Android’s market share in the last two years has seen a huge spike because of its adoption by biggies such as Samsung Electronics, HTC and LG Electronics. According to a new research conducted by NPD Group in May 2012, Android bagged 61% of the U.S. smartphone market post Q1 while Apple’s share took a hit, falling from 41% to 29%.
Another report from Business Insider Intelligence released in early June paints another picture. Though Android’s grab of the market is impressive, it has reduced in previous months. In fact, Android’s market share is reaching a plateau. In contrast, Apple’s share has risen, probably because of the release of new products and tie-ups with carriers.
Some analysts believe that the principal differentiating factor here is the tremendous developers’ network of Apple. The iOS platform is mature, non-fragmented, and despite a 30% cut, earns developers a good deal of money. In addition, App Store’s strict submission policies ensure only quality apps get through, making users more amiable to purchasing paid apps.
Despite the odds though, Android has gained or retained its position in the marketplace. In an interesting study published in the UK Guardian in 2011, correlating sales figures, device ownership, developers’ interest, and rising sales of Android apps brought out the following observations (as per Nov’2011 numbers):
- 90% of developers like iOS, even though it saw 15% of sales
- 33% of developers like Windows Phone 7, even though it saw 1.7% of sales
- 85% of developers like Android, which once had 10% but now has 50% of sales
What this proves is that Android developers’ interest in the Android platform is high even if for every $1 generated by an app on iOS, only $0.24 is generated on Android (statistics from Flurry).
Andy Rubin, heading Android development at Google, recently disclosed that 900,000 Android devices (including smartphones and tablets) are activated every day. This is a huge increase from June, 2011 when the number was only 500,000. February 2012 saw 850,000 Android devices getting activated in a day.
Another factor that will contribute to the continued growth of Android is the adoption of the platform by smaller players such as Huawei Technologies and ZTE. Their manufactured handsets will typically be cheaper but will trigger large scale adoption across wide geographical areas.
IDC analysts believe Android will continue to be at the forefront up to 2016 (at least). However, once Windows Phone takes off, Android’s share of the market could drop but not below 50% even then.
Currently, the Android app market is moving towards a mature state. Even now, some Android developers are raking millions out of their Android apps that leverage on need, innovation, quality and performance. So if you’re thinking of launching a mobile app, Android could be as good a bet as iOS.
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