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Apple Lands Top Three Smartphones

NPD Group (release date information mine):

Led by continued steady sales for Apple’s iPhones, the top five best-selling mobile phone handsets in Q4 were as follows:

  1. Apple iPhone 4S (October 14, 2011)
  2. Apple iPhone 4 (June 24, 2010)
  3. Apple iPhone 3GS (June 19, 2009)
  4. Samsung GALAXY S II (May 1, 2011)
  5. Samsung GALAXY S 4G (February 23, 2011)

The dates alone are rather amazing. The third top-selling device was around two-and-half years old during last quarter. That seems to indicate that customers were willing to sacrifice specifications for price. Furthermore, they chose the Apple brand over similar deals on Android devices.

Also from NPD:

The iPhone 4S outsold the iPhone 4 by 75 percent, and outsold the iPhone 3GS, available for free on AT&T, five to one.

That means that the top U.S. Android smartphone was outsold by the iPhone 4S at least 5-to-1.1

This isn’t exactly an apples-to-apples comparison since Android is offered on a wide variety of devices, while the iPhone is a single device with three available models. That’s the point thought, isn’t it? The direct comparison of iPhone to Android is stupid. The logical comparisons are either between specific devices or between iOS and Android. We see that Apple is winning the device battle. For what it’s worth, Apple is also winning the operating system battle.


  1. If we globally extrapolate the U.S. data, we can estimate sales per device. Combined with the NPD data, let’s revisit Apple’s latest earning report in which the company announced quarterly sales of 37 million iPhones.

    iPhone 4S + iPhone 4 + iPhone 3GS = 37 million
    iPhone 4S = 1.75 x iPhone 4 = 5 x iPhone 3GS
    iPhone 4S = 37 million / (1 + 1/1.75 + 1/5)
    

    iPhone 4S = 20.9 million iPhone 4 = 11.9 million iPhone 3GS = 4.2 million

    This may be extremely flawed, but it provides an interesting guess at what device sales look like.

    [return]
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