You might have guessed this was coming given the proliferation of Android phones, but the NPD Group released some new data today that shows the Android operating system overtook Apple’s OS in the first quarter for smartphone market share.
NPD puts the Android OS at 28 percent smartphone market share, behind Research In Motion’s 36 percent share and ahead of Apple’s 21 percent.
“As in the past, carrier distribution and promotion have played a crucial role in determining smartphone market share,” said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, in a press release. “In order to compete with the iPhone, Verizon Wireless has expanded its buy-one-get-one offer beyond RIM devices to now include all of their smartphones.”
Strong sales of the Droid, Droid Eris and BlackBerry Curve via such promotions helped keep Verizon Wireless’ smartphone sales on par with AT&T in the first quarter, the research firm reports. According to NPD’s Mobile Phone Track, smartphone sales at AT&T comprised nearly a third of the entire smartphone market (32 percent), followed by Verizon Wireless (30 percent), T-Mobile USA (17 percent) and Sprint (15 percent).
Rubin says recent previews of BlackBerry 6, HP’s planned acquisition of Palm and the pending release of Windows Phone 7 demonstrate the industry’s willingness to make investments to address consumer demand for smartphones and other mobile devices. “Carriers continue to offer attractive pricing for devices, but will need to present other data-plan options to attract more customers in the future,” he says.
The average selling price for all mobile phones in the first quarter reached $88, a 5 percent increase from the first quarter a year ago. Smartphone unit prices, by comparison, averaged $151 in the first quarter of 2010, which is a 3 percent decrease over the previous year.
The NPD Group compiles and analyzes mobile device sales data based on more than 150,000 completed online consumer research surveys each month. Its sales figures do not include corporate/enterprise mobile phone sales.