Android vs iPhone: Droid outsells iPhone in Q1

an android phone, open with keyboard deployed

The Android vs iPhone battle got more interesting as Android phones outsold Apple's iPhone in first quarter U.S. sales. Flickr photo.

The iPhone vs. Android battle just got more interesting as the underdog Android phone outsold Apple’s iPhone in first quarter 2010 U.S. smartphone sales. Android won this most recent iPhone vs. Android battle, but Apple is still winning the iPhone vs. Android war. Apple enjoys a huge lead in total smartphone sales over Android. Blackberry dominates the field. However, the Android market is trending upward, while Apple iPhone sales are flat and Blackberry sales are down. Some analysts think those trends will continue, allowing the Android phone to tighten the iPhone vs. Android margin.

Android vs. iPhone milestone

The Android vs. iPhone matchup hit a milestone when the Android phone captured 28 percent of smartphone sales last quarter according to the NPD Group. NPD reports that Apple’s iPhone won 21 percent of smartphone sales, while Research in Motion’s Blackberry took 36 percent. According to ComScore, a digital market research firm, a key stat in Android vs. iPhone is that Google’s Android operating system had just nine percent of the market as of February 2010, compared with the iPhone’s 25.4 percent.

Android phone gains, others falter

In winning the latest round of iPhone vs. Droid, PC World reports that Google’s OS is the only smartphone OS whose share of sales grew over the previous quarter. The iPhone, meanwhile, is flat, while Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and WebOS quarterly sales shares are falling like a mortgage loan modification. If this trend continues, PC World’s J.R. Raphael said Android will catch up to its competitors for total market share in a hurry.

How did Android beat iPhone?

Android phone sales may have overtaken Apple’s iPhone, according to the Los Angeles Times, because of  Google’s freewheeling partnering tactics that have gotten the Android operating system onto as many phones, served by as many wireless carriers, as possible.  There are now more than 30 Android-powered devices from 12 equipment manufacturers. Android devices are available from every major wireless carrier, including T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and AT&T.

Is iPhone Verizon on the horizon?

The much speculated iPhone Verizon offering looms larger as Google wins the latest round of the iPhone vs. Droid scuffle. Apple is tied to AT&T in an exclusive partnership in what may be a saturated market. Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, told Computerworld,”That’s your classic technology acquisition curve. Of those in the U.S. who are interested in an iPhone and willing to put up with AT&T, pretty much all have already bought one. What’s left for Apple — as long as it’s tied to AT&T in its exclusive partnership — is largely the iPhone replacement market.”

Worldwide iPhone soars

Most analysts expect iPhone Verizon to happen eventually in the U.S., but Apple’s not saying when. Meantime, Apple is forging ahead in the iPhone vs droid matchup everywhere else. Last month Apple announced Worldwide iPhone sales were up 131 percent in the first quarter compared to the same three-month stretch in 2009.

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