Will Android Remain The Reigning Champion In 2014?
Despite an impressive growth of Google Android system 2013, the platform is likely to face some threats in the coming quarters from Apple iOS, but also from emerging competitors such as Microsoft and Firefox. A recent survey by research firm Strategy Analytics shows that Android system was used on 78.9% of smartphones sold globally in 2013, and has extended its lead over Apple’s iOS and of course the rest. However, Android’s annual growth rate slowed to 62% in 2013, its lowest level in the platform’s history. Strategy Analytics claims that the growth rate of the Android mobile operating system has peaked, and is likely to decline in the coming months.
“There is little doubt that 2013 was the year of Android,” said Neil Mawston, analyst at Strategy Analytics. “However, we expect Android’s growth to slow further in 2014 due to market saturation, and rivals like Microsoft or Firefox will be ready to pounce on any signs of a major slowdown for Android this year,” he said in the report.
Analysts have always attributed Apple’s falling smartphone share in the smartphone segment to the emergence of low-priced Android smartphones and smartphones incorporating larger screens than Apple’s models. As for Apple, Strategy Analytics named 2013 as a year that Apple likely will want to forget, despite the firm having reported strong revenue growth and device shipments for the October to December quarter. Even though Apple’s growth has not been really impressive, the report reveals that Apple’s iOS grew 13% annually grabbing a 15% market share during 2013 with 153.4 million smartphones shipped worldwide.
Meanwhile Windows Phone grabbed third place with a 3.6 percent share, up from 2.7 percent a year earlier.”Microsoft is now firmly established as the smartphone industry’s third major ecosystem, shipping 35.7 million units worldwide, even though Windows Phone platform is still struggling to gain traction in the smartphone categories and this is something Microsoft will need to address in 2014,” Mawston warned in his report.
A recent report by IDC said the total was just over one billion, with Samsung the largest vendor at 31.3% using Android platform. Strategy Analytics too earlier this week said global smartphone sales rose 41 percent last year to 990 million. Samsung sold 319.8 million units to take 32.2%, up from 30.4% in 2012.
Clearly Google has nothing to panic about because Android is still the reigning champion in the global smartphone space. However, with Apple planning much innovation this year around its iOS platform, and Windows phone platform may emerge even stronger as anticipated, that’s enough reason for Google to be watchful in the coming days.
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