Are Apple and Google Unbeatable?
The rivalry between Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android is no secret, but just how dominant are the two operating systems in the global smartphone setup? According to a new survey, the two together now account for a record 92 percent of all smartphone shipments. Together, the Apple and Google software programs were on almost 200 million smartphones shipped around the world last quarter.
“The worldwide smartphone industry has effectively become a duopoly as consumer demand has polarized around mass-market Android models and premium Apple designs,” Strategy Analytics’ Scott Bicheno said in a statement.
But there is also a clear winner between the two leaders. According to Strategy Analytics data, Android took the lead with 152.1 million shipments, almost double the 80.6 million shipped in the fourth quarter in 2011. Its market share grew to 70 percent from 51 percent. The iPhone maker, meanwhile, shipped 47.8 million smartphones for a 22 percent market share, down slightly from 24 percent in the year-ago quarter.
“Android is clearly the undisputed volume leader of the smartphone industry at the present time,” Strategy Analytics’ Neil Mawston said in a statement. “Android’s challenge for 2013 will be to defend its leadership, not only against Apple, but also against an emerging wave of hungry challengers that includes Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), [Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM)] BlackBerry, Firefox, and [Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC)] Tizen.”
The overall market was made of 217 million smartphone shipments, a 38 percent growth from the 157 million shipped in the same quarter in 2011. For the full calendar year, there were never-before 700 million shipments, up from 490.5 million in 2011. However, growth in shipments fell to 43 percent from 64 percent as markets such as North America and Western Europe increasingly become saturated.
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