Android: Data Shows Consumers Prefer It--But Those Are Consumers

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 26, 2011

Recently, many reports have arrived showing the open source Android mobile OS beating Apple's iPhone and iOS in market share terms, with some over-enthusiastic observers pronouncing the iPhone "dead in the water." We've already cautioned that some of the market share numbers for Android should be taken with a grain of salt, because Android is becoming hugely popular as a consumer smartphone OS, but is not accepted as secure or standardized by many businesses and organizations. Furthermore, in Apple's recent quarterly financial report, the iPhone was shown to have gigantic momentum. In the latest Nielsen survey, Android once again comes out on top in terms of being the "most wanted" smartphone platform, but that--again--is among consumers.

According to the Nielsen Company's monthly surveys:

"Thirty-one percent of consumers who plan to get a new smartphone indicated Android was now their preferred OS. Apple’s iOS has slipped slightly in popularity to 30 percent and RIM Blackberry is down to 11 percent. Almost 20 percent of consumers are unsure of what to choose next."

Notably, in Nielsen's previous set of monthly surveys, the iPhone and Apple's iOS were on top, and Android in second place. It is very important to note that these shifts, which are compared to seismic events by many, track consumer interest.

In many enterprises, Android phones are not even sanctioned as business devices, and internal app development is often done only for the iPhone, BlackBerry, and non-Android devices. Android is, no doubt, emerging as a consumer success story, but the iPhone and the BlackBerry are favored by many businesses over Android, and that trend will be slower to change than consumer trends. 

Of course, it is worth recognizing Android for its incredible success in just a short period of time. In early 2009, many analysts wondered if the platform would succeed at all, and Apple had a huge headstart in terms of available applications for the iPhone. Nevertheless, consumer numbers and business numbers for Android adoption will continue to show a divide--worth remembering.