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Phone+ Mag.: “iPhone Popularity Plummeting for ‘Arrogant’ Apple?”

February 25, 2011

iPhone Popularity Plummeting for ‘Arrogant’ Apple?
February 23, 2011

Apple will want to take note of this surprising report that places it sixth on a list of most-wanted smartphones. It seems less-expensive devices are taking hold.

The so-called evidence comes from the Mobile Tracker, which uses sales and live Internet searches to determine the most popular handsets in the U.K. The big winner was HTC, which landed the top three spots on the list: the Desire, the Desire HD and the Wildfire. Both the BlackBerry Curve 8520 and the Samsung Galaxy S also beat out the iPhone.

Price is a reason that jumps out. You can get those five phones in the U.K. at one-half, one-third or even one-quarter of the price of an iPhone on a typical, two-year service contract. But maybe it’s more than that. The Daily Mail in the U.K. goes as far to say that Apple has been “rather comfortable, even arrogant,” since its devices are typically considered cool and stylish – and this could take the company down a notch.

Granted, Apple might not be ready to throw in the towel just yet. But Android devices have been outselling iPhones the last couple of quarters and some estimates put the OS in a dead heat with RIM’s BlackBerry and Apple’s iOS, so even though it might not carry as much as a U.S. study based on a larger population, one could argue it says something about the way the market is trending.

All that being said, iPhone sales continue to be strong wherever the device is available, and Apple is coming off another huge quarter. Plus, with new markets opening up for the device – Verizon customers for one – and a new report that says Apple’s earnings will grow 25-30 percent each year through 2015, we’re not ready to cry for Steve Jobs and the gang just yet.

Apple iPhone knocked off top of tree as it trails five budget rivals in UK
By Sean Poulter
Last updated at 2:55 PM on 23rd February 2011

  • HTC now dominates top three places, survey shows

With its revolutionary iPhone, Apple transformed the way mobile phones were used.

However, research suggests the nation has switched its affections to rival devices, which have all the bells and whistles at a fraction of the cost.

A new survey reveals the iPhone has even dropped out of the list of top five of most sought after smartphones.
Popularity drop: Apple’s iPhone has fallen to sixth place in the list of the most sought after smartphones as people seek out cheaper alternatives

The news will be a blow to Apple, which has become rather comfortable, even arrogant, at the idea its devices are the most stylish and desired products available.

In fact, the U.S. giant, once the darling of techies, is suffering something of a consumer backlash.

The Mobile Tracker, which ranks the nation’s favourite mobile handsets based on live searches and sales, shows HTC dominating the top three places.
Most wanted: HTC's Desire has come top of the list, ahead of the model's HD brother and the company's other phone, the WildfireMost wanted: HTC’s Desire has come top of the list, ahead of the model’s HD brother and the company’s other phone, the Wildfire

By contrast, it said the iPhone has slipped down to an ‘unsatisfying’ sixth place.

HTC, formerly known as the High Tech Corporation, is based in Taiwan and has been in business since 1997 when it was launched as a notebook computer manufacturer.

The HTC Desire comes in at number one in the league table, ahead of the HTC Desire HD and the cheaper, less sophisticated,  HTC Wildfire.

The touchscreen on the iPhone changed the way people use mobiles and has been widely copied by HTC and others.

All smartphones now offer high-speed internet access and browsing, together with video, music and games.

Apple had an advantage because of the tens of thousands of apps, including maps, games and other services that could be downloaded.

However, handsets using the Android operating system, which was developed by Google, can also access thousands of similar apps.

uSwitch said: ‘Launched in October 2010, the HTC Desire  has been deemed a showcase of the best that the Android operating system has to offer.

‘As well as providing access to thousands of apps, consumers have been seduced by bespoke charms such as the ability to silence a call by simply turning the phone over.’

Perhaps the biggest advantage the Desire has over the iPhone is the price. It is possible to get the handset for free based on a contract charging £20 a month for 24 months.


These uSwitch figures show the most popular free handsets on a 24-month contract and the cheapest deal available.

  1. HTC Desire £15.32 (Orange)
  2. HTC Desire HD  £20 (T-mobile)
  3. HTC Wildfire £10.21 (O2)
  4. BlackBerry Curve 8520   £10.21 (O2)
  5. Samsung Galaxy S £15.32 (Orange)
  6. Apple iPhone 4 (16GB) £45.96 (Orange)
  7. Motorola DEFY £15.32 (T-mobile)
  8. BlackBerry Torch 9800     £25.53(O2)
  9. Nokia C3  £10.21 (O2)
  10. Nokia N8   £20.42 (T-Mobile)

By contrast, it would cost £69 to buy a 16GB iPhone 4 coupled with a contract charging £35 a month for 24 months.

The Desire has received a host of positive reviews from industry analysts.

Flora Graham, of CNET UK, said: ‘HTC has packed every feature under the sun into the Desire, along with a slick user interface and plenty of processing power. The Desire is a smartphone that inspires lust.’

Hannah Bouckley of T3 said: ‘It’s a strong contender for phone of the year, and sure to be number one with technophiles for the foreseeable future.’

Ernest Doku, technology expert at, said: ‘The competition is taking a huge bite out of Apple’s market. And, with over 800,000 deals currently giving away a smartphone for free, it’s easy to see how consumers are being lured away from the iPhone.

‘Many have to account for every penny spent, but at the same time do not want to miss out on owning the latest gadget. A free handset is a much more attractive proposition than shelling out for one – especially at iPhone prices.

‘HTC has outsmarted the smartphone market by customising its handsets at a range of price points.

‘It’s clever marketing. Google’s Android operating platform really cuts the mustard in terms of the thousands of applications available, especially on the gaming side.

‘Android phones have well and truly pipped Apple to the post.’

Mr Doku stressed Apple is far from throwing in the towel.

A new version of the iPhone  is expected to be revealed by the summer, while the iPad 2 is likely to be unveiled next week – scotching rumours that the launch had been delayed until June.

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