The iPhone Juggernaut Seems Unstoppable

On May 2, a consumer analyst organization call NPD reported that the iPhone accounted for only 29% of U.S. smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2012, while Android phones supposedly grabbed 61% of the market. No one was more surprised by this than me. There was something wrong but I couldn’t put my finger on it. If Apple’s reported sales figures only accounted for 29% of Q1 smartphone sales in the U.S., then yeesh, someone is buying a lot more smartphones than anyone seems to be talking about.

Within a day I found out that the NPD numbers appear to be in error. Surprise surprise.

According to Business Insider the NPD numbers “run contrary to what the carriers themselves are actually reporting.”

“…At AT&T, Apple activated 4.3 million iPhones, or 78% of all AT&T smartphones for the quarter. At Verizon it activated 3.2 million iPhones, or 51% of all Verizon smartphones for the quarter. At Sprint it activated 1.5 million iPhones, or 60% of all smartphones for the quarter, according to Macquarie’s Kevin Smithen.

Total it all up, and Apple had 63% of the smartphone market on those three big carriers.

Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T account for ~80% of the overall wireless market in the U.S., according to a Yankee Group report from August.

If Apple accounted for 63% of 80% of the smartphone sales on those carriers, then it had 50% of the total smartphone market in the U.S. in the first quarter of the year.”

Yo. NPD. Math is a bitch ain’t it?

So get this… when Business Insider asked NDP how exactly they got their numbers, NPD said they ran a survey.  LMFAO. So based on a survey of .1 percent of smartphone buyers, with errors included they came to the conclusion that 61% of buyers chose Android.

It gets better.

When Business Insider asked why they didn’t go back and adjust for the actual numbers, they answered, “That’s not part of their methodology.”  It appears we have another Consumer Reports type organization here.

The Business Insider article can be found here:
http://www.businessinsider.com/apples-us-smartphone-marketshare-versus-android-for-q1-2012-5

In addition, Apple is winning the lion’s share of profits in the smartphone business. According to Horace Dediu of Asymco, something strange is going on. The industry is booming, but most of the players aren’t making any money, except for Apple. Apple is taking 73% of operating profits. The next closest competitor is Samsun at 26% and HTC, well they might as well not be in business.

It was also reported today that iPhone owners are EXTREMELY happy with their phones even if they hate their providers. ( I’m in that camp. I despise AT&T, but they have me by the short hairs right now). More info on that report can be found here:

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/05/03/iphone-users-least-likely-to-switch-when-service-sucks/

All is not lost in the Android world though.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 was introduced today and it has an even bigger screen. That sucker is big. It’s almost like holding an iPad up to your ear now. The innovation at Samsung never ceases to amaze me.

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