Android Increasing its Grip on Global Smartphone Market

Mobile Man / Monday, September 23, 2013

 The Android operating system is showing no signs of relinquishing its control of the global smartphone industry. Although competition like iOS and Windows Phone is trying to cut into Android's impressive market share, doing so will likely be even more difficult than previously imagined.

A recent IDC report said that more than 236 million smartphones were shipped during the second quarter of 2013, up 51.3 percent from the same period in 2012. Of these, Android accounted for 187.4 million units and 79.3 percent of the market, up from roughly 69 percent the previous year.

Shipments of the iPhone increased year over year, but Apple's overall share of the market declined from 16.6 percent to 13.2 percent. Ramon Llamas, research manager at IDC, said the dip in iOS can be attributed to the iPhone's yearly cycle.

"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," Llamas said. "But with a new iPhone and revamped iOS coming out later this year, Apple is well-positioned to re-capture market share."

Although a new iPhone will generate buzz among consumers and employees alike, it is clear that Apple has plenty of work on its hands if it truly wants to challenge Android for smartphone supremacy.

Mobile App Development is Given New Meaning

Organizations supporting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives likely have plenty of workers using Android-powered smartphones to access corporate data. Firms looking for ways to support these employees should consider using free tools such as Android controls in order to create highly visual and native business apps for the Android platform. These apps can be tailor-made to further corporate goals and ensure personnel are productive anywhere, regardless of their physical location.

Android Shipments Approaching 1 Billion

A Gartner report indicated that Android-powered devices will total nearly 867 million units in 2013, exceeding 1 billion in 2014. Windows devices will be No. 2 during this time, followed by iOS and Macs.

Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, said each platform is trying to assert itself in each area of the mobile industry.

"Apple is currently the more homogeneous presence across all device segments, while 90 percent of Android sales are currently in the mobile phone market and 85 percent of Microsoft sales are in the PC market," Milanesi said.

The Android operating system may have come after the likes of iOS, but it has proven to be a force throughout the mobile market. As the platform becomes even more of an industry staple, businesses should consider creating their very own mobile applications native to Android. Android controls are not only easy to use, but are free as well, helping companies reduce costs by supporting BYOD and not having to hire expensive professionals to develop custom-built apps.