In the fourth quarter of 2011, a survey by NPD Group showed that a single smartphone, which is the iPhone, produced 43% of smartphone sales in the US, while key OS competitor Android still holds the top spot in terms of sales by OS, making up a good 48% of smartphone sales.
With the top two OSes namely iOS and Android capturing 91% of smartphone sales, this does not leave much left for the other OSes like Windows Mobile, Bada, BlackBerry and Symbian with only the remaining 9% share.
Does it come as any surprise that the top three best-selling smartphones were all from The family of the iPhone 4S, followed by its predecessors the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS? This was closely followed by competitor Samsung’s key smartphones the Galaxy S2 and the S 4G.
So what has actually made the iPhone 4S today’s best-selling smartphone? The answer lies in its most innovative and captivating new feature, the voice assistant Siri. Currently only available in the iPhone 4S, people are marveling away at the prospect of talking to their own phones, from asking it to make phone calls, send emails, finding restaurants and many more. The faster A5 processor and improved 8MP camera have definitely helped in boosting sales as well, so which is why according to NPD, the iPhone 4S sales had beaten the iPhone 4 by a whopping 75%.
Moving to the groundbreaking iPhone 4 of 2010 that has still managed to grab second place, it is likely that this was achieved thanks to its now-discounted iPhone price of $99 for the scaled-down 8GB model. Even more remarkable is the iPhone 3GS of 2009 still grabbing third place, which is likely helped by AT&T offering it for free under their 2-year contracts.
Based on the reports by UBS analyst Maynard Um, the top two leading giants Apple and Samsung would be capturing more than 50 percent of the smartphone market, which would likely lead to complaints from competitors HTC, Nokia, and RIM.
However, be forewarned that Apple would not be allowed to rest on its laurels. The survey revealed that 57% of new smartphone buyers would favor Android devices over the iPhone which attracted 34%.
Bear in mind that this is just a survey by one company, as comScore reported that Android devices are much further ahead at 47.3% than the iOS of iPhone at 29.6%.
On the other hand, Nielsen released contradicting news that iPhone’s market share among new purchasers has risen up to 44.5% in December from 25.1% in October, while Android’s market share has plunged down to 46.9% from 62.6% in the same months.
Considering that all these research companies use different methodologies to obtain their results and conclusions, do not be surprised at the discrepancies. There could even be upcoming controversies on iPhone price predictions of the upcoming iPhone 5, and it would be interesting to see how smartphone sales evolve over this year once this next iPhone is out.