Android Outsells iPhones, Opens Processor Market.
No wonder Steve Jobs is getting shirty about Android. Phones using the upstart OS are outselling the iPhone, according to US market research firm NPD Group.
NPD reports that, based on unit sales in Q1 2010, Android phones had a US market share of 28%, ahead of the iPhone at 21%, and behind the Blackberry at 36%.
If phone manufacturers can make Android phones attractive enough to out-sell the iPhone, then Android promises a revolution.
Because, as a middleware OS, Android decouples the processor from the OS allowing any processor into cellphones.
So Atom and MIPS can get in there as easily as ARM – if they can compete on the properties of the silicon.
Although, now that Intel has produced its first ship targeted specifically a smartphones, it will probably use its notorious MDF to buy its first few design-ins.
The snag with Android might be Flash, which is said to be flaky on Android. Indeed, flaky Flash was blamed, earlier this week, for the non-appearance of ARM-based netbooks.
But software was ever thus. It takes time and several versions.
The stakes are enormous. On Tuesday, Nokia’s head of mobile phones, Rick Simonson, left after six months in the job. Anssi Vanjuki, who launched Nokia’s N95 in 2007 three months before the iPhone was launched, was brought back as boss of the mobile phones business.
So smartphone competition is hotting up, and Android’s time is coming, though whether either will bring down smartphone prices is debatable with the cost of of handset silicon being as low as it is.
According to NPD, smartphone prices averaged $151 in Q1.