Android Now Enjoying Lead in Smartphone Market
According to the latest numbers by IDC, the smartphone market is now being led by Android with their 75 percent market share whereas Apple only held 15 percent share in the most recent quarter. In selling terms, this means that Android is outpacing Apple at a rate of five-to-one with their smartphone devices.
Yet despite these stark numbers, numerous sources – such as tech bloggers – continue to showcase Apple as leading the market with Android as the tagalong, always straggling behind. It seems appropriate to declare Android as a market leader, however, when 75 percent of sold phones today use the Android operating system.
The makers of Android should also be recognized. Android’s co-creator, Andy Rubin, and his small development team have accomplished a great feat by creating a worldwide popular product within the mobile computing market. Moreover, this mobile computing market embodies one of the largest and most important opportunities of this age.
Within the last quarter alone, Android sales increased by 91 percent. This is almost double the rate from the overarching smartphone market. This is an achievement of great significance and Android creators should be recognized for their work.
In the United States however, Apple is still generally considered as the leader in the smartphone market. This is not without its validity. There was indeed a time when Apple led the way in smartphone technology and market shares, while Android struggled to keep up. Yet the times have since changed. Now Apple is working hard to keep their position and has not always succeeded. For example, Google's maps and voice applications are now far ahead the versions presented by Apple.
The newly released iPad Mini may also represent Apple’s struggle to stay in the front of the pack. Rather than leading the trend, this product came as a follower in the small-tablet space.
Regarding market share then, Apple has a niche role. With only one-fifth of the share that Android holds, this position is not likely to change anytime soon.
This routine has been played before, although the past scenario involved Apple and Microsoft with personal computers. Google has adopted the same game plan for the smartphone industry, which is to arrive late with an alternative option in order to capture the bulk of market share. They have done this by licensing the OS to a number of handset makers so as to avoid doing everything on their own.
Although Apple’s biggest fans believed it would never happen, the market share facts remain. The 15 percent share that Apple holds in smartphones is just a slight improvement on the 12.5 percent they hold in the U.S. PC market, according to IDC. This means that Apple’s hold in the global smartphone market is now nearly as low as their share of the personal computer market in the United States.
It is interesting to consider why anyone would choose to label Apple as the smartphone leader even though no one would say such for the personal computer market.
It would be reasonable to argue that Apple is in a better position to lead in the PC market rather than the smartphone market due to the fact that its market share is not far behind the current market leaders. IDC reports that the two market leaders, HP and Dell, hold 26 percent and 30.7 percent of the market share, respectively. But when looking at the smartphone market, Apple falls far behind the leader.
Of importance to note is that Apple is a single company with only a few smartphone models, while Android products are from dozens of handset makers and operate on hundreds of different devices.
Apple is also still in charge of the tablet market when it comes to market share. However, the Pew Research Center reports that the Apple share has decreased dramatically within the last year from 81 percent to 52 percent.
Furthermore, the majority of profits in the cell phone market belong to Apple. Nevertheless, their share has fallen since 2011, based on tracking from analyst Horace Dediu from Asymco.
For Google with Android, the important factor in the smartphone realm is to get the greatest number of phones into people’s hands as possible, rather than obtain the greatest profit.
These two companies, Android and Google, focus on different goals. While one emphasizes market share, the other highlights profit. Both companies, then, can be deemed successful for their accomplishments in the smartphone market. (RP) Link