The iPhone 4S, which debuted in October, launched with a big bang and to record-breaking sales, and it’s being credited with helping Apple narrow its gap against its chief rival, Google's Android.
The research firm Nielsen reports that more than half of shoppers who purchased a new smartphone last fall chose an Android phone. Yet, Android’s market share dropped by about 12 percent when the iPhone 4S made its debut.
“The numbers show the iPhone still holds appeal, even if it isn’t the fastest phone on the market,” an article at Forbes notes about the findings.
One of Apple’s main criticisms is that it doesn’t have a super-fast 4G LTE phone, like rival Android, which boasts the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, a 4G LTE device. However, analysts expect Apple to release a 4G LTE iPhone later this year, as well as a faster iPhone 5 in the fall.
Analysts predict the sales gap between Apple and Android will narrow even more when Apple debuts its new products, according to the article. Still, Android boasts more types of smartphones than Apple, and Android manufacturers HTC and Samsung have helped Android stay on top by providing smartphone shoppers with greater selection and variety.
The smartphone race may even get tighter later this year, though, with the debut of the new Windows 4G LTE phone, which will likely put even more “market pressure on the two front-runners,” Forbes notes.
Source: “Apple Gains on Android with iPhone 4S,” Forbes (Jan. 19, 2012)