It's official - according to Nielsen's calculations, this month marks a passing of the torch, so to speak, from Apple to Google in terms of smartphone sales in the US. New subscribers chose the Android platform 27% of the time and Apple's iPhone platform only 23% of the time. Of course, these numbers still pale in comparison to Blackberry's hold on the market with a full third of all handsets.
Normally we see major growth in the beginning of a product's life-cycle but Android isn't the baby it used to be. We have had major Android-powered handsets on the market for 2 years now, but adoption was slow until version 1.5 and now 2.1 making the platform really shine.
For more about Android's takeover, hit the break.
The overthrow hasn't just been in the US, either. Android has seen a 886% growth this year from this time last year worldwide. Yes, you read that right, 886% growth. For those who can't tell, 5% growth is astounding. So, what has Google done so right?
Let's start with multiple manufacturers. HTC is the largest producer of US Android phones, being the first to jump onto the bandwagon with the G1 for T-Mobile, followed by the myTouch 3G, myTouch 3G Slide, Droid Eris, Evo and many more. HTC's revenue is up 66% because of their acceptance of Android and their willingness to almost entirely dump their flagship Windows Mobile. Motorola has also made a large series of Android handsets, including the Backflip and the Cliq, powered mostly through their MotoBlur software, that has brought the company's mobile phone division from the brink of collapse to profits for the first time in years.
Secondly, they have maintained their open development platform. Anyone who wants to write for Android can. If you want to duplicate features, go for it. If you want to enhance what is there, do it. Seemingly, if you want to write malicious software, you can do that, too! This keeps the market much more competitive than the iPhone Apps which Apple keeps tight control over.
Can Apple change this and recover their second-place position in the market or is it all downhill from here? Can Windows Phone come back and take a higher position in the market? Can BlackBerry keep the top spot? We'll have to keep watching and see.