Android dominates in Q4 despite iOS gains
Android continues to dominate smartphone space despite losing ground to Apple in Q4 2012
Despite a flat year of growth for the total mobile phone market, smartphone shipments grew by 37 per cent.
Android dominated, thanks to impressive growth from key hardware partners like Samsung and Huawei, and Apple’s iOS finished in second place, followed by BlackBerry and Windows Phone.
216.5 million smartphones were shipped in Q4 2012, according to Canalys’s research. Globally, smartphones handsets – that’s devices running Android, iOS, BlackBerry, or Symbian - accounted for almost 50 per cent of all device shipments for the quarter.
Android took the lion’s share of the space accounting for 69 per cent of all shipments for Q4 2012, but it did lose ground to Apple which increased its share from 15 percent to 22 percent following strong iPhone 5 sales.
‘BlackBerry, Microsoft and Nokia, as well as other Android vendors, have strategies and devices in place to attack, but the task is daunting to say the least,’ said Pete Cunningham, Principal Analyst.
Cunningham added: ‘When we look at the whole of 2012, Nokia remained the number three smart phone vendor, shipping 35 million units, but Apple in second place shipped 101 million more handsets. First-placed Samsung shipped 74 million more than Apple – the gaps are colossal.’
Is there hope for relative newbie operating systems like Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10? Looking at the figures it doesn’t look good – Windows Phone launched two years ago, has had billions spent marketing it, and controls less than 2 percent of the space.
‘There is still a big opportunity [however] as smart phone penetration increases around the world,’ said Cunningham. ‘Vendors left in the wake of the top vendors must at the very least improve their portfolios, time-to-market and marketing, as well as communicate their differentiators.’
Microsoft, BlackBerry and other new OS entrants, such as Mozilla, must make the OS switch as simple as possible and drive and localize their respective app and content ecosystems, says Canalys.