The Internet is abuzz with headlines proclaiming the ascendency of Google’s Android operating system over Apple’s iPhone operating systems. The story is based on research by a company called NPD Group, released on Monday.
There’s just one problem: the media is completely masking the real story.
Here’s a classic example: CNN’s headline reads, “Report: Google Android surpasses iPhone in U.S.” which is technically true, but utterly misleading.
Sure, in the first quarter of the year, there were more phones sold running the Google Android operating software than the iPhone operating system. But there are two major points to the story that the headline doesn’t address:
- There are several models of smartphone that run the Android operating system, including some by manufacturers such as Motorola, HTC, and Samsung. It sure sounds sensational when you say “Android surpasses iPhone” in a headline, but it’s hardly an apples-to-apples comparison, now is it?
- These figures are specifically focused on new sales in the first three months of the year. You know what that doesn’t count? The millions and millions of people that already have an iPhone, and have for years now. Saying that Android has topped the iPhone is silly, frankly — it’s experiencing the growth that a successful new product is bound to have, but it sure hasn’t come close to the popularity or success of the reigning champion.
That reigning champ, of course, is Blackberry.
C’mon, as much as I love the iPhone, I’m the first to admit it’s got nothing on the commercial success of Research In Motion (RIM)’s Blackberry. And despite having been on top of the smartphone market for a long time now, Blackberry continues to be the best seller in any given quarter. In Q1 of 2010, RIM nabbed about 36% of new sales in the U.S. compared to Android’s 28% and iPhone’s 21%.
But neither the Blackberry nor the Android lineup are the iPhone. So there.