Android will need to grow past iPhone in sales before it can start to catch up in installed base (just as the Nokia installed base is probably still higher than iPhone right now), but due to market growth I'd give it a couple of quarters once you pass in sales.
This trajectory hardly supports the "people only buy Android because iPhone isn't on Verizon" theory.
Some Australian stats for Q3 last year provided by IDC: http://www.idc.com/about/viewpressrelease.jsp?containerId=pr...
It seems to be roughly mimicking the US situation except lagged by a quarter and with Nokia switching places with Rim as the fading leader.
Also, I liked this quote from the guy at IDC "It's looking like next year it's going to be close between Android and Apple but I would be inclined to say that Apple will keep its lead, although we have been under pretty much every quarter with our Android forecast so anything really is possible at this stage," said Novosel. "Given the way that it is growing, this time next year Android could be number one."
"Novosel said he expected Android to become the number one smartphone operating system in Australia by the middle of this year"
Are you seeing many android phones? (I assume you're in Aus)? I can think of maybe 3 people who have one (all geeks - 2 of them Nexus1 imports).
I assume that Android will grow (and certainly in the lower-end, pre-paid space...) But I'm really not seeing it.
It reminded me of Firefox passing IE in Europe recently, the real story was Chrome rising and taking share from IE so it dropped while Firefox was mostly flat. If you're a reporter you'd want to stick with the facts, and Firefox is the most popular browser in Europe (by some measures) but as a tech watcher the future trend is also interesting, though speculative.
As for "I don't see Androids" I've heard that from people in every country. Market research surveys like IDC may have drawbacks and caveats, but they're way beyond anecdotal observation. My anecdote is that the geeks bought iPhones because they were the early market for a mobile browsing device but now they are transitioning to Android. Android is also expanding the market at the low end, leaving iPhone in the middle.
I noticed that other quote but I really wasn't sure what to make of it. IDC are one of the standard guys that everyone quotes for global numbers when they publish them. Telsyte I've never heard of. The fact that he's predicting a number for the end of this year, that IDC is reporting as exceeded at the end of Q3 last year is somewhat puzzling. Their actual press release they put out is still quite positive about Android, just with less numbers and evidence (their FAQ about their methodology simply says "Updating...").
Telsyte: Android smartphone sales to take off in 2011
Responding to a question from a journalist, Thodey said Telstra had sold some 400,000 Apple iPhones in the second half of 2010 and registered some 70,000 iPads. New iPhones was 400,000, the CEO said. And if you want to keep going, 290,000-something Android smartphones in the first half as well.
So Androids is definately catching up.
Telstra are the Ex-Govt Monopoly and have an awful lot of land-line customers.. But they have poured a bunch of money into their mobile network in the last 5 years and dropped their prices enough that they are almost price-competive + better coverage.... But it is still the expensive network -- someone like Vodaphone would likely skew cheaper (potentially leaning towards Android some more)