Android overtakes RIM as top seller in US, claims NPD

Google snaps up 33 percent US Q2 smartphone sales

Android overtakes RIM as top seller in US, claims NPD
Given NPD's assertion back in May that Android had outsold iPhone in Q1 2010 ruffled feathers aplenty – Apple declaring said figures limited and unrepresentative – the group's claim that Google's OS has now also overtaken BlackBerry could prove just as controversial.

That is, however, the headline to be taken from the NPD Group's Q2 2010 figures, which reveals Android accounted for 33 percent of all smartphone sales in the US across the quarter.

It's the first time since Q4 2007 that RIM hasn't occupied the top spot, with BlackBerry sales accounting for 28 percent of sales, iPhone in third on 22 percent.

Thirst for features

"For the second consecutive quarter, Android handsets have shown strong but slowing sell-through market share gains among U.S. consumers," said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD.

"While the Google-developed OS took market share from RIM, Apple’s iOS saw a small gain this quarter on the strength of the iPhone 4 launch."

In Rubin's view, Android's ascent to the top hasn't happened by accident.

Its feature rich set-up is something that appeals to consumers, and is likely to push it further ahead of BlackBerry in the coming months.

"Blackberry 6 will soon offer features that have been popular in recently launched Android handsets, such as support for capacitive touchscreens and a WebKit-based browser," he added.

"However, the Blackberry Torch lacks the large screen allure that has characterized the best selling Android devices at its price point, including the Droid Incredible and EVO 4G."

Upping the uptake

NPD's numbers back up similar figures published by Nielsen earlier in the week, which suggested Android had outsold iPhone in the first six months of the year and was just one percentage point behind BlackBerry's market leading share in the US.

CEO Eric Schmidt has also revealed Google is now activating 200,000 Android devices daily – up from 160,000 a day back in June – with Motorola's Droid X, in his view, a major force behind the increased uptake.

Indeed, stats from NPD's latest report back up Schmidt's claim, with the group stating Motorola's new handset is the top selling Android device in the US, followed up by HTC's Droid Incredible, EVO 4G, Hero and Droid Eris.

It's worth nothing, however, that NPD's figures do not take corporate sales into account, with BlackBerry's traditionally strong presence in enterprise therefore not reflected in these stats.

[source: The NPD Group]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.


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