Android vs. iPhone: Another round, another knockout

Article copyright 2010 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

Android vs. iPhone

When it comes to tech rivalries, everyone loves a good smackdown -- but let's be honest: The race for smartphone dominance is starting to feel like one of those blowout sporting events where there's almost no point in watching.

Month after month, we see the same trends taking shape: Android snags more of the mobile market, Apple struggles to hang on to its share of the pie, and everyone else slowly but steadily loses ground.

Already this week, three separate reports have told us that same story. Analysis firm Canalys found Android surged to 44 percent of all U.S. smartphone shipments in the third quarter of 2010 -- nearly twice Apple's 26 percent level. RIM, meanwhile, sat at 24 percent and Microsoft trailed in at 3 percent. The NPD Group reached similar conclusions, and Nielsen too released a study showing that Android outsold all other smartphone platforms for the most recent chunk of the year.

Add to that pile now one more zesty little item: ComScore's latest analysis, published this morning, finds Android's overall U.S. smartphone market share grew to 21.4 percent for the three-month period ending in September. That's a 6.5 point increase from its previous position. Apple, in the same time span, held steady at 24.3 percent; RIM continued its perpetual drop by losing 2.8 points and falling to 37.3 percent; and Microsoft lost 2.8 points to reach a total of 10 percent.

Android vs. iPhone: ComScore

It's worth noting that most of the platforms did actually attract new users during this period -- just not enough of 'em to keep up with Android's paces. "Despite losing share to Google Android, most smartphone platforms continue to gain subscribers as the smartphone market overall continues to grow," ComScore explains.

Now, I know Steve Jobs likes to downplay this type of info -- according to him, after all, Apple is and always will be #1, data be damned -- but for the rest of us, this is even more compelling evidence of the shift we've long seen coming to the smartphone market. (And before you leave the obligatory "but there's only one iPhone and a lot of Android phones" comment, by the way, go read this. That argument is meaningless.)

With the launch of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 now upon us -- not to mention that Verizon iPhone that's absolutely-maybe, sort-of-definitely happening any day now -- we may have something that vaguely resembles an actual race soon. Maybe.

Until then, move along folks...nothing surprising to see here.

JR Raphael writes about smartphones and other tasty technology. You can find him on Facebook, on Twitter, or at eSarcasm, his geek-humor getaway.

Article copyright 2010 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon