Android Holds 85% Of Smartphone Market Share, Apple Responds With Large-Screen iPhones

phabletIf Apple is the king of the tablet market then Google is undoubtedly the king of the smartphone market. The tech company’s handle over the smartphone market has reached an all-time high with smartphones running the Android operating system accounting for 84.6% of the global smartphone shipments. This information comes from recent research on the subject from Strategy Analytics.

However, this increase didn’t come without its costs. While the Android operating system managed to increase it did so at the expense of BlackBerry, iOS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone, according to the firm. Of all the smartphones shipped in the most recent quarter, Android smartphones accounted for 249.6 million units shipped. That figure was an increase from the 186.8 million shipped a year earlier and nearly seven times more than the 35.2 million iOS phones shipped by Apple.

Apple’s market share for iOS dropped to 11.9% in the quarter from 13.4% of last year. According to an email from Executive Director for Strategy Analytics Neil Mawston, “Android’s global growth is being driven by strong demand for low-cost smartphones across most major regions such as China, India and Africa. The main threat to Android’s future growth is Apple’s upcoming portfolio of larger-screen iPhones during the next three to six months.” Mawston believes that millions of Android users around the world are likely to switch to the bigger iPhones later this year, though I’m not so sure.

On the whole, global smartphone shipments increased by 27% annually in the quarter to total 295.2 million units from 233 million units last year. Even though growth has slowed to its lowest level in nearly five years, smartphone sales remain strong in areas like Asia and Africa and are weaker in areas like North America and Europe.

The latest shipment numbers are in line with numbers released recently by IDC. IDC noted that top-ranked smartphone manufacturer Samsung saw its market share decrease to 25.2% in the quarter, down from last year’s 32.3%. Strategy Analytics also noted earlier in the month that the number of smartphone users around the world will approach 2.5 billion by the end of 2015 with strong growth in Asia fueling the increase.

The decrease in areas like North America and Europe could be attributed to a few things. Users in these areas are holding on to their smartphones for longer periods of time, seldom upgrading when brand new devices hit. In other areas, like Asia and Africa, there is a higher demand for cheaper, low-end devices. Users in these areas opt for low-end devices and, thus, upgraded them more often.

With a record market share of nearly 85% I feel like it is going to take a lot more than an iPhone with a larger screen to turn the tide in favor of Apple. The one thing Android has going for it is that there are multiple developers creating devices for Android whereas Apple is the only one making iOS devices. It seems to me like Android has a pretty solid hold on the market and one that doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon.

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