According to NPD Group iPhone OS was bypassed by Android OS in the United States in the first quarter of 2010. So, Google has 28% of the market, it puts them on the second place behind Research in Motion (36%), Apple is on third place with 21%.
According to the same research agency, this success of Android is connected with its close cooperation with mobile operators. For example, Verizon offers phones based on Android, as well as Blackberry offers its program “buy one get one free.” But in any case the only operator offering Apple phones, AT&T, is still the leader, owning 32% of the market. It followed by Verizon, actively gaining momentum and managing 30% of the U.S. market.
It is quite possible that Apple will regain its position after the release of the next-generation iPhone, which is expected this summer. But remember the fundamental difference between Android and iPhone, the latter don’t share its OS with third companies, establishing its rules for iPhone apps developers and alone collecting the cream from sales.
By contrast Google is on a completely different way, giving its OS to everyone and allowing others make flourishing business from Android apps developments. Besides the exclusive contract between Apple and AT&T was signed for 5 years, which means that all this time Google will make a profit not only on the devices manufacturers, but also on active ads of mobile operators.
The other side of the coin is that Apple has never aspired to be the first. We don’t think that Steve Jobs cannot sleep because his company is somewhere on the third place. :)