Counterpoint Research: iPhone Overtakes Android in U.S. Usage Share

Patrick McGee, reporting for The Financial Times:

The 50 per cent landmark — the iPhone’s highest share since it launched in 2007 — was first passed in the quarter ending in June, according to data from Counterpoint Research. Some 150 devices using Google’s Android operating system, led by Samsung and Lenovo, accounted for the rest.

I was not aware that Lenovo is second behind Samsung in Android phones. [Update: I had completely forgotten that Lenovo bought Motorola in 2014; now it makes perfect sense that they’re #2.]

The numbers are based on smartphones in use, known as the “active installed base”, what Apple finance chief Luca Maestri dubbed “the engine for our company” in a July earnings call. This is a wider and more meaningful category than new phone shipments, which fluctuate from quarter to quarter and have already demonstrated Apple’s newfound strength.

The active installed base takes into account the millions of people brought into Apple’s ecosystem through the used phone market, as well as those who use iPhones purchased years ago.

You don’t hear so much about “open beats closed” anymore.

I also continue to think Google is bored with Android. Two years ago I wrote:

Do you get the sense that Google, company-wide, is all that interested in Android? I don’t. Both as the steward of the software platform and as the maker of Pixel hardware, it seems like Google is losing interest in Android. Flagship Android hardware makers sure are interested in Android, but they can’t move the Android developer ecosystem — only Google can.

Apple, institutionally, is as attentive to the iPhone and iOS as it has ever been. I think Google, institutionally, is bored with Android.

Nothing in the last two years has changed my mind on that. Android is certainly still a thing for Google. It’s a priority. But it’s nowhere near the top of Google’s priorities. Nothing ranks higher amongst Apple’s priorities than the iPhone and iOS. Year after year, that difference in prioritization adds up.

The other interesting takeaway here is that iPhone usage share outperforms iPhone sales share. iPhones are simply more durable and get meaningful software updates for longer. People use their iPhones longer, and they have far more resale value.

Friday, 2 September 2022