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By Hook or by Crook: Android Sales Impress

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The Samsung Galaxy S line is not an iPhone killer. Just ask Samsung's own marketing people.

Speaking to Reuters reporters this week at the unveiling of yet another Galaxy S model, Samsung USA's Chief Marketing Officer Paul Golden said that 3 million units were sold in the U.S. since the Galaxy S launched in July. Worldwide, the grand total stands at 7 million handsets, and the sales appear to be limited by how fast Samsung can make the darn things: "We're in a situation where we wish we had more supply," Golden said.

That's a far less impressive haul than the 14 million iPhones Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) shipped in the fourth quarter, which is a similarly sized chunk of the calendar. Samsung's sales feat also becomes slightly less impressive when you consider that the Galaxy S is available from every major wireless operator over here, while Apple's phone is tied to the AT&T (NYSE: T  ) network exclusively.

For what it's worth, neither AT&T, Sprint-Nextel (NYSE: S  ) , nor Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) are showing their Galaxy S models on backorder at the moment. On the other hand, the chronically sold-out Droid Incredible and HTC EVO 4G are also reportedly available at the drop of a hat -- either the networks have stopped reporting their delays or the whole shortage mess has been worked out of the system by now.

Besides, the Galaxy S is but one of many high-end Android models on the market today. If that particular phone in its many carrier-customized guises doesn't float your boat, perhaps something from Motorola (NYSE: MOT  ) or HTC will. And that's just the top-of-the-line range -- if we're counting Apple's iPhone sales at 14 million, which includes older and cheaper iPhone 3GS units in addition to the new iPhone 4, you'd have to consider cheap, free, or slightly outdated Androids as well. That's the way Android backer Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) likes it, anyhow.

That platform-to-platform comparison tends to raise the hackles or iPhone fans, who then respond that each Android model should be counted separately because they all look, feel, and act different. Either way, we can conclude that one Android may not rule them all (or in the darkness bind them) but Android phones in general are selling very well despite supply constraints imposed by the occasional use of OLED screens. And if there is one clear loser in the smartphone battles, it would have to be onetime leader but recent laggard Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) , whose BlackBerry phones don't seem so sweet anymore.

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Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Google and Sprint Nextel are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers choice. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. The Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.

Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 09, 2010, at 9:08 PM, powerphrase wrote:

    Mr.Article writer or so called analyst you are biased and have different motive to bad mouth about Rimm so Stock goes down, I do not know why you want to do it. You must own lot of Google stocks or Apple stocks You are so biased Instead of praising what ever product you like your main objective is to Bash RIMM best example You included a link that says Dell is switching to their own, Let me tell you one thing Dell is in Smart Phone Business They are afraid of using their own product because its not good at all. If analysts keep Bashing other Company instead of addressing the merits of the company they like people will loose faith on them . I know it will effect RIMM stock but not for a long because people will understand Analysts Motive sooner or later. No credibility at all.


  • Report this Comment On November 09, 2010, at 9:17 PM, Henry3Dogg wrote:

    "That platform-to-platform comparison tends to raise the hackles or iPhone fans, who then respond that each Android model should be counted separately because they all look, feel, and act different"

    I've not heard iPhone fans argue that.

    What they argue is that iPhone is Apple's smartphone business and can be compared with Samsung's smartphone business or Motorola's smartphone business, if the topic is which manufacturer is ahead.

    Or, I'd the discussion is which OS is ahead then you can compare all Android device activations with all iOS device activations.

    But to compare iPhone, Apple's smartphones, with Android, Google's operating system, is meaningless.

    The fragmentation of Android is largely only relevant in the discussion of app base size, where Android is well behind, even accepting all Android apps, but even further behind as a result of platform fragmentation, which is about to get much worse

    Android fanboys like to confuse these issues, and throw in assumptions about Androids mythical technical superiority, vs iOS/iPhones reliance on fashion. If they had any real arguments, I guess they'd use them.

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