Nielsen: Survey Shows Android Slows Down, iOS Gains Steam in Q4


Nielsen released some Q4 numbers from research done on recent smartphone buyers. From the last three months they found that 44.5% of smartphone buyers surveyed bought iOS phones in December compared to just 25.1% in October. Credit can be given to the holiday season (which saw record-high smartphone purchases) as well as the fact that the iPhone 4S was made available in Q4.

As good of a jump as that was, that still wasn’t enough to topple Android as 46.3% of all buyers surveyed said they had Android phones. These numbers likely aren’t indicative of how overall sales were last quarter but it’s still a decent survey that should translate fairly decent to overall trends.

It’s natural to expect the iPhone to gain steam on Android’s US dominance but we have a feeling that its gains aren’t nearly as significant as this survey shows. Be sure to check out Nielsen’s full slate of findings over at their site.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Well duh, everyone was waiting for the Nexus.

    1. Exactly! First it was the pent up demand of the new iPhone version from the horrible iphone results of Q3 that showed that the isheep were waiting for the new version. And second it was the waiting for the Galaxy Nexus and Android 4.0 ICS that didn’t hit till mid December. But even with those 2 major factors, Android still beat Apple in its own back yard…the US where Apple is most popular versus other countries were they getting clobbered… 

      1. iPhone sales Qtr 3: 17.01 million units, which still represented their SECOND BEST QUARTER EVER, even while everyone knew the next iPhone was forthcoming:

        You’re right…..what a “horrible” Q3

        1. That’s horrible!  2nd best!? Who do they think they are?? Snapple?

        2. fucking iKing… lol he comes in here and bitches all the time.

          youre a h00t u son of a bitch

        3. i just bought a galaxy nexus. want me to post a pic with me and my baby?

          1. Do it!

    2. Not quite….as of January 4, Galaxy Nexus sales were estimated to have sold 707,700 units:

      And that’s not just on Verizon…..that’s worldwide

      1. LOL, the way they calculated that estimate is laughable. Let’s wait for the real numbers rather than speculation. BTW it was the best selling phone for Verizon after the iShit so those numbers are more than likely way off.

        Oh BTW the Guardian estimates over 1m G Nexus sold:

        1. if u call the iPhone the iShit he might call our phone a name too :(

          lol but in all seriousness i think it’s time to stop talking about this android vs iphone thing. use whatever you want and let the innovation happen

      2. iKing you know how the versions of android are named after desserts? apple, blows, cupcake, donut, eclair, froyo, gingerbread, honeycomb and ice cream sandwich? what were the first 2? 

        i challenge you iKing – to try a galaxy Nexus out for 2 months. and see if u go back to your iPhone. 


  2. I bought an iPhone for myself, wife, kids, pets and my dead grand dad as a tribute to Jobs.

  3. You also havet o figure that this is also Apple’s real first stab at having multiple phones available    along side the 4S for $199 and up  you had the iPhone 4 for $99 and the 3GS for Free couple that with a 4th quarter release of their latest phone, this chart should be no shock to anyone.

  4. you also forgot to mention that iphone was finally made available on Sprint. i’m sure that made a huge difference.

  5. I just want Android to concentrate on one thing. I want them to work really hard on optimizing and fine tuning their code to eliminate lag. Otherwise, I’m seriously considering switching to iOS with the next iPhone 5.

    There is no reason a high end phone like the Galaxy Nexus running ICS should feel as slow and laggy as it does.

    I don’t know where, but somewhere online I read the lag issue found in all Android phones is due to the Android code itself. It also appears their is no solution in sight as the code would probably have to be completely rewritten.

    I’m not a programmer but that’s what I remember the article was saying.

    1. The lag is not the system actually slowing down, it just doesn’t place the same priority on the UI as iOS does. This isn’t all a bad thing from a functionality perspective, but can be annoying to someone not knowing any better and thinking the system itself is slow. The best example I heard was to take an Android phone and an iPhone side by side and load a complex webpage at the same time. Halfway through the loading press your finger on the screen and start moving it around. Whereas the iPhone will be very smooth the page will not load until you remove your finger. It’s satisfying from a UX perspective but not functional. On the Android phone the moving around may not be smooth but the page will continue to load as you do this.

      1. Don’t spread this fame, there’s some truth to it, but it’s 90% bullshit. By the way when you are pinch zooming in Google Maps, the rendering thread stops exactly like in iPhone’s browser.

    2. I have a Galaxy Nexus and it is super fast and without any lag. Do you even own the phone??? Cause you don’t know what you are talking about.

    3. I know what article you were reading, and the author wrote a follow up article clarifying what they meant. Sounds like some issue with your phone as opposed to how Android operates. 

      ICS is hardware accelerated, there shouldn’t be any lag unless you have a buggy app you are running. 

      1. “ICS is hardware accelerated, there shouldn’t be any lag unless you have a buggy app you are running”

        The problem is, that’s is harder to develop a smooth app for Android than for iOS.

    4. On what is your opinion based?  I own a Galaxy Nexus and it is smooth as butter.  I have never experienced lag (except with transition from portrait to landscape).  I’m guessing you don’t actually own one.  Every review I’ve read says the G-Nex is amazing.  You’re gonna go with the one random article from who knows where that says it’s laggy?


      If you want your android as fast as an iPhone, set up your app drawer only Android.

      But, I for one find that my Epic touch blows away the iPhone 4S in every meter. Side by side, it’s def. faster. I’m not sure what crack you’re smoking…

    6. Now the flip side is the iphone scrolls smoother because there is nothing there, but the architecture of iOS is modular, which means it has some MAJOR faults based on each process operating independantly of the others.  Case in point is try to receive a call, then answer call waiting so now line 1 & 2 are in use, if a 3rd call comes in the iphone dumps caller 1 on hold.  Why?  Because the call waiting and call forward are independant of each other.  May not be an issue for most but in business it is $$$ when clients are being hung up on because a third call comes in.

  6. That’s what happens when you get fragmentation. that’s going to be Android’s demise.
    I’am an Android follower since the beginign but i’am tired of having to wait for updates.
    And all that rooting and unloking is just to time consuming for me.

    1. Then get a Nexus. The Nexus gets updated the instant they release updates. Android gives you choices. You want instant updates? Get a Galaxy Nexus.

      1. i’d love to believe that but go ask the Sprint Nexus S 4G owners where their ICS update is. i’d say go ask the Verizon Nexus S owners but they never even had one.

        1. That’s BS. Depending of when you bought your Verizon Galaxy Nexus, you got the update before you even left the store. And as far as the Nexus S 4G… here is the ICS update: 

          1. we are talking about the prior Nexus here – the S – which is STILL waiting for its official ICS update from GB.  homebrew doesn’t count.

            now stop being silly.

          2. Jeremy – TIME is the question here.

            On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

          3. you said –
            “Then get a Nexus. The Nexus gets updated the instant they release updates. ”

            my point is that there are people who did as you say and bought a Nexus S with the expectation that they would be  updated immediately and they are still waiting for ICS.

    2. “fragmentation. that’s going to be Android’s demise.” If that affects Android in any way it will be to accelerate the adoption. Windows was and is just as “fragmented” and it spread across all computers like wildfire in the early days. The same is happening and is continuing to happen with Android. The freedom that OEMs have to put Android on any kind of device is one of its greatest strengths that  is currently being leveraged and will continue to be leveraged and give us a huge variety of devices.

      However, I DO agree that OEMs need to be quicker and more vigilant in providing upgrades to the latest version. 

      1. Unfortunately not every one is android savvy like some of us here. I’m just tired of having to explain to everyone I have converted into and android user;  why their phone is so slow. And most of them wished they never switched from IPhone. Sure I would love to use ICS but what do you know my phone is not getting upgraded. It seems that OEM’s are not worried about who gets left behind. They just want their money!

        1. I suppose it’s a matter of perspective, everyone that I’ve met who converted over from iPhone never regretted it. The truth is that with all the improvements brought with ICS, Gingerbread is still a very good OS. It’s just not the latest and greatest, however I do understand the desire to have the latest and greatest. It’s the main reason I bought the Nexus S.

        2. Just wanna say, android is not like ios. Gotta do homework on the phones first. User experience is different between devices. When buying android devices, better to get something that was high-end a few months ago, than that free or cheap one the carriers offer. Not saying that’s what you did, but so many people do. That free phone won’t compare to an iphone period. If you aren’t willing to spend as much for android as an iphone then you shouldn’t be surprised at the performance. Sorry if this seems attacking, not my intent, but my experience was similar to yours until i learned this.

    3. I have an old Mac I cannot upgrade to the latest version of iOS…

      1. thats because iOS is for mobile devices……..

  7. Not a surprise.   Google needs to take the Galaxy Nexus and deploy it across all carriers.  IPhone 4s went to all carriers right(excluding t-mo).  Meanwhile verizon struggled to do a decent release of the Galaxy Nexus for just their network.  These numbers would have been different if the Galaxy Nexus would have been deployed across all carriers.  I’m still waiting for it on T-Mobile.  DON’T LET THE CARRIERS KILL THE NEXUS LINE!

    1. Agreed.  the G-Nex should have been rolled out to all 4 major US carriers all at once.

  8. I agree!!!! I have been looking at the Windows phone and I have to say that the Os is the outcome of Android and IOS all rolled into one. I think I will switch if thing don’t change.

    1. Windows phone is a good device, but seriously limited, even in comparision to IOS, the app store is very small and much more expensive than the IOS store and especially the Android Market, while Windows phone is great as my primary business phone, I’d never switch to it for a personal phone as it’s way too limited.

    2. Have you used ICS?  It’s a MAJOR improvement over previous versions of Android.  It makes iOS looked dated and like a toy OS, as if that was hard to do.  I would suggest trying it before switching to WP7.

      1. i cant even use my keyboard prediction on ics browser. no fixed landscape mode, and austing desktop dont even work.

        1. Is there any part of you that actually works?

          1. i own a galaxy nexus, i use the browser everyday. do you know how hard it is to type without prediction? every time i go on facebook, i need to click the desktop view. i used 4g, why do i want a mobile view for???

  9. No shit Sherlock…

    What a shitty news :P Ofcourse there is a little dip, once a year to be precise… Nothing new(s)!

  10. that, and all the iPad gifts to grandma and grandpa…

  11. I’m not sure people look at these statistics the right way.
    The 3 last month correspond to the effect of the Iphone 4S release. There is always a peak in the Iphone sales during this period (there is also an important decrease before this period). I’m actually impressed that Android still managed to increase its global sales during the same period. It means that even a new iphone release cannot disturb android sales dynamic.

  12. Of course Apple will get a bump the quarter they put out their new phone. Then, the other three quarters are all Android, and will continue to be. 

  13. Has apple ever upgraded the iphone 4 to ios5. Why would every apple user ever critisize android phone manufacturer for not giving instant updates to all the phones they have made in the last 2 years when they have been forced by apple to buy the new 4s to get the latest software upgrade. I would doubt that when apple finally gets around to manufacturing the iphone 5 that they will update the software with phone. And apple fanboys will still lap this up and have to dig deep into their pockets to upgrade. All the while, android phones are continually evolving and getting faster with a huge array of choices. why do apple bots allow apple to continually screw them out of their cash every time they bring out an upgrade in both software and hardware.

    1. Check your facts..

      IOS 5 is compatible with:Iphone 3GS, 4 and 4SIPod touch 3rd and 4th generationIpad 1 and 2

    2. “Has apple ever upgraded the iphone 4 to ios5.” 
      Yes, it got the update 2 days before the 4s was released

  14. Getting dizzy from all of the Android spin! :)

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