According to Kantar Worldpanel, during the last three month period ending in January, Android smartphone sales in the U.S. climbed over iPhone sales once again, but this time they had help from a surprising source: Sprint. Apparently, the third largest carrier in the United States has been selling Android handsets like crazy and mostly at the expense of their own iPhone sales. Here is a quote with some additional detail, followed by some more statistics,
Here are some of the stats of those increased Android sales at Sprint:“Part of Android’s increase in the latest period can be attributed to its large gain in share within Sprint’s smartphone sales,” Kantar Worldpanel analyst Mary-Ann Parlato said. “In the three-month period ending October 2012, sales on Sprint were divided almost 50/50 between Android and iOS. However, in the latest period, Android’s share of Sprint sales increased by 22.6% points from 49.3% to 71.9%.”
- Sprint helped Android rise 6.4 percentage points to account for almost half (49.4%) of all U.S. smartphone sales. During this same timeframe iPhone sales dropped 4.7 points from a year ago settling at 45.9% of U.S. smartphone sales, and sales of Windows Phone shares also increased to 3.2%.
- The Galaxy S III was 14% of all smartphones sold by Sprint in October. - Sales increased to 39% during those three months and are still growing thanks to a price drop from $199 to $99 over the holiday season.
- Samsung devices accounted for 60.3% of smartphones sold by Sprint during the period.
It certainly looks like what we can take away from this is that Sprint sold quite a few more Android devices, and a vast majority of them were Samsung. Either way, it looks like Sprint is figuring out what Verizon figured out... that selling Android devices is more profitable than selling iPhone devices because of the huge difference in subsidies. Plus, it's probably easier to sell Android smartphones because they are less expensive than iPhones.
Does this mean that Apple's iPhone is just a big marketing gimmick for the two carriers? Entice people to come in looking for an iPhone, but then sell them an Android by illustrating that it is a better value...