This site was born 10 years ago in the era when Nokia was the top smartphone vendor and the iPhone and Android didn’t exist. February 2011 was turning point for me when I said that Nokia were heading off in the wrong direction and shortly after that I went ‘Android only’ from working on all mobile platforms at that time. Microsoft ended up taking over the Nokia handset division and more recently, according to Wired, Microsoft finally gets that it won’t win the smartphone war and Stephen Elop is leaving the company.
However, there’s a twist to the story. Tomi Ahonen is quoting Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri telling German periodical, Manager Magazin that Nokia will return as a brand to smartphones in 2016 as the exclusivity period out of the Microsoft deal ends. Tomi says “Obviously these will be Android based”. I’d like to think so. However, as the past has shown, companies don’t always follow what might seem like the obvious path.
Kantar has some new research for Q1 2015 showing that Android switchers are driving iOS sales growth in Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. iOS share has increased by 1.8% to 20.3% since last year. Meanwhile, in the U.S., iOS reached a market share of 36.5% and Android 58.1%. iOS growth is mainly being driven by phablet sales.
Strategy Analytics has latest research that shows about 1.3 billion smartphones were shipped in 2014. Of these, about 1 billion were Android. Meanwhile, IDC released numbers that agree with the 1.3 billion smartphones being shipped.
I continue to regularly update my market research site with these and other free mobile market research releases.
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.
Scientiamobile has a MOVR report for April to July 2014
. It’s a free report (pdf
) based on WURFL and WIT usage data. It gives information on smartphone and tablet use across manufacturers, devices, operating systems, screens size and countries.
The report covers only a small subset of the raw data that’s also available as csv and JSON data. The data is useful if you wish to analyse usage in a specific country or for a class of devices.