would be even higher in the USA. (Some French don’t like Americans and their stuff.)

    Why would anyone that could get an iPhone on the same carrier at the same monthly price buy an Android. Ask AT&T what their iPhone vs. Android sales are?

  2. Don’t forget that when (c’mon, y’know it’s gonna happen) Verizon gets the iPhone it’ll still take a couple years for the suckers with Androids to be eligible for a new phone. Then you’ll really see the numbers change.

  3. Even the sales number don’t tell the whole story. Apple make a lot more money from these phones than any other manufacturer. Most of the others need volume sales to make a profit. The smartphone market has provided some parity since the carriers are willing to subsidize more for those phones.

    iPhones are still on back-order in the States. 3 weeks delivery from the Apple online store for a product that has been out for 3 months.

  4. It is absolutely hilarious to see the “statistics” being used. Aside from the “date picking” MDN rightly points out, there even further glaring problems with the comparisons:

    – iPhone vs Android? Surely these “analysts” understand that one is a piece of computer hardware and the other is an operating system. They should be comparing iOS to Android. Otherwise please tell us which Android based phone has outsold the Apple iPhone?

    – secondly, why are they looking at percentage of market share between one period and the next? Unless the total number of phones in the marketplace has remained static, then market share means zip. What would be more interesting is how many total devices each manufacturer sold (and is being used in the marketplace) and how many are being sold day to day.

    But let’s not get in the way of the deluded.. after all, who gives a f**k if the Google sheep think they are winning?

  5. All the Droid users I know are Apple Haters and they say too that they hate AT&T.
    I have had AT&T since I have had a mobile phone and I have no gripes at all.
    One guy I work with likes to over clock his Droid phone and I don’t care if he ruins it. He likes to tell me how it is as good as my iPhone 4 or better.
    I just look at him and say nothing, thinking of what a turd he is.

  6. @ George –
    “Surely these “analysts” understand that one is a piece of computer hardware and the other is an operating system”

    I sympathize with your pov but in terms of smartphones, iPhone is synonymous with iOS so it does not matter.

    As for cherry-picking the dates, it appears this survey runs every 3 months. So that is a silly, specious criticism. Nothing they can do about Apple’s release dates. A fresh view will come out in October – just a few weeks away.

    However, they miss a simple fact. Whenever a new product enters a market it by definition takes some market share. And since total share is always 100%, they must take share from existing players. It seems that Android share has come more or less proportionately from all the other significant players. Well – this is to be expected. The big question is how much longer will Android growth continue? That is a matter of speculation.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.