In a report ran by the The NPD Group, the marketing research company found that in Q4 Apple glided past Samsung and LG in best handsets sold during the quarter. This is mostly due in part thanks to the launch of the iPhone 4S as well as adding the device to Sprint’s lineup allowing the handset to tackle 43 percent of the market in the U.S. I wonder how many Apple employees were wondering why they didn’t do this from the start instead of having such a long exclusivity with AT&T? Nonetheless, the new Siri based iPhone 4S attracted a significant crowd to take the lead:
“Attracted by a faster processor, improved camera and the Siri speech-driven agent, most iPhone buyers paid a premium for the iPhone 4S, making it the top-selling handset in Q4,” said Ross Rubin, executive director, Connected Intelligence for The NPD Group. “The iPhone 4S outsold the iPhone 4 by 75 percent, and outsold the iPhone 3GS, available for free on AT&T, five to one.”
However, Android still held on to 48 percent of the smartphone market during the quarter largely in part because “Android devices performed better among first-time smartphone buyers“.
Based on the latest data from The NPD Group’s monthly Smartphone Track service, among the first-time smartphone buyers in Q4, 57 percent purchased Android phones compared to just 34 percent who purchased iPhones.
So why was Android able to pull the reigns overall in the smartphone market?
“Android has been criticized for offering a more complex user experience than its competitors, but the company’s wide carrier support and large app selection is appealing to new smartphone customers,” Rubin said. “Android’s support of LTE at Verizon has also made it the exclusive choice for customers who want to take advantage of that carrier’s fastest network.”
It’s no great surprise that Android is extremely open as well as offers more devices to choose from. And though some might tend to focus on the “fragmentation” part of the platform, I like to think that more is better. There are more devices for most to choose from. Does one want a physical keyboard or a virtual one? Do you want a 3.5-inch screen or a 5.3-inch screen? How about LTE?The possibilities are limitless and I personally love the option base. What’s your take on this? Feel free to let us know in the comments below. Hit the break for the full press release by The NPD Group for more details. » Read the rest