Tipping Point

Nielsen’s announcement on August 2nd that (1) it estimated that smartphones had grabbed 25% of the US wireless market (if that includes prepaid, then about 70M subscribers); and (2) that Android had surpassed iOS in terms of new activations over the past 6 months was well-covered. Given that Android has been adopted by 5 US carriers (Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular, collectively representing over 90% of the market) and a multitude of handset makers, it was only a matter of time. That said, the announcement represented a tipping point of sorts. Nielsen’s chart on this is below.

As if to corroborate this, that same week, Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced that on a global basis, 200K Android handsets are being adopted daily, or 6M per month, or 18M per quarter.

When I bought the second Android available handset available in the US (HTC’s MyTouch 3G, from T-Mobile) back last fall so I could keep up with the joneses, finding an Android OS handset to play with beforehand was a bit of a challenge. (Thank you, Seamus.) Not so any more.

The icing on this particular cake came in the form of a call with my father, who casually dropped that he’d picked up a Samsung Galaxy from AT&T. The Galaxy falls in the “superphone” category, i.e., 1 GHz processor and up. Yes, that’s my Dad, rocking the Galaxy superphone running Android 2.1. That is a tipping point. He was migrating from Windows Mobile, also somewhat symbolic in itself. AT&T was apparently of little help during the data porting process, and I have to imagine that this issue will only grow going forward.