Denis Doyle/Bloomberg News
For some time now, Google‘s Android system has been No. 1 worldwide and in the United States in terms of smartphone market share. But recent statistics suggest that the almighty robot has been losing steam in this country.
Horace Dediu, an analyst who was previously a business development manager at Nokia, published a blog post on Monday with charts illustrating a slowdown of Android’s growth in the United States, citing numbers from ComScore, the market research firm.
He notes that smartphone purchases have slowed in recent months compared with November, and much of that can be traced to a tapering off in Android adoption. Apple‘s iPhone growth, meanwhile, has remained relatively healthy.
“The concern has to be that rather than seeing the net adds growing – as they have for two years with only two contiguous months of decline – Android net adds have been falling for four months,” he wrote.” In other words, while Android is still growing, its growth is much smaller than before — and it’s questionable whether it will continue to be the operating system of choice for smartphone buyers in the United States.
Some of the slowdown for Android is also attributable to the business market. A sampling of about 3,000 businesses using by Good Technology, a major information technology firm that provides mobile management software, found that iPhone usage was increasing in the workplace, while Android phones have seen a significant dip since last year.
Jan Dawson, a mobile analyst with Ovum, said that the apparent drop in Android device purchases was related to the iPhone becoming available on other carriers last year — before, it was exclusive to ATT — so it’s natural to see a drop in the near term. However, he said that in the long term, Android is likely to win in numbers because some Android phones are more affordable than the iPhone, and thus they appeal to a broader customer base over all.
“I think you have that one-time, U.S.-specific effect, plus a broader effect that affects people worldwide,” he said. “But long term I still expect Android to dominate, simply because it appeals to a much wider base of customers worldwide, especially at the low end.”