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Nielsen: iPhone 4S launch was "enormous"


With all the lines here in the US and overseas, we knew the iPhone 4S was going to be a tremendous hit. Now, a Nielsen survey from December gives us some numbers to support this observation. According to the survey, 44.5 percent of smartphone buyers bought an iPhone in December. This number is up from the 25.1 percent who bought an iPhone in the pre-4S month of October. It's also remarkably close to the 46.9 percent who bought an Android device.

The majority of buyers (57 percent) chose the iPhone 4S over the iPhone 4 or the 3GS. This surge in iPhone 4S sales had a profound impact on Android. Google's mobile OS still edges out iOS (46.9 percent versus 44.5 percent), but its share of new phone sales has fallen from 61.6 percent in October. As pointed out by Phillip Elmer De-Witt of Fortune's Apple 2.0 blog, these Nielsen results are not unique; a similar trend was recorded by NPD last month.

Though the single iPhone 4S couldn't overtake the plethora of Android handsets, it did grab a substantial chunk when Android had a strong profile of available handsets. All the carriers have more than one Android handset, and Samsung launched the flagship Galaxy Nexus with Verizon during the month. Despite this high profile launch, Android numbers slid, while iOS gained.

[Via Apple 2.0]

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