August 28, 2014

Report Shows Droid Beats iPhone 1M Benchmark

Did you know that it took the iPhone only 74 days to reach 1 million units sold?  Oh you’ve heard that, huh?  Well, did you know that the Motorola Droid moved more units in the same time frame?  Yeah, you probably didn’t expect that.  Frankly, neither did we.  The latest report from Flurry shows the Droid pushing 1.05 million handsets in the first 74 days of release, eclipsing the number set by Apple.

There are a number of contributing factors as to how this is possible and Flurry points them out.  For starters, the iPhone had to contend with the general perception that handsets were for more than just making and receiving phone calls.  Until the iPhone came out, most consumers viewed smart phones as something for business users or technically proficient users.  A few years later, smart phones are quickly replacing feature phones for users who are coming out of contract.  The general public knows that you can have an easy-to-use phone that’s both fun and highly functional.

The Droid also benefited from being released in the middle of the busiest buying season of the year while the iPhone was dropped in the middle of the year.  It doesn’t hurt to have a $100 million ad campaign blitzing consumers from all angles either.

Another reason for the Droid’s success is the carrier it’s paired with.  Verizon is the largest provider in the US with over 90 million subscribers while AT&T was at just around 68 million customers when the iPhone was released.

For a couple of years now, people have been looking for the iPhone killer.  Verizon and Motorola jumped all over that and sold the Droid as exactly that – the most capable phone in the world, on the biggest network.

As great as this figure is for Android, that number could be higher.  One thing that’s not pointed out in the report is how consumers have a considerably better selection of smart phones to choose from.  Were there not other Android phones or the evolved BlackBerry lanscape, the Droid would look just that much better.

Looking at the super phone that is the Nexus One over its first 90 days, one would get the sense that it’s a monumental failure.  After moving 135,000 units, it’s only a fraction of the figures set by the Droid and iPhone.  However, there are a few things to consider.  First, advertising is done via web, primarily through Google AdWords.  Secondly, the means by which one purchases the phone is vastly different than anything before it.  There’s no stopping by your local T-Mobile to pick one of these up.  Speaking of the carrier, they’re in a distant fourth place with just over 33 million subscribers.  While we can’t point to any one of these as the reason behind such a relatively small number, nonetheless they are contributing factors.

Over time, we can likely expect two things:  As the Google store evolves and adds more handsets and carriers into the mix, the general awareness will help new devices get added exposure.  On the other hand, it will be harder and harder to beat the 1M benchmark set by Droid.  More choice in phones and providers will spread market share out amongst everyone.