The iPhone is mobile at AT&T

January 2, 2012

By all accounts, a lot of smartphones were sold during the just concluded holiday shopping season. From the 6.8 million device activations and more than 250 million apps downloaded on Christmas Day, commerce has been very brisk. However, the spoils aren’t evenly spread and there are significant differences in the who and where.

First off, consider Apple’s original iPhone partner in the US, AT&T. According to unnamed sources at the carrier, 66 percent of in-store sales were iPhones, which means Apple smartphones outsold all Android comers by 7.8 to one.

Further, and this is the killer, plain jane feature phones also outsold Android in AT&T’s corporate retail locations 128,000 to 126,000 — that’s not a big margin, but that dumb phones are more popular by any yardstick is kind of mind blowing.

Further, it bears repeating that iPhone return rates are less than half those of Android devices, which as often as not sell for zero dollars to consumer. Add to that the iPhone’s nearly 90 percent loyalty (vs 55 percent for Android) and it becomes clear where the sticky money is.

On the shallow side of the pond

An interesting supporting bit of data comes via Net Applications, which reports that Java ME-powered dumb phones account for more web traffic than Android. As one would expect, they also report that iOS devices account for more than 50 percent of mobile traffic they measured in December.

That said, it has been widely reported that Android is outselling by a bit less than two-to-one in unit volume terms. So, where are all of those phones going?

A Blorge write up claims Android is outselling iPhone by an increasing margin in the crisis hit countries of Europe.


Well, if that’s all they can afford…

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