Android sees lowest U.S. user growth in three years

“The latest data from comScore showed a few surprises: New smartphone users dropped to a very low level, below the trend line,” Horace Dediu reports for Asymco. “Slightly less than 300k new smartphone users abandoned their feature phones every week during the month. Compared with the 1.5 million per week in November, it’s quite a slowdown.”

“Penetration growth slowed as a result as well. Only 1.3 points of share were gained by smartphones,” Dediu reports. “It’s still likely that the penetration will reach 50% by the end of summer this year (as was predicted in 2010).”

“When looking at the picture above broken out by platforms, we see signs that the slowing in smartphone growth seems to be attributable to a slowing in Android adoption,” Dediu reports. “[This is] the first time when Android share dipped sequentially… [This] chart shows net user gains for the platforms.”

Asymco: Mobile platforms monthly net user gains in the U.S. (comScore)

More info and the usual excellent charts and graphs in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: See that yellow band there? It looks like Windows is already eating into Android a bit, which reminds us of what we wrote of Windows Phone back on October 27, 2011:

Windows Phone will be popular. Over time, it’ll eat the lunch of the increasingly fragmented, increasingly insecure, and increasingly costly Android (losing patent infringement lawsuits and dropping features/paying royalties to multiple IP owners will do that to you).

The not-iPhone world will begin to dump Android and move to Microsoft’s mobile OS offering because it will eventually cost less, work better, and come with far fewer legal issues. In the iPhone wannabe market, it’s already happening (Nokia, for example). We expect the same to happen in the iPad wannabe market, too. Google and Microsoft will long battle each other for the non-Apple markets and that’s a much better scenario for everyone than having a single ripoff artist flood the market with fragmented, insecure, beta-esque, mediocre-at-best products. Google’s attempt to be the next Microsoft is doomed.

This, of course, will also impact Google’s search business. Apple’s Siri will increasingly deliver info to users sans Google and Microsoft will, naturally, use Bing for their search. As we’ve said many times in the past: Google will rue the day they got greedy by deciding to try to work against Apple instead of with them.

The bottom line: We’d rather see a company trying unique ideas, even if – shockingly – it’s Microsoft, than the wholesale theft of Apple innovations that we’ve been seeing for over four years now. Don’t steal IP. Even worse, don’t steal IP and “claim to be innovators.” We have no problem with any companies that attempt to compete with Apple using their own unique ideas and strategies.

Related articles:
Nielsen: Apple’s U.S. iPhone market share surges as Android stalls – March 29, 2012
ABI: Apple iPhone tops smartphone market as Android suffers its first decline in share – January 27, 2012
Apple overtakes Samsung to take world’s largest smartphone vendor crown – January 27, 2012
These charts will make the Fandroids want to puke – January 26, 2012
AT&T sold 7.6 million iPhones and fewer than 1.8 million Android phones in Q411 – January 26, 2012
Apple’s iOS passes Google’s Android to take U.S. smartphone market share crown – January 25, 2012
Analyst: Verizon’s record iPhone sales signal waning demand for Google Android phones – January 24, 2012

10 Comments

    1. Wife handles five phones – her’s and our two kids and hubbies – 5 phones total …. all were andriod and the contract ran out in May – now they have 5 iphones ….

      I am a HUGE APPLE fan and don’t have an iphone as we use the nextel walkie talkie at work and that is the only cell phone I have ….

      but I have purchased over 20 ipads for our work along with a ton of macs ….

      nextel is being eliminated soon and we will probably go to iphones but it is tough in the roofing industry to not have a rugged clip and easy to use commnication tool on your belt and toss in the ipad for everything else and it works for me ….

  1. The problem for Android will become apparent once moderate saturation of the market with smartphones is reached, especially in the developed world. At that point, the room for overall growth will be limited. At that point, market share changes will be more-or-less zero-sum game (for someone to gain, the other will have to lose).

    We all know that iPhone owners are rabid fans who will let their iPhones only from their cold dead hands. Android fans, on the other hand, are much more open, shall we say, to switching to the “other” platform. Therefore, in this zero-sum game, the only one to eventually lose is Android.

    Android gained traction for obvious reasons: it was much, much cheaper than the cheapest iPhone, and still is (most prepaid carriers offer unsubsidised Android crap starting at well below $100, while the cheapest unsubsidised iPhone is a three years old model, 3GS, and is still well above $400).

    Come to think of it, it is just utterly amazing how Apple is successful at selling a 3-year old model in greater numbers than ANY other individual Android maker selling current models!

    1. I think we may already be seeing this. I think the reason for this slowdown might have to do with the possible upcoming release or announcement of a new iPhone. Basically people are holding their breath (monetarily). Many consumers, even the non tech savvy, know (or possibly intuit, in the case of the non tech savvy) a new iPhone has been announce around this time for several years and they’re taking a wait a see approach IMO.

  2. MDN – Don’t know an easy way to break this to you, but more often than not for the past year, MS growth has been negative. Although not as negative as Blackberry’s.

    1. I would account the YELLOW less about Microsoft eating into Android – and more about attributing to the licensing fee imposed on Google by Microsoft.

      1. AND as anyone can see… there is plenty of YELLOW and GREEN on the bars descending lower than the ZERO mark – MND.

        Its GROWTH is downward.
        TO assume YELLOW is taking from GREY is absolute nonsense.

  3. MacDailyNews Take: “See that yellow band there? It looks like Windows is already eating into Android a bit, which reminds us of what we wrote of Windows Phone back on October 27, 2011:

    Windows Phone will be popular. Over time, it’ll eat the lunch of the increasingly fragmented, increasingly insecure, and increasingly costly Android (losing patent infringement lawsuits and dropping features/paying royalties to multiple IP owners will do that to you).

    The not-iPhone world will begin to dump Android and move to Microsoft’s mobile OS offering because it will eventually cost less, work better, and come with far fewer legal issues. In the iPhone wannabe market, it’s already happening (Nokia, for example). We expect the same to happen in the iPad wannabe market, too. Google and Microsoft will long battle each other for the non-Apple markets and that’s a much better scenario for everyone than having a single ripoff artist flood the market with fragmented, insecure, beta-esque, mediocre-at-best products. Google’s attempt to be the next Microsoft is doomed.

    This, of course, will also impact Google’s search business. Apple’s Siri will increasingly deliver info to users sans Google and Microsoft will, naturally, use Bing for their search. As we’ve said many times in the past: Google will rue the day they got greedy by deciding to try to work against Apple instead of with them.

    The bottom line: We’d rather see a company trying unique ideas, even if – shockingly – it’s Microsoft, than the wholesale theft of Apple innovations that we’ve been seeing for over four years now. Don’t steal IP. Even worse, don’t steal IP and “claim to be innovators.” We have no problem with any companies that attempt to compete with Apple using their own unique ideas and strategies”…

    Said perfectly! People eventually are going to want something different that works good,, this is Windows Phone. And, if you aren’t hip to how good the new WP devices are then you better ask somebody! The iPhone is a extremely great product, but for some its boring, and old news. The youth will need something to counteract the old 2008 style of the iPhone. WP can be that tool. Watch out for WP guys…

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