Report: Android Now Has 6 Percent of the U.S. Smartphone Market
In spite of rumblings that the Android operating system isn't spreading out to more handsets, consider this finding from researchers at AdMob: "The Android OS now has 6 percent of the U.S. smartphone market and is tied with Palm as the fourth-largest OS." AdMob's latest research on the smartphone market also found that "growth in requests [to AdMob's network] from devices running the Android and iPhone operating systems continued to outpace other platforms in March, despite the relatively limited number of devices in market." The growth in requests from devices is largely being driven by very healthy growth in usage of the app stores for both Android and the iPhone. Here are some of the other key points from AdMob's report.
According to AdMob's stats:
"In the first five months following the launch of the Android Market in the U.S. (November 2008 to March 2009), Android requests increased an average of 47 percent per month. In the first five months following the launch of the App Store in the U.S. (July 2008 to November 2008), requests from the iPhone increased an average of 88 percent per month."
The iPhone clearly has more momentum than Android. AdMob reports:
"The iPhone generated 8 times more U.S. requests than Android in March. The iPhone platform in total (iPhone and iPod touch) worldwide generated 23 times more requests than Android."
Still, Android is growing its market share, and applications for the operating system are moving--very healthy signs for the future. In fact, as GigaOm notes, Android has gained one U.S. market share percentage point for each month this year so far. It's worth keeping in mind that there are only 1 to 2 million of the T-Mobile G1 Android phones sold in the U.S. compared to approximately 15 million units of the iPhone sold in the U.S. What Android clearly needs next is to arrive on more devices, and advanced handwriting recognition may also be a key differentiator for it going forward, especially as Android's new version 1.5 gains traction.
Here's a look at AdMob's numbers showing growth in Android requests across its network: