Grab your smelling salts, because this will be a shocker to some of you: American consumers bought more Google
According to market research firm NPD Research, Androids made up 28% of all smartphone sales to American consumers in the first quarter of 2010, when Verizon
Both Apple and Google still lag behind Research In Motion
Perhaps Apple's loyal fans have caught on to the fact that there's an updated iPhone coming this summer, as one has every summer since the first-generation phone was introduced in 2007. That could put some short-term hurt on sales right before that much-anticipated release.
But mostly, the Android software is just now hitting its stride. The Droid was a powerful force in the period that NPD's report covers, but it has since been followed by oodles of new Android releases -- some of which are sell-out stars and look like real contenders to the smartphone throne that Apple likes to claim for itself. And there are many more Androids to come over the summer and well into the holiday shopping season, and ... well, from here on out, really.
Now, the iPhone is still doing very well for itself, with a 21% market share in a weak quarter. iPhone sales will continue to drive the company's profits for years to come. And Google doesn't mind that one bit -- it's not a two-horse race from Big G's perspective, or even a three-horse race. Every smartphone browsing the Web and sending ad clicks to Google is a welcome addition to the team. The brand of the phone, the cellular network, or the software inbetween doesn't really matter.
Given the avalanche of Androids coming down the pipe, versus Apple's stubborn reliance on AT&T
As a Google investor, I don't really care which smartphone wins, as long as there's more of them every quarter. Apple investors may feel differently on this issue, and they might want to tell Steve Jobs to open up to Verizon.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.