iPhone 3GS, iPad 1 outselling recent Android phones?

iPhone 3GS, iPad 1 outselling recent Android phones?

According to retail checks by Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley, Apple's iPhone 3GS (which originally launched in 2009 and was stripped down in 2010), and original iPad (2010) are outselling many brand new Android phones and devices just now hitting the market.

“At AT&T, our checks indicated new Android smartphones primarily gained share from Windows 7 smartphones but not from the iPhone. Our checks indicated modest share gains for the HTC Inspire, but the Inspire gained share from the Windows phone 7 smartphones and the Motorola Atrix. As such, the iPhone 4 remained by far the best selling smartphone at AT&T and the 3GS remained a strong selling smartphone due to its $49 price.”

Is this a reflection of Apple's hardware quality, platform longevity, and reputation for timely and consistent software updates, or just a reflection on people liking cheap and discounted gear? (Old BlackBerry Curves offered on BOGO (buy one get one) promotions used to top of the smartphone sales charts, right?) Maybe a bit of both?

Either way, with the annual Google I/O developers conference kicking off today (check Android Central for complete coverage), it'll be interesting to see not only what Google announces, but what Apple rumors somehow leak around the same time...

If you've picked up an iPhone 3GS or original iPad lately, how are they working for you? And what made you choose them over newer Apple or Android kit?


Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iPhone 3GS, iPad 1 outselling recent Android phones?


It's because they're on sale and people like cheap, discounted stuff, especially in this economy.

Yes but a $9 iPhone 3Gs on att.com isn't $200 for two phones where you have to either open another line of just so happen to have two lines available for upgrade at the same time.
I got my 3Gs for $9 and have to say I love it. I've had Blackberrys and I came from a Moto Droid on VZW. Picked iPhone because I hadn't had one yet lol and you can't turn down one for $9!


  1. Android fanatics are probably not on AT&T ... AT&T has done everything to alienate Android users... for not carrying a viable option and by locking outside apps from Android phones. They actually chose to push WP7 phones over Android until they realize it's not selling. Bottom line is I highly doubt Iphone 3gs would sell better at Verizon.. the Thunderbolt is outselling the Iphone4 according to reports and I thought I'd never see one single phone outsell the iphone 4 granted it's just within 1 carrier.. but that's a feat in itself.
  2. Iphone 3gs is cheaper

Actually the thunderbolt isn't outselling the iPhone. Those results where not from an extensive anaylsis like this was done. There was too many complocations to keep it. Also if it wasn't outselling the thunderbolt, then android wouldn't have went down while iOS grew last month. Finally you can't forget that 3.2 million AT&T iPhones were sold. If there wasn't AT&T verizon would have seen the same increase at&t originally saw.

Hmmm that doesn't sound right. Apple sold 2.2miliion Verizon iPhones vs. 250,000 HTC thunderbolts. And I'm guessing the thunderbolt pace slowed down considerably, and the iPhone pace is probably still the same: sell them as fast as they can make them.

Where did you get this information from? I am not saying you are incorrect, just surprised that wasn't a HUGE headline.

I just bought an original iPad.
aside from the fact that it's discounted, its one-year existence in the market has proven its superior quality.
the ipad 2 is not really a giant step from the original ipad, just merely an evolution. it's not really groundbreaking, like that ipad was when it came out.
first, the cameras on the ipad 2 are so-so. i cannot imagine myself holding an A4-size gadget in mid-air while taking a photo--much less shooting a video. (i'd probably look weird). i have my trusty 12-megapixel dslr for real photos, and i have my flip mino for shooting videos. i am of the philosophy that an all-in-one gadget (like the ipad 2) necessarily compromises on the features.
the ipad 2 would have been a better buy, if not for the problem with the lcd display (light from the LEDs seeping through). You wouldn't actually know if you bought the defects until you opened your iPad 2 and used the thing for a few days. I wouldn't dare take the risk. I'm not from the US, so the not-so negligible hassle of returning it to the genius bar will not work for me (and for a majority of non-US buyers).
my three-year old iPhone 3g is still in a near-excellent condition. i take care of my gadgets very well, and they haven't let me down. i was about to go for the iPhone 4, but good thing I didn't, with the antenna issue (which is certainly hardware-based; no firmware or rubber grip will fix the problem).
so there you go.

I went from the 3G to the iPhone 4 and it was one of the greatest decisions I've made. My 3G was in perfect working order, but that piece of hardware is just not on par with Apple's newer handset. I've never had any problems with the deathgrip, nor have any of my family and friends.

my iphone 3gs is still running strong
i love it and it does everything thing i need
i got it jailbroken too
so its even more fun
but i will eventually purchase an iphone 5 when it comes out
and give away or sell my 3gs
bottom line
3GS for the win

This shouldn't be a surprise given Apple's report iPhone sales. It's 1 "low end" model versus many different "low end" Android models. I'm sure the combine Android total of comparative models is bigger than 3GS or iPad 1 sales. Well, maybe not the iPad 1 sales, but the 3GS for sure.

How would it ever be a rational comparison to compare one phone model against many? It is like comparing one hockey team's score against all the rest of the teams' score put together. I bet they don't do that either.

This is silly. Nokia feature phones outsell every iPhone, so what, they are better than Apple? Several companies make Android phones, they are targeted at different audiences, have different price points and operate on different carriers. It's normal that there will be more old 3GSs sold than some Android phones and vice-versa. Feature phones still command 80% of the market, outselling iPhone and Android together times three.

Yes but it doesn't make one better than the other. Microsoft sells way more PCs than Apple but does that make their products better? Ummm no!

Bad analogy as Microsoft doesn't sell any PC's.
Does HP sell more CPU's than Apple? I think maybe.
But that analogy still isn't the same as 3gs VS (x) android(s).

You could stick your head up a bulls *$$, but I'd rather take the butchers word for it! If you know what I mean?

I saw this:
Next iPhone Might Have Over-the-Air Faster Updates
The day when you don’t have to plug your iPhone, iPad or iPod into your computer to update its operating system might be close at hand. There’s a report that iOS 5 will be capable of over-the-air updates.
Read more at www.onpointbizbuzz.com.

I just got me a free 10.1 Galaxy at I/O today! Apple and everyone else should be very very afraid of Android! I'm an Apple fanboy today but the momentum for Andriid is just astonishing! It sucks for Apple but Android will play out vs iOS just like Windows vs Mac IMO!

i think that it is because mainly, people are cheap, also because of the reputation of Apple's hardware quality

The main piece if information missing from the post is that iPhone 3GS is outselling Android on "AT&T"

well i know 3 people in the last month that have got the 3gs and i only know 1 person that has got a android phone

All this simply proves that a cheap(er) Iphone based on somewhat ageing hw specs makes a lot of sense. A reincarnation as Iphone Classic would do too, because it's the software and the apps that make the difference.
As for the comparison between Android and Windows (vs. iOS and MacOS), I thought so too and by the numbers Android will surely win, but then.... I made myself the remark that Windows wasn't exactly free, so now I prefer to compare Android to Java : both great technological success stories, but Java didn't help Sun to survive on it's own in the end.
Guess Google has the same problem -and MS now with Skype come to think of it.
Brands and technology don't automatically make profit.

Ipads , Iphones 3gs are gaining popularity in the market day by day as they are economical and secondly because of there fine quality. And people always buys things which are of good quality and economical in nature.