The big question since the introduction of the CDMA iPhone was how iOS would affect Android sales for Verizon. Many feared that it would drastically slow the sale of Android phones, others laughed at the thought and gloated of removable batteries, expandable memory, and choice (manufacturer, form factor, price point, etc.).
The ThunderBolt launched just over two weeks ago. It is Verizon's first new Android phone of 2011 and the first capable of accessing their incredibly fast LTE network.
Based on research done by BTIG, it appears as if the Apple phone has had little affect on Android sales, as the ThunderBolt has been outselling the iPhone at 28% of the 150 locations inquired. The iPhone has reportedly been outselling the ThunderBolt at 11% of the stores, and the two have sold about the same at the remaining stores. This survey is undoubtedly a very rough-cut method of getting numbers, but it does give us a decent look at how things are stacking up.
In all honesty, this shouldn't come as a surprise for a multitude of reasons. Most importantly, this is the year of 4G. It's simple; the ThunderBolt has it, the iPhone doesn't. Also, there's no telling how long Verizon's LTE pricing will remain so generous, so I'm sure many have been jumping on the ThunderBolt for that grandfathered data plan.
Let's not forget that this version of the iPhone is approaching its year-old mark. That means that there should be a successor coming soon, barring the rumors of delays aren't true. Rumors of the iPhone 5 have also led us to believe that some pretty big changes may come design-wise and that we may see multiple form factors. These rumors have undoubtedly made many hesitant to hop on the CDMA iPhone bandwagon.
It's also important to remember that Verizon is largely responsible for Android's success. Pushing the platform at full speed for over a year and taking a stab at Apple every chance they've had, I'm sure they've convinced quite a few individuals that “Droid” is the way to go.
What this survey ultimately didn't take into consideration is how many ThunderBolts were or are being returned due to horrid battery life. If a fix had not been found for the LTE radio being always-on, I'm sure I would have taken mine back as well. Despite that one, gaping fault, most ThunderBolt users I've talked with seem to be more than happy with their LTE device.
Again, these numbers are likely far from accurate and it doesn't account for the huge amount of iPhone pre-orders in lieu of a booming launch day. Does it come as a surprise to you that the ThunderBolt has been outselling the iPhone? Is this a strong indicator that the iPhone is aging in the fast-paced market? What do you think a 4-inch iPhone 5 could do to Android sales?