Apple, Companies, Software Programs

Android Unchained ? Google?s Platform Reaches 80% of Smartphone Market

For some time now, Apple?s platform has been having difficulties, as analysts recorded a drop in market share with each passing quarter. While some do believe that this is mostly due to the expectation of a new model at some point this year, Apple will surely have an uphill battle from this point on. IDC?s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker was usually on spot when it comes to sheer numbers, and according to their report, vendors shipped a total of 236.4 million smartphones, more than a 50% rise year-over-year.

One thing is clear – Android is virtually unstoppable, as platform reached 79.3% market share in the second quarter of 2013, a significant rise from the last year?s 69.1%. In total, 187.4 million units shipped with Google?s platform marks the year-over-year change of 73.5% – which is extraordinary given the already high numbers this mobile operating system has. At the same point in time, even though Apple did surpass the expectations from the Wall Street and managed to ship 20% more iOS units (31.2 million in Q2 total), iOS went down from 16.6% in 2Q2012 to 13.2% in 2Q2013.

Top Smartphone Operating Systems, 2013 Q2

IDC?s Ramon Llamas believes the fall to be a part of the cyclicality of the iPhone, adding that "Without a new product launch since the debut of the iPhone 5 nearly a year ago, Apple?s market share was vulnerable to product launches from the competition. But with a new iPhone and revamped iOS coming out later this year, Apple is well-positioned to re-capture market share." Apple did remain strong, however, particularly if one considers what competition has done with numerous other devices providing various options to the end consumer, practically covering all segments and niches.

?Number three? platform, Windows Phone, remains in pretty much the same condition ? driving force behind it is still the Finish mobile phone manufacturer Nokia, with no effort to be found on any other side. Although it has seen a year-over-year change of 77.6%, given that only 8.7 million units were shipped in 2Q13, overall market share picture did not change significantly, as Microsoft?s mobile platform rose from 3.1% to 3.7%.

BlackBerry has seen better days, but that?s not news anymore. The BB10 OS apparently failed to become a single saving factor, as the company even considers to go private, in order to get some breathing room and try to recover far from the eyes of the public.

With year-over-year change in shipments still at a negative 11.7%, and continuously dropping market share (4.9% to 2.9%), it seems that their days of being a third smartphone platform contender are gone. IDC analysts believe that it just might be too early to exclude them entirely from the story, though. Furthermore, IDC notes that at least one Linux-branded open source platform (Firefox, Tizen, SailFish, to name a few) could see a rise eventually, with most launches planned later this year and into 2014 ? but that is merely a projection for now, as the ruthless mobile platform battle continues.