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Android Hits 73% of Global Smartphone Market 601

Posted by timothy
from the skynet-at-low-altitude dept.
eldavojohn writes "Gartner's released a report on worldwide numbers of 2012 3Q phone sales and the staggering results posted from Android have caused people like IW's Eric Zeman to call for sanity. Keep in mind these are worldwide numbers, which might be less surprising when you realize that the biggest growth market of them all is China, which is more than 90% Android. It's time to face the facts and realize that Android now owns 73% of the worldwide smartphone market. While developers bicker over which platform is best for development and earnings, the people of the world may be making the choice based on just how inexpensive an Android smartphone can be. This same time last year, Gartner reported Android at 52.5% of market share and it now sits at 72.4% market share with over 122 million units sold worldwide."
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Android Hits 73% of Global Smartphone Market

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  • by nweaver (113078) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @02:30PM (#41993809) Homepage

    The # of phones shipped is very impressive. We are now in a smart-phone market where there is just iOS and Android: everyone else is in the noise.

    But the # of phones is orthoginal to which a developer would want to target. How many purchases per phone are made on Android vs iOS? Whats the competition? How easy is the development model? How homogenious is the installed base?

    All these question are the ones the developers are actually asking, and market share really doesn't come into play very much.

  • by oodaloop (1229816) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @02:32PM (#41993847)
    I think that speaks more to how overpriced Apple products are. How do you think that they have $100 billion in cash?
  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @02:33PM (#41993861)

    Why would you care?

    Do you care if the company that makes your other things profits?

    I am at odds with these companies, I am trying to get the best price for the best goods. They are trying to get the most money.

  • by maccodemonkey (1438585) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @02:35PM (#41993889)

    3Q 2012 would have been when iOS was at it's lowest due to people waiting for the iPhone 5. You'll likely seem there temporarily be a large change in the numbers Q4, with them settling down to something in between Q1.

    This happens once a year every year. The alternative would be believing that Apple suddenly lost half their share in one year, which also doesn't seem likely.

  • by danomac (1032160) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @02:37PM (#41993917)

    Eventually the market will be overwhelmed (if not already) by the number of Android phones. At some point the developers will stop and realize there's a whole lot of people in the other ecosystem.

    Now hopefully they actually write an app that uses Android properly instead of some stupid iOS port - I've seen so many that are hard to use on Android because of this.

    The big thing is that Android is going on cheaper phones - we just got a plain phone here at work with a keyboard for texting, it came with Android and it was a whopping $150 to buy outright. It's no wonder the shipments/sales have taken off.

    Not everyone needs a $600 smartphone, and it's an oversight on Apple's part.

  • remember PC/Apple? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by genericmk (2767843) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @02:45PM (#41994005)
    This is a total re-play of the IBM/Apple race for PC market. Google is the IBM in this scenario. Next logical prediction would be Apple is going into crisis in a few years and looks for a new Steve Jobs to come up with something new entirely for which another competitor will play the IBM card.
  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday November 15, 2012 @02:46PM (#41994019)

    I think that speaks more to how overpriced Apple products are. How do you think that they have $100 billion in cash?

    Not really. I think it speaks to the nature of the market Apple sells into. The iPhone is similarly priced to phones like the Galaxy SIII and other top tier Android handsets, but the 73% of global marketshare is certainly not all phones of the SIII's calibre - there are going to be a lot of much cheaper phones in there (Samsung itself sells a cheaper baby brother version of the S-class).

    Apple makes the bulk of the cash because it focuses on a small slice of the market, with a highly tuned product (ie, with few options) and in certain markets (such as the US) accounts for 40% or more of the market with that small line.

    They have $100 billion in cash because they've been sitting on it it for some time not paying dividends (although they do now), and having multiple highly profitable product lines since the launch of the original iMac.

    The fact remains, that the iPhone costs almost the same as a top Android handset. It costs *a lot* more than the average Android handset price though... but so does the SIII.

  • by Andy Prough (2730467) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @02:46PM (#41994029)
    Android comes in so many different varieties. I need a slideout keyboard - no problem, lots of choices. iPhone? Forget about it - one size is supposed to fit all. Need a stylus? Nope. Need a bigger screen? Nope. Smaller screen? Nope. Multiple physical keys? Nope. Add a Micro SD card? Nope. NFC? Nope. FM radio chip? Nope. No choice = smaller sales.
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @02:47PM (#41994049)
    It might turn out to be like computers. Apple does not have a large marketshare of computers compared to Dell or HP; however, they are highly profitable even though they have lower sales.
  • by 0123456 (636235) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @02:48PM (#41994057)

    I paid $25 for mine. It makes phone calls and sends and receives texts. I'm still trying to figure out what else would be worth paying hundreds of dollars more for a bigger phone with a shorter battery life.

    Oh, I guess I could post Facebook status updates from the bus. Yeah.

  • by Applekid (993327) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @02:56PM (#41994189)

    The fact remains, that the iPhone costs almost the same as a top Android handset. It costs *a lot* more than the average Android handset price though... but so does the SIII.

    Well, like any market with high end offerings and low end offerings, the high end is making up for the thin margins at the low end. If Generic Android Handset Free with 2 Year Contract wasn't sold at cost to the cell providers, there would be no need to inflate the price on the high end to cover development.

    Apple doesn't really make a low end anything. Even the iPod Shuffle and Mac Mini are not positioned as competition against commodity mp3 players and cheap PCs.

  • by Cro Magnon (467622) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @02:56PM (#41994191) Homepage Journal

    I've got iOS6 on my 4S, and haven't noticed any slowdown.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday November 15, 2012 @02:59PM (#41994225)

    > whining about Apple's dividends

    Why don't you let me know when Google starts paying a dividend, ok fuckwit.

    Whining? What?

    Point out where I was whining about dividends one way or the other. Quote the exact text, not just your interpretation of what you think I mean. That's not how quoting works.

    Also, you should probably log in.

  • by Nemyst (1383049) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @02:59PM (#41994227) Homepage

    Apple didn't lose half their share. The market's absolute size increased, with Android being the main player in that growth, thus Apple's part of the pie shrank even if in absolute numbers it didn't.

    Also, if I'm not mistaken those are market share statistics and not sales statistics. Market share won't be quite as affected by the pre-upgrade slump, because an important proportion of iPhone 5 buyers are iPhone owners.

  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @03:01PM (#41994249)

    Android users are poor and can't afford apps. Hence, they also can't afford a nice smart phone and go for the cheapest Android POS they can get.

    Why would a developer target that segment?

    WalMart shoppers are poor and can not afford expensive stuff. Yet, somehow, WalMart made a shitload of money. Sell to the masses and eat with the classes. (I think Henry Ford was one of the first to use this widely.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 15, 2012 @03:03PM (#41994287)

    iOS apps make me more than my Android apps. One primary reason is iOS users actually use their devices far more than Android users.

    I imagine they need SOMETHING to do while they have their phone out to look hip and trendy! Why not use one of those nifty apps to let others know that not only do you own an iOS device, you're doing something savvy with it!

  • by moronoxyd (1000371) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @03:10PM (#41994413)

    Maybe because you want the company, and the android ecosystem as a whole, to thrive?

    Actually, since there is more than one Android phone maker, I don't care that much about wether one of them thrives, as long as the ecosystem Android does.

    So far all of my smartphones have been made by HTC.
    Now, HTC doesn't look very healthy right now.
    Still, I care about using an Android phone more than about that phone being made by HTC, so while I hope HTC recovers, it wouldn't hurt me that much if they don't.

    That's one of the advantages of an ecosystem vs. a monoculture.

  • by obarthelemy (160321) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @03:17PM (#41994507)

    Actually, a 64GB iP5 is about twice as expensive as a 64GB GS3, thanks the SD cards' lower price. There's a wide gap at 32GB too.

  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @03:31PM (#41994709) Homepage
    Actually, Apple only started to do well once they started to cater to the top 5-10%. They spent a lot of years trying to chase after MS and the PC vendors and only later realized that there's no money to be made there. They are a very profitable company for the markets they serve. They only want to make good, high quality products. Is there something wrong with that?
  • by spire3661 (1038968) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @03:32PM (#41994719) Journal
    Focus on building something useful, forget about profitiable. Build a tool, not a revenue collector.
  • Re:Suck it! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @03:36PM (#41994767) Homepage

    I would if most of those were at a current OS version. Hell even 4.0... but 90% are still at nothing higher than 2.3.5 and that is utter crap.

    I love my Nexus, but I feel really bad for peopel that bought a phone from a crap maker that will not push out updates in a timely manner.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @03:40PM (#41994823)

    All those rationalizations and excuses, sounds quite a bit like Republicans on the last election.

    It sure seems like Android users are the ones inflating figures when in real life developers still make far more money off iOS development. Keep pushing out those polls, er, stats claiming you are "winning".

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @03:45PM (#41994871) Homepage Journal

    Oh my hell, you Apple fanbois are in so much denial. It's because of China? Really?

    Don't forget to mention some totally irrelevent fact like "Oh yeah, but most of those phones aren't running the latest version althoughactuallyios6ononeiphoneisntthesameasios6onanother!" or "Well I'm a developer and iOS makes me so much more money I stopped even bothering to support Android a few years ago andhavenoideawhatthesituationwouldbeifididsupportitnow."

    Here's the deal: Android is leading the way making smartphones available to everyone. Proper smartphones. Y'know, that conform to the original definition before Jobs changed it to "A phone with a PDA built-in that the manufacturer has complete control over."

    I think that's fantastic. I have issues with modern smartphones, not least the stupid battery lives, but I think it's great that such a fantasticly useful tool is in the hands of almost everyone these days. That's worth celebrating. If you happen to like some rival to Android, and the figures don't seem to suggest that they're the ones putting smartphones in people's hands, take it up with them. Stop dissing the one group that's got it right.

  • by dywolf (2673597) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @03:48PM (#41994915)

    I think it's pretty damn cool.

    I mean, that the mainstream avg person sees linux as the OS for nerdy, contrarian, anti-establishment type peoples (ie, Linux) and it now become itself mainstream in that it basically runs the cell phone world (yes i know linux servers have runt he net for years...but thats not mainstream)

    And then it gets even cooler when you consider that iOS, still with the same familiar looks Apple has long been known for, is derived from Unix (via OSX).

    Flamewar? Bah. Just a bit of sibling rivalry as they curb stomp Windows into oblivion in the largest/quickest growing platform market.

  • Re:iOS First (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 15, 2012 @03:58PM (#41995023)

    The fragmentation of the Android platform is ridiculous. Not only do you have to worry about processors, screen ratio, resolution and anything else hardware related

    Since when has an app developer needed to worry about the processor? Are you breaking out of the Dalvik VM & coding in assembly/c? Yes, speed could be a consideration, but it just means slower loading apps - for which either your app isn't optimised so don't be lazy - or the phone is slow and the user almost always already knows this and blames the phone.

    However, releasing on iOS... you only have to worry about a couple of configurations of phone (you can even stipulate that your app only works on 3GS or 4 and above or whatever)

    Guess what, you can specify the same things (and more) on Google's store. Simply stop supporting Gingerbread if its too much of a hassle.

  • by Jaktar (975138) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @04:20PM (#41995235)

    If you put Android on a TV or in a camera, it's not longer a TV or a camera. It's a computer. We already have those.

  • by war4peace (1628283) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @04:34PM (#41995395)

    ...which tells us that GUI usability is all that matters. OK, together with app availability, but whenever the latter is in balance for two competitors, GUI usability stands out as the only thing that matters.
    Desktop Linux should learn from Android. What Android got right:
    - Nice app names, mostly.
    - Excellent, easy to use GUI.
    - No Command line shit required to do stuff.
    - Great fonts
    - Easy customization.

  • by Wheely (2500) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @04:45PM (#41995503)

    Well of course you are right in nearly everything you have said :)

    However, I would vigorously dispute your last sentence. I have an iPhone sitting here right next to my S3. Putting them side by side, there are only two things that strike me as being "pros" for the iPhone. 1) It looks nice. 2) It syncs better with Itunes on a Mac. Other than that, I really struggle to think of anything that is not considerably better on the S3. I have 3 Macs, I have two iPads and all the iPhones except 5 so Im not exactly an Apple hater but this S3 has rather opened my eyes to what the rest of the world has been doing while Ive been playing with my iPhone all these years,

  • Re:Suck it! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sez Zero (586611) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @05:21PM (#41995911) Journal
    Mod parent Troll, but...

    How could someone with such a low uid be prone to such hyperbole? Six years ahead, in a genre of devices that is not even six years old?
  • by vakuona (788200) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @05:39PM (#41996141)

    They are not anywhere near 3 times overvalued.

    First, they have $120bn in the bank, which they absolutely control. So you can knock that off their valuation.

    Secondly, they are on an annual run rate of approximately 50bn in profits right now. They are adding 50bn to their bank every year. And sales are increasing, of all of their products except for the iPod range (which is completely understandable).

    They are also one of the, if not _the_ best run large company in the world. They have a management team that demands responsibility, unlike for example, Microsoft. Their whole team is pulling in the same direction. That $120bn not only gives them the ability to take risks other companies just can't think of taking, if gives them the ability to launch products in a way that most other companies can only dream of. The speed from product announcement to widespread availability is unmatched, and maybe unmatchable.

    Apple might be slightly overvalued, but no where near 3 times overvalued. Certainly not when their 3 main products are still growth products.

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