2014 was another solid year for Android’s market share growth, but despite that increase the world’s biggest mobile OS saw a pretty heavy drop in profits. Global profits for Android devices are estimated to have dropped by about 50%, which is the first time that Android has seen a massive decline like this.
Samsung’s rough year is partly to blame for the decreased profitability, and combined with the fact that much of the increased market share came from OEMs like Xiaomi with incredibly thin margins, it’s easy to see how there’s less money being made on each Android device sold on average.
For the first time ever, Chromebooks surpassed iPad sales to U.S. schools. According to IDC, 715,000 Chromebooks were sold to U.S. schools in the 3rd quarter as opposed to 702,000 iPads for the same period. It might not be by much, but the spread is likely to grow.
It’s obvious the lower costs that Chromebooks enjoy is a big factor. Schools can buy Chromebooks for as low as $199 vs the iPad Air, which runs $379 after educational discounts. Let’s also not forget the full keyboard that makes things a lot easier. Last but not least, Chromebooks are easier to manage.
Although Google’s Android easily dominates the operating system market on a global basis, there are still areas where Apple’s iOS prevails. One of those areas is in the enterprise where Apple enjoys a slightly more than a 2-1 lead. That dominance had been slipping a bit during Q2 of 2014, but new data from Good Technology suggests the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus helped Apple regain some share it had lost.
According to recent data from Strategy Analytics, Google’s Android OS has peaked, with their market share slipping ever so slightly. The open source OS shipped on 84% of all smartphones sold in Q3. By comparison, Apple’s iOS accounted for 12%, Windows Phone had 3% and Blackberry hung in there with 1%. According to Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston, barring a collapse in iPhone sales, 85% is the most Google can hope to achieve, which it did in Q2.
When Apple launched the latest versions of the iPhone in September, we all saw the typical crush of Apple fans clamoring for an updated device and we have seen the news about the large numbers of devices sold. None of this is surprising as we expect Apple to get a bump as part of their release cycle that counters the increases Android claims during the rest of the year when manufacturers release their latest flagship devices. True to form, Kantar Worldpanel’s latest numbers for market share through September show the effect of the release. What may be surprising though is that in the U.S. market, where Apple enjoys its biggest success, Android actually gained ground while iOS lost ground.
Well it looks like the G series for LG is starting to pay off. The company just announced that their operating profit doubled during the third quarter. Looking at the mobile division, LG shipped a record-breaking 16.8 million smartphones during the quarter and enjoyed their best operating income (KRW 167.4 billion) since 2009.
That’s now two consecutive profitable quarters, and LG expects even better numbers even though the smartphone market might be saturated.
These numbers are no doubt from the success of the G3. We reviewed it and think it’s a strong candidate for the smartphone of the year.
You can see the full presser after the break.
In what seems to be an ongoing trend, Android has lost a small piece of their market share to Windows Phone and iOS, according to comScore’s latest report. It is quite a small change, however, and still sees Android having over half of the market, still a whole ten percent ahead of Apple’s iOS. In equally unsurprising news, Samsung and Apple still dominate the market with slight increases for both manufacturers as well as a slight increase for LG. HTC and Motorola both saw slight drops in their market share.
Another not so surprising bit of information is which smartphone apps have the farthest reach, with Facebook and Youtube still holding the top two spots. The only app to see a significant increase is Facebook’s Messenger app, which makes since considering for most users its the only way to access messages from a mobile device.
Phablets have recently become a very hot market for smartphones, thanks to devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Note line and increasingly large screen sizes. For the past couple of years, they’ve been steadily gaining traction and market share and stealing some thunder away from smaller tablets. Because of this very fast growth, the IDC seems to think that by the end of this year, phablets will overtake portable PCs (laptops) and then eclipse tablet shipments next year.
The phablet market is expected to hit 175 million units shipped in 2014, and then nearly double to 318 million in 2015. With laptops only expected to ship 170 million units this year and tablet devices expected to move 233 million units next year, that would indicate some very impressive growth from phablets.
With IFA 2014 behind and Apple ready to unveil the latest iteration of their smartphone, consumers are surely figuring out how to get the latest, greatest smartphones in their hands. As a competitive fall and holiday season opens, comScore has released their smartphone manufacturer and operating system numbers for July. They show some slight weakening for Android, a trend that carries over from the June numbers.
For the month of June, the top smartphone manufacturers in the United States did not see much of a change in United States market share. Apple and Samsung, the two leaders, are the only of the top five manufacturers to see growth. LG, Motorola, and HTC all saw very small changes that went south; however, none of the declines were more than -0.6%. Also, those three companies combined have yet to near Samsung’s 28.6% market share in the United States. On the overall software front, Android still leads iOS by an amount nearing 10%.
Hit the break for details on what mobile applications have the most reach.