The Apple iPhone holds a significant share of the US smartphone operating system (OS) market, although less-established competitor Google Android is growing at the same rate, according to data from The Nielsen Company.
Apple Holds More than One-quarter of Market
In Q1 2010, Apple iPhone held 28% of the US smartphone OS market, placing it not too far behind market leader RIM Blackberry with 35% market share. The Google Android OS, iPhone’s closest competitor, only held 9%. However, both iPhone and Android grew their market shares 2% quarter-over-quarter from Q4 2009.
At the same time, Blackberry lost 2% share, while Microsoft’s Windows Mobile OS also lost 2% to fall to 19%.
Android Users are Younger
Although Android and iPhone users both skew male (Android users show a 54/46 gender split compared to iPhone’s 55/45), there are some striking differences. Android users tend to be slightly younger than their iPhone peers- 55% of Android users are under the age of 34 while 47% of iPhone users fall within the same demographic. Age is also a prime determinant of income and education, with Android users slightly less wealthy and less educated.
Android, iPhone Users Show Loyalty
Eighty percent of iPhone users want their next device to run iPhone OS, while 70% of Android users want another Android device. This is in stark comparison to other major smartphone players. Nielsen analysis indicates that only 47% of Blackberry users want another Blackberry, while only 34% of Windows Mobile users want another Windows Mobile device.
Among Android and iPhone users who would like to switch operating systems, the rate at which Android users would like to try iPhone is twice as high as that of iPhone users who would try Android. Given that iPhone penetration is three times that of Android, more iPhone consumers are willing to try Android.
Android, iPhone Users Prefer Similar Data Features
Users of the Android and iPhone operating systems display data feature preferences similar to one another, but different from all smartphone users. More than 90% of Android users had sent a text message in the last 30 days during Q1 2010, compared to about 85% of iPhone users and 84% of all users (text messaging was the most popular feature among all types of users).
Both Android and iPhone users took advantage of mobile internet (about 88% each, compared to about 73% of all users), email (about 83% of Android users and 87% of iPhone users, compared to about 72% of all users), picture messaging (about 68% of Android users and 58% of iPhone users, compared to about 55% of all users), application downloads (about 82% of Android users and 85% of iPhone users, compared to about 55% of all users) and location-based services/GPS (about 72% of Android users and 68% of iPhone users, compared to about 45% of all users), among other less popular data feature categories, at significantly higher rates than the general smartphone population.
All smartphone users did have higher usage rates for preinstalled games than Android or iPhone users (about 40% compared to about 33% of Android users and 31% of iPhone users), and beat iPhone users by a fraction of a percentage point in video messaging.
Overall smartphone penetration of the mobile phone market reached 23% as of Q1 2010.
Apple Leads Smartphone Satisfaction
Apple ranks highest in customer satisfaction among manufacturers of smartphones, according to a recent survey from J.D. Power and Associates. Apple definitively leads smartphone providers in customer satisfaction with an overall satisfaction rating of 810 on a 1,000-point scale.
No other manufacturer scored above the industry average of 753 and only Apple received JD Power’s highest “Among the Best” Power Circle rating. Apple performs particularly well with consumers in the areas of ease of operation, operating system, features and physical design.