Android phones outsell iPhone in 2010

By David Sarno
Los Angeles Times

Google-powered Android phones are outselling Apple’s iPhone, according to a report released Monday by Nielsen Co.
Among consumers who purchased a smart phone in the first half of 2010, 27 percent opted for Android phones, compared with 23 percent who bought an iPhone, according to the study.

The numbers add to the pile of evidence that Google’s Android empire has become a serious threat to the iPhone. In May, NPD Group released a report noting that Android had outsold the iPhone in the first quarter of 2010.

The numbers in Nielsen’s report do not include figures for July, the first full month that the iPhone 4 was on sale. So the report does not account for any sales surge from the new device’s release, nor any subsequent effect on iPhone sales from the widely publicized problems with the device’s antenna.

Whereas Apple is the sole iPhone manufacturer, Google’s Android operating system runs on dozens of phones from many device makers, including Motorola Inc., HTC Corp., LG Electronics Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Google has said that more than 160,000 Android devices were activated every day during the second quarter, compared with 65,000 activated daily during the first quarter.

But it still has a way to go to catch up to Apple’s share of the smart phone market. Android’s total market climbed from 9 percent in the first quarter to 13 percent in the second period, but it still lagged far behind that of Apple, with 28 percent, and Research in Motion Ltd., maker of the BlackBerry, with 35 percent.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.