It seems to be research release season and ABI has also reported numbers for smartphone shipments. However, this time we have a breakdown of what proportion of Android is forked (AOSP). That is, Android devices that aren’t sanctioned by Google, haven’t passed compatibility testing and don’t have Google Apps and Google Play Services (at least not legally anyway).
UPDATE: Changed value from 41% to 29% as the first row in the table, despite its generic naming ‘Android’, doesn’t include the second.
Gartner has some new research and forecasts for tablet (and PC) shipments. The initial growth in tablet sales has slowed considerably.
Despite this, tablet shipments are still growing and tablet shipments are now of the similar order as desktops. The above table shows that Android tablets might see a larger share of the growth in the coming years.
IDC has new research into Smartphone shipments and predictions for 2018. 1.3 billion smartphones will ship this year representing an increase of 26.3% compared to 2013. However, this growth is set to decline to about 9.8% compound annual growth between 2014 and 2018. The respective Android and iOS market shares are expected to stay at about the same order of magnitude over this period.
If IDC are right, this means we will be entering a relatively stable period for mobile developers with no major differences in market share likely to cause developers to switch between platforms.
Generally speaking, if you are selling something then iOS will continue to be your most important platform as it’s a self-selecting group of users who have higher disposable income. If you are providing a service and need reach, then Android is your most important platform as it represents 82.3% of devices in use. However, my usual advice applies – survey your intended users and see what devices they own. Depending on your industry, you might be surprised.
IDC have a new press release showing smartphone vendor shipments for Q3 2014. Samsung lost market share at the expense of Xiaomi, Lenovo and LG. Apple’s market share dropped slightly by 0.9% to 12% meaning shipments of units grew by 16.1% vs 25.2% for all smartphones.
What does this mean for developers? For Android developers it’s going to be increasingly the case that testing mainly on Samsung devices won’t get you the majority of the devices being used. With iOS now having only 12% market share, there’s going to be continuing intolerance by end users of some companies that still only provide an app for iOS.
IDC has a great chart and table that shows how Android smartphone shipments have increased over time. You can also see how iOS shipments oscillate as new devices become available…
Will Android continue to increase in market share? At the moment the only threat is that Chinese OEMs are outpacing the market coupled with the news that China is developing its own desktop and mobile OS. As a result, the growth of China-supplied Android devices for use in China might subside sooner than expected.