Android snags 81% of the market in 2014 with over 1 billion units shipped

android-vs-iphoneWith 2014 in the books, we’re finally getting the numbers to see how each manufacturer and OS did over the past year. The good news for Google and Apple (and bad news for the likes of Microsoft and BlackBerry) Android and iOS accounted for a whopping 96.3% of all smartphones shipped. That leaves a very small 3.7% for Windows Phone and everything else that’s competing for scraps.

When you break the numbers down between Android and iOS, though, Android came out a clear victor in the market share battle. Android devices accounted for 81.5% of all phones shipped, finally breaking the 1 billion mark for smartphones. Compared to those 1 billion Android smartphones, Apple shipped 192 million phones for 14.8% of the market. 
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Japan’s flip phone market grows for the first time in seven years at the expense of smartphones

samsung_w2014_flip_phoneJapan’s wireless industry is unique in that their carriers typically charge more for smartphones than any other country, but they also charge the least for basic phones, like flip phones. This has caused a pretty strange event in Japan where flip phones have actually grown in shipments for the first time in seven years. Inversely, that has caused smartphone shipments to decline as more and more people revert back to internet-enabled flip phones to save money.

Flip phones grew 5.7% in 2014, while smartphones shrunk about 5.3%. Smartphones shipments still hit about 27 million phones while flip phones only made up 10 million units, so if we’re looking at a pure volume standpoint, smartphones don’t have anything to worry about it. However, for manufacturers, it’s a tough market to penetrate if you’re trying to sell the latest and greatest touchscreen device. Companies like Panasonic have already left the smartphone market in Japan despite being a native Japanese company.
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Motorola’s Osterloh thinks Samsung could fade away as leader in smartphone market

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The story is not an unfamiliar one – market leader stagnates in the top position while competitors continue to stay sharp and eventually the leader fades away. Two recent examples come to mind – Nokia and Blackberry. Only a decade ago, those two names ruled in the cell phone market, but today the two of them are on life support and on the verge of being consigned to the history bin. Motorola’s president Rick Osterloh thinks Samsung could be in the same position and Motorola is poised to step into the top position.
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It’s all about the size: Apple’s iOS bests Google’s Android for the first time since 2012

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Remember that article I wrote shortly after Apple announced new and bigger iPhones? I asked if there was a compelling reason to buy an Android phone now that the iPhone 6 sports a larger display? To me there is still a compelling reason, but I’m not the mainstream. The people have spoken. All those iPhone faithful who said size doesn’t matter apparently lied right to our faces. Apple has enjoyed considerable success since upgrading screen sizes and the numbers prove it.


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Overall Android hardware profits took a sharp decline in 2014

stack-of-phones-july-2014-9324-0012014 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. 
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Chromebooks now more popular than iPads in U.S. schools

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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.


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iPhone 6 devices help Apple regain enterprise market share from Android

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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.
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According to Strategy Analytics, Android’s global market share has peaked

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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. 
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Despite iOS sales success, Android continues to expand lead in U.S.

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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.
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