‘Incredible’ Draws High Niche Interest

May 24, 2010

Incredible by HTC, the latest Android-based smartphone from Verizon Wireless, is showing lower general interest than the Verizon Droid, but higher interest from established Droid users, according to research by Compete.

Incredible Daily Traffic Volumes Much Lower than Droid
Comparing daily microsite traffic for the Verizon Wireless Motorola Droid smartphone (released November 6, 2009) and the Verizon Wireless Incredible by HTC smartphone (released April 29, 2010), it is clear that overall, Droid had much higher pre-release buzz.

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At announcement on October 18, 2009, the Droid had 221,000 unique visitors. In comparison, the Incredible had 30,000 unique visitors on its April 14, 2010 announcement day. On the date of its price announcement (October 27, 2010), the Droid had about 175,000 unique visitors, while the Incredible had about 35,000 unique visitors on its price announcement date (April 9, 2010).

On its actual date of launch, the Droid had close to 400,000 unique visitors, compared to about 50,000 unique visitors for the Incredible on its launch date. Compete notes that the Droid had roughly seven times as many unique visitors as the Incredible on both its announcement date and launch date. In addition, Compete notes that the Droid had a much larger advertising campaign and was the first Verizon Android phone, which both naturally lend themselves to generating more buzz.

Incredible Pulls Higher Share of Launch Day Interest
Looking at the pre-launch traffic as a share of launch-day traffic, it becomes clear that the Incredible had a much higher share of its launch-day traffic constituting its pre-launch traffic than the Droid. The Droid had 60% of launch-day traffic at announcement, and 46% at the price announcement. In stark contrast, the Incredible shows 90% of launch-day traffic at announcement, and 80% at the price announcement.

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The higher shares of launch-day interest for the Incredible during pre-launch suggest that the Incredible is pulling more of its interest from an established niche market for the Droid line of phones at Verizon Wireless. The much lower interest shares for the Droid suggest that part of the high traffic volume we saw on the first graph is in fact novelty or curiosity interest, and not necessarily people in the market for an Android phone.

Now that the Droid line has been established, the Incredible cannot be expected to draw the sheer volumes of interest seen for the first chapter of the Droid line. Despite these lower interest volumes, the Incredible is likely drawing interest from consumers who are in the market for an Android phone, and who are thus more likely to purchase. It will be interesting to see if this niche market interest in Droid phones continues as Verizon expands the Droid line.

Verizon Retains Lead Among Mobile Operators
Likely buoyed by its popular Droid offering, in a ranking of the top mobile operators in the US during the three-month average ending in March 2010, Verizon led the market with 31.1% of mobile subscribers, according to comScore.

This was down marginally from its 31.2% market share in the three months ending December 2009. AT&T ranked second with 25.2% market share, up 0.2 percentage points from the period ending December 2009. Sprint narrowly grabbed the third position with 12% market share, closely trailed by T-Mobile (also 12% after rounding), while Tracfone gained 0.3 points to capture 5.1% of the market.

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