I’ve taken the position that Android devices will outnumber iPhone OS devices in one year and put a mean $20 behind it. Aggressive, to say the least. Last night, I walked through some calculations to determine my odds of success.

Yesterday, Eric Schmidt announced that Android was shipping 60,000 devices per day. With that data point, I was able to run a few scenarios. Taking first the total number of iPhone OS devices sold at roughly 75M growing at 8M per quarter.

Data via Wikipedia below:


Holding the sales of iPhone OS devices constant (assuming iPad replaces the drop in iPhone), I ran a series of monthly growth rate scenarios for Android devices, below. Android devices must grow at 20% month over month over the next 12 months for me to win my bet. A 5% growth rate pushes out the date of reckoning by another 18 months.


IDC released a report indicating global handset market in 2009 totaled 324M units. At current rates of 60,000 per day, assuming 100% sell through rate, Android would represent on an annualized basis, 21.6M handsets, without growth or roughly 7% of the market. To win the bet, Android needs to achieve either 50% market share over the next 12 months or grow the market dramatically.

Consider the Western markets saturated with phones, leaving India and China as the large growth drivers. Last year, China and India added more than 250M new subscribers (see chart below).


My hope lies in Android claiming a significant portion of the feature phone market, by either competing against Nokia successfully, or partnering with Nokia to deliver at scale Android handsets. It will be an exciting year to say the least!


2 thoughts on “How quickly could Android over take Apple in OS market share?

  1. I like the analysis, but holding sales of iPhone OS devices constant is your fatal flaw. And 20% M/M growth for Android is very aggressive. I still like my position, but must admit that the recent pace of 60,000 phones shipped per day really surprised me and gave a bit more respect for your standpoint. Time will tell, and either way the dinner will be enjoyable.

  2. I thought holding iPhone OS devices sales constant was pretty generous given the product has been out in its current incarnation for about 2.5 years. On the other hand, content could continue to drive sales despite the lack of a hardware update.  I'll rerun the analysis in 6 months to see how I'm tracking.

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