Monday, May 4, 2009

Google's Android's market share compares well with Apple's iPhone

Google's Android platform has a tough battle ahead of itself against the iPhone and the soon-to-be-released Palm Pre. The T-Mobile G1, the only Android device yet being sold, had recently crossed the million device mark on April 23rd. This is significantly behind the iPhone's initial sales rate.

While the iPhone and the Pre have been grabbing most of the headlines, NetApplications revealed this month that Google's Android is faring pretty well in browsing market share as well. As you can see in the graph below, the Android and iPhone are pretty much neck and neck in terms of browsing market share.

In fact, it has around the same web browsing market share as the iPhone did at the same stage in its life. If you factor in T-Mobile's much smaller footprint and slower, mostly 2G network, the Android platform's showing is pretty impressive. That being said, the original iPhone was a 2G device.

What is interesting here is that we are only five months and a million devices into the life of the Android. At month five, the iPhone had sold around two times as many devices.

Could that mean that Android users are using their devices and Chrome Lite browsers more than iPhone users? It certainly would appear so.

One thing to consider: Since Android is an open operating system, it can be ported to many other devices, including MIDs, tablets and netbooks. While that may factor in a few percentage points, it certainly doesn't double the amount of Android devices on the market.

Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that Android users are using their web browser as much, if not more than iPhone users did at the same point in their rollout.

This may also be padded by the fact that Google points its devices to use its Google Apps more than an iPhone would.

With new Android devices coming out this summer in new markets, it will be interesting to see how the market share numbers change.


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