If you prefer Android, great. If you’d rather have an iPhone, super. That said, in the endless Android vs iPhone pissing match, there is a relentless “Android winning” drumbeat — it’s all about unit volume, the number of smartphones and tablets sold. However, Android doesn’t always win that fight and there’s more to the big picture than just volume.

Ben Evans, a freelance analyst in London, gathered Verizon and AT&T smartphone sales data, and then charted it.


“First, Android isn’t really growing at all in the USA, at least at the big two operators — all the growth is coming from iPhone,” writes Evans. “Second, there’s near-zero seasonality in Android phone sales.”

In other words, the big Android launches — i.e. Galaxy S III, HTC One, etc. — really don’t budge the numbers. Interestingly, iPhone launches aren’t denting Android sales either.

But the fundamental dynamic is that new smartphone sales are iPhones.

“What isn’t shown in this chart, of course, is churn within the Android base: Android users moving to iPhone while new non-smart buyers shift to Android, keeping the sales steady,” opines Evans.

Android Winning? Where?

Additionally, Apple’s iPhone dominates vis-a-vis usage, including web traffic, app revenue and other metrics. For example, did you know that 75 cents of every mobile advertising dollar gets spent to push impressions on the iPhone and iPad? Yep.

More interesting, however, is data showing that iPad’s usage share is on the rise even as Android tablet sales rise.


Can the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One or any of the new crop of Android phablets, turn this situation around? Honestly, they look gimmicky and the usage numbers back this up.

Motorola’s new mission statement — straight Android on clean, solid designs — sounds hopeful, assuming they can actually make money at it.

So, Android Winning? If you mean high unit volume sales of devices that people don’t seem to be making (much) good use of, then yes…

What’s your take?