We have known for quite some time that there is a distinct possibility that Android will pass iPhone in the upcoming years. Unlike Apple, Google has a bunch of handset makers taking advantage of its platform. Even though no individual Android phone has come close to iPhone in market-share, the Android army as a whole has been gaining marketshare and momentum in the past few months. According to a report by the Nielsen Company, Android may have already surpassed Apple iPhone (27% to 23% in market share).
There are multiple ways to interpret this report, depending on which camp you are pulling for. Android’s rise has been very impressive, and there is absolutely no question that as a platform it is destined to surpass iPhone OS. It’d be a huge failure if it doesn’t considering all the shiny phones that HTC and Motorola have been developing for that platform. At the same time, Apple iPhone still remains the most desired phone around. About 90% of iPhone owners are satisfied with their phone and would do business with Apple in the future.
This report needs to be taken with a grain of salt. It’s too early to tell how iPhone 4 may have changed the equation (at least for the short-term). Things will be more clear a couple of quarters from now. Considering that Apple has been selling iPhone 4 like hotcakes, these charts and numbers could be slightly more in Apple’s favor (if iPhone 4 sales are counted).
Does Apple need to have the most market-share in the smart-phone industry? In a perfect world, yes. However, let’s not forget that Microsoft has dominated the PC OS market for years, and it still can’t compete with Apple when it comes to the quality of its operating system. Android may put some distance between itself and iPhone OS in the future, but that does not mean there will be an iPhone killer anytime soon.