Chitika released new Android market share figures today by carrier, and the results are somewhat interesting. Verizon, who previously controlled over 50% of the market for Android smartphones, has dropped to almost 40% over the last five months. Who's to blame? AT&T and small budget carriers, apparently (US Cellular, MetroPCS, Virgin Mobile).


August 2011

AT&T now makes up nearly 9% of all Android phones in the US - having more than doubled its share back in March, when it was a mere 3.5% of the pie. Smaller carriers control around 8.5%, up from around 3%. Here's the chart from March:


March 2011

It seems likely that low-end Android devices are having a big effect on these numbers. As Chitika's statistics are purely derived from web traffic rather than retail sales or subscriber data, this means all pre-paid Android phones are included as well, like the Huawei Ideos and LG Optimus V, both of which have extremely low entry fees and run on very low-cost data plans. And with higher-end phones like the Motorola Triumph on Virgin Mobile, the budget carriers are starting to get a lot more interesting all-around.

Of course, AT&T has also seen a boost in its Android device portfolio since March, with phones like the HTC Inspire, Motorola ATRIX, and Samsung Infuse adding high-end flair to what was previously a very lackluster lineup. These devices have given AT&T more appeal to Android users in what was once a decidedly fruity smartphone selection.

Verizon, on the other hand, has lost a fair bit of ground. However, it would be wise to hold judgment on that, as the sheer growth of Android in the last five months doesn't necessarily mean Big Red is losing its Android devotees, so much as the competition is growing faster. Verizon doesn't exactly have budget smartphone options, either, with its cheapest pre-paid smartphone plan starting at $44.99 with no data or text messaging included.

Edit: The iPhone 4 on Verizon has also, obviously, had considerable effect on these numbers - along with the aforementioned Android growth on AT&T and the budget subscribers, Verizon's comparative growth in the Android market has been considerably stifled.

As the number of Android phones on the market only continues to rise, it seems some carriers are benefitting more than others.


David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Adam

    Has to be cause of Nexus devices? And not really any great phones on Verizon at the moment either.

  • engineerGA

    Time for Verizon to crank out LTE devices faster. AT&T is beating them to the punch with their faux-G offerings.

  • JayMonster

    Perhaps this has to do with:

    1. Release of iPhone on VZW. Like it or not... it had to have some impact.

    2. The delay of the Bionic and a summer of lackluster devices. at&t got the Atrix, Sprint the Photon, Evo 3D, Pre-paid's got some decent affordable options other than the pathetic LG OptimusOne, and VZW... well... this hasn't been VZW's year for Android phones so far.

    And of course, for some time VZW really had no where to go BUT down in marketshare as others finally have some real options other than the second rate selections in the past like the Samsung Behold II or Moment, or the Motorola Backflip or Cliq. Surely sooner or later these other carriers had to get SOME decent phones.

    Plus considering how Android is growing by leaps and bounds, it doesn't mean there are LESS Android users on VZW, it just means the others are picking up Android users faster.

  • http://www.google.com youarealwaysthereMD

    Beyond a lack of any real blockbuster devices with LTE, Verizon's move to limited data was sure to send many new customers to other carriers with better phones or plans. Also, many customers likely left for better phones, such as Sprint's EVO 3D or TMobile's Sensation.

    • JayMonster

      at&t has tiered data, T-mobile has "unlimited with an asterisk", and Sprint is the last holdout, but is not showing any huge gains in customers, and in fact in their last quarterly numbers picked up fewer new clients than VZW.

      So, while it fun to make claims about how it is going to hurt VZW... it isn't happening... at least not yet.

  • Asphyx

    This says less about Android and an awful lot more about No Unlimited Data Plans.

    • JayMonster

      How do you figure? At&t... the carrier that first fled to tiered data DOUBLED in Android marketshare!

      This is about availability! What did Metro or Virgin have before... the Optimus? At&t until recently hobbled all their android phones with no sideloading.

      This has NOTHING to do with the data plans.

  • RockingmyEvo3D

    Bottomline it's actually about time people see the truth. It's not about OVERCHARGES for lessor devices and speed it's about affordability and having the best devices on your network. Sprint will always lead the way when it comes to the best affordable android devices.

  • Elvis

    They deserve to lose a LOT more shares of that market... they haven't put out a decent product in who knows how long! The revolution and inc 2 are prolly he only decent products they've put out all year that are exclusives... buncha retards

  • Steko

    A year ago if you wanted a smartphone and walked into Verizon store you walked out with Android at least 80% of the time. Today with the iPhone 4 featured they walk out with Android like 40-60% of the time. This is not a huge mystery.

    • JayMonster

      Except of course, that iPhone 4 sales on VZW have not been "all that" and you are assuming that the the percentage of overall users means there is a DROP in VZW Android users, when in fact it may simply be that others are gaining more (since they really had no where to go but UP from their original numbers).

  • Matthew

    I also think this has more to do with Verizon offering the iPhone. Android was basically the only smartphone choice for them before that, so it makes sense they'd have the biggest slice of the pie. Give it more time, and I bet you will see an evening-out of android sales based on the size of the carriers.

    • David Ruddock

      Verizon's iPhone 4 sales haven't been great. I think that few people switched from Android on Verizon to the iPhone 4, so much as BB and AT&T/T-Mo/Sprint customers fled to VZW for an iPhone with actual coverage.

      Still, this has probably stifled Android's growth on Verizon to some extent, though I think its effect is decidedly less than the growth of smaller carriers and AT&T's expanded Android offerings.

      I didn't think to mention it at the time, but of course the VZW iPhone 4 is one factor among many affecting Android market share among US carriers. It was an oversight, not an intentional omission. :)

      • SteveBuscemi

        So let me get this straight, David.

        You link to a Chitika article detailing how Verizon's Android market share has dropped from 51% in March to 41% in August.

        You blame everything but Apple, despite the fact that Chitika draws the conclusion that "Verizon is gaining market share in Appleā€™s prominent smartphone at the expense of its other, Android-running devices."

        When several commentators point out that the iPhone probably had an impact, you claim it was just an "oversight" and you "didn't think to mention" the concluding sentence in the article.

        In comments you then go on to deny that it's making such a big difference and say that "sales haven't been great", despite the fact that the original Chitika article links to a article one week prior which shows that Verizon's iPhone share has rocketed from 3% in February to 24% in August.

        (Yes, clearly tiny carriers like US Cellular, MetroPCS, Virgin Mobile deserved a mention over Apple. They're the ones making the big difference I'm sure.)

        I know Apple is "the enemy", but is it too ask for an Android fansite to show some sort of objectivity and lack of bias?

        • jbernard703

          haha i always simply forget to mention the biggest factor when making my arguments. this guy's "analysis" is a joke.

        • David Ruddock

          Thanks for attacking my credibility, I always appreciate that.

          So, can you tell me where those iPhone users came from? AT&T? Sprint? T-Mobile? Blackberry users on Verizon?

          Obviously, you cannot, because that information isn't available. I fail to see how this would result in the iPhone 4 being, by default, the "clear" factor when there are many other factors which adequately explain not only VZW's decline, but the large growth of smaller carriers and AT&T in the overall market share.

          Your numbers are correct, but you assume correlation where there is no demonstrative evidence that actually corroborates your conclusion. Mine is, admittedly, circumstantial as well, and I chose to make this interpretation - you're welcome to your own, but attacking mine on the basis of it being "biased" and lacking objectivity seems a bit hypocritical, when clearly your own assumptions are massively influenced by a desire to see Apple be the deciding factor in the conclusion you *want* to find.

          And again, there's zero data here to show Verizon losing Android subscribers, in fact, the data suggest that AT&T and the smaller budget carriers are rapidly expanding in Android market share, while T-Mobile and Sprint remain stagnant. If Verizon was *losing* Android subscribers, all its competitors would likely see market share gains. They clearly have not all seen such gains.

          I'm all for debate, but please, realize your own biases before attacking what you see as mine.

        • Aaron Gingrich

          David said: "I didn't think to mention it at the time, but of course the VZW iPhone 4 is one factor among many affecting Android market share among US carriers. **It was an oversight, not an intentional omission.**"

          I think it's pretty clear that bias wasn't the issue, Steve. Reading one post and deciding that we lack objectivity and bias is pretty petty, and if you were a close follower of AP, you'd know that although we occasionally jest and poke fun at Apple, we have a lot of respect for Apple products. I know more than a few members of the team own Apple products (and love them), and I can say from experience that both David and I have spoken to each other about how impressive the iPhone/iPad are in certain respects.

          Look through our post history, past the (mostly) friendly jabs in Apple's direction. You'll find plenty of examples of admiration for the company's products.

        • David Ruddock

          And to follow up, a mention of the iPhone 4 has been added, it's not like I have some aversion to mentioning an Apple product.

        • JayMonster

          So, let me get this straight Steve,

          He admits that he did not consider it, but that there is some piece of it that could be tied to it, and yet you still feel the need to be an asshat?

          Based on this, and this alone, nobody knows the full story, and while the impact of the iPhone is certainly there, it is in no way a guarantee that this is the main reason (or even A reason)... it is purely speculation, on ANYBODY (including Chitika's part). Hell, you don't even know if how much VZW's android position overall has fared in that amount of time. It could be LARGER than it was before (with people coming from other carriers to fill the iPhone purchases), but still not as significant as other carriers grown of Android users.

          The most significant gain was made by at&t, which used to sport such Android phones as the Backflip, which is now offereing the HTC Inspire as well as the Motorola Atrix. Couldn't it just be that VZW lost marketshare just based on at&t actually finally selling (and finally allowing sideloading) Android devices?

          It certain IS possible. Whether you believe it or not is not the issue, but being a condescending jerk about it certainly doesn't make your opinion any more right. Could you be right? Sure you could... as I said, nobody knows for sure... but since it is open to interpretation, to accuse bias based on your opinion is just plain... wrong.

  • SiliconAddict

    Sorry guys this is all about the iPhone. I'd bet cash that many of those users picked up an iPhone. See there are cattle out there who wanted an iPhone, but weren't willing to switch to ATT. So the minute it showed up guess what.....they traded in their android for an iPhone.

    *shrugs* Let the babies have their bottle. When I show your average iPhone use some of the slick *** things I can do on my EVO, because its rooted and can pretty much do anything their attitude of best handset on the market evaporates in a hot second. Its only the hard core iTards that refuse to admit and Android is just as good as the iPhone.

    • JayMonster

      If that were the case, the percentages of ALL carriers should rise, not just certain ones. So the other carriers are INCREASING their Android user base, thus meaning it is NOT the iPhone.

      Remember that 40% is of OVERALL Android users, it is not VZW users, so it doesn't correlate directly into users switching phones on the same carrier.

  • Josh

    People can do anything they want with an iPhone too, if they jailbreak it. To the few nerds that this amount of control matters, it is no big deal to just jailbreak. And then they get the best of both worlds, because no matter how hard you try to deny it, Android is a still a mess compared to iOS.

  • Mike


    It's the iPhone. You can say it! No one from Google's thought police will kill you for it.

    PS: The only thing you're losing with this biased fandroid writing is your credibility.

    • Assimilate

      Hahaha! That's rich, Apple zealots talking about thought police.


  • Derek

    By Omitting a reference to the iPhone in your article, even if it was to show that its influence is insubstantial, you present to the readers that you have bias.
    You present this as a news piece, but it is poisoned by opinion.

  • Steven

    JayMonster, you posted three links to the same unverified story, which was about the very first week of the iPhone launch.

    Take a look at http://labs.chitika.com/iZone/ - one could infer from that, that VZW has a LOT of iPhones on their network for the short amount of time it's been on sale.

    Also, that Android took a hit at the VZW iPhone launch is old news: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/06/21/needham-androids-market-share-peaked-in-march/

  • travisgamedev

    It's the iPhone 4. Plain and simple. :)

  • Darktanone

    Your bias was clear to me in reading the article. If you do not recognize you have a bias, maybe you shouldn't be writing on these topics. Do a dear Abby or something instead. Your attempt at an explanation was like a teenager wiggling his way out of a lie. Next time just don't offer an explanation... Just stay silent.

    • JayMonster

      OMG, an android blog takes a look at it from an android fans point of view. What a shock!

      Newsflash, regardless of how unbiased we attempt to be, any person it affected by their likes, dislikes and experiences.

      Newsflash number 2, an opinion is not biased solely on whether or not you agree with it.

      One of the best ways to know that Android Police is far more unbiased than most... look hard enough and you will find at least one piece from each of the writers that you will look at and wonder "what the he'll we're they thinking." And that is because you get their opinion... good , bad or indifferent to Android.

      Tell you what... in my opinion, the next time you have a thought... why don't you keep it to yourself. Or put it on your blog so drive by anonymous asshats can take pot shots at you.

      * opinions expressed here are purely my own and do not represent the thoughts and opinions of Android Police. They are not calling you out for being an arrogant jackoff, I am.

  • Darktanone

    To Jaymonster. You too should stay silent. Just don't respond to anything at all. I don't expect you to comply, but try really hard.

    • James

      It's pretty clear to me that this is an opinion piece, even if it's discussing stats. If it were factual, then the back-pedalling would seem really super, awkward no?

      Since it's OPINION though, author (and commenters) are free to interpret the facts and statistics through whatever (chuckle..sorry) reality distortion fields they want to, including discounting or even outright ignoring the iPhone's frighteningly rapid and nearly thorough steamrollering of Android on Verizon. (and really - let's call a spade a spade here. If the situation was reversed and Android was making huge inroads on a carrier than previously only catered to iPhone, the Android tribe would be beating war drums and claiming victory, just as surely as Apple fanbois are here doing the same. Silly really...)

      Further, since this is an Android-centric site, I would expect the interest to focus on that OS, as opposed to Apple's. Only sensible, and I don't think there's a need to call anyone out for misrepresenting things - they're not trying to be factually accurate whatsoever, they are trying to express their opinions, or interpreting statistics through their own personal crystal ball. Sadly no one can tell the future, so anyone who froths at the mouth denigrating someone who holds a contrary position is, themselves, just as much a dildo-for-brains.

      So everybody chill. They are only phones after all. One nuke would render all this spite utterly moot. Then you'd all have the I-wasted-my-life-arguing-about-bullcrap-phones-when-i-could-have-been-meeting-girls blues.

      wow. That was a long one. My money's on it won't make a shred of difference to you dorks and you'll keep bickering anyway. So much for my hope of sane and rational discourse.

  • L boogie

    Amazing that a year ago, vzw was leading the android charge full steam with the og droid then the droid incredible & droid x among others fast forward to the present after various delays to phones such as the thunderbolt, charge now bionic as well as discontinuing unlimited data, overcharging customers, lackluster smartphone catalogue and yes, the iPhone's presence has contributed to vzw's android decline as mentioned
    by other commenters but the coming of ice cream sandwich and the devices running the os could help turn the tide not to mention the upcoming 4g/ lte devices

  • mistawolfe

    Maybe it's because the other carriers are more lenient with unlocked bootloaders and vanilla android. I have contemplated jumping ship for the Atrix (from my x2) because of the bootloader unlock. I've been with Verizon for 5 yearsa.

    • http://www.savinosolutions.com tsavino

      I have been with them since "GTE" days before most peoples time 90's bag phone if I did not get a employee discount I would jump ship to. 6 month left on the contract if the data prices do not change I will move to the next best.