We heard this one before, back when the iPhone 4 was first announced for Verizon: the carrier’s current smartphone subscribers would abandon their Android handsets for Apple’s phone after years of settling for less. As it turns out, that wasn’t quite the case. But if you’re wrong once, why not make the same prediction again and hope that it might come true this time. That’s what Needham analyst Charlie Wolf believes, anyway. After pinpointing a 3 percentage point drop-off in Android’s US market share in March following the release of the iPhone 4, Wolf claims that Android is only set to lose more ground.
His argument is based more on speculation than fact, but Wolf predicts the real damage will be done with the launch of the iPhone 5 concurrently on AT&T and Verizon. Why? Because Verizon subscribers knew better than to purchase an iPhone 4 mere months before the launch of Apple’s next-gen version of the smartphone. Yep, come then we will surely see most of Verizon’s Android users abandon their Google phones leading to the greatest decline in market share ever seen for a platform that saw tremendous growth in 2010.
We can’t deny that the release of the iPhone on Verizon’s CDMA network has had an effect on the smartphone market, but Android still holds nearly 50 percent to Apple’s 30 percent. Apple stands to gain more ground from floundering competitors such as RIM, not from Google’s platform. To think most Android users are simply biding their time until the right moment to pick up an iPhone just seems a bit silly. But it’s all speculation for now. Let’s revisit these figures when the iPhone 5 launches this fall.