As the first business quarter of the year ends, in the mobile world there’s a clear trend appearing. Android, powered largely by Samsung and other top tier OEMs, is still increasing its power. In their first big release of the year, Kantar have found that Android accounted for roughly 64% of all handset sales in Q1 2013, across nine different markets consisting of the UK, China, US, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan.
(UPDATE 2017: Still holds true in 2017, with Android’s share growing even more.)
Whilst we all know that Android has managed to have an overall global lead in terms of handsets shipped, this is a clear indication that the shipped handsets aren’t just languishing in stores, they’re moving at a fair clip straight back out of them again. Android has a dominating lead in Spain, for example, where 93.5% of all handsets sold are Android. In fact, the only country that Android isn’t leading in out of those 9 is Japan, where iOS pulled ahead slightly to secure a 49.5% overall percentage, whereas Android is making do with 45%.
As you can see above though, overall Android is doing incredibly well, and Kantar think that this will only continue further into 2013:
“We expect to see a further spike in [Android’s] share in the coming months, as sales from the HTC One start coming through and the Samsung Galaxy S4 is launched,” writes Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “This will pile pressure on Apple, BlackBerry and Nokia to keep their products front of consumers’ minds in the midst of a Samsung and HTC marketing blitz.”
Speaking of Apple, is it us or has Cupertino been very quiet this year so far? It is only early days of course, and the hype machine has already started to get the gears turning, if very slowly, with promises from Tim Cook of “big things” at the end of the year. But at the moment, without a new phone or even other product launch on the near horizon, Apple seem to be slipping from the public consciousness as Samsung pushes its latest and greatest Galaxy SIV and HTC stands shoulder to shoulder with Facebook to promote the “Facebook Phone” and of course, this spills over onto the One as well.
Android is now at the forefront of public consciousness, and despite Blackberry’s best efforts, it just can’t seem to make any kind of dent in the Android ship, with only 0.9% of sales globally last month. There is a surprising winner in all of this though, and that is Windows Phone, which has seen a small but steady amount of growth to 5.6% of global sales. Now that might not sound like a lot, but when you consider that Android has 64% and iOS has around 35% of sales, there’s not a lot of pie left to take; so 5.6% is quite respectable.
It is interesting that WP has managed to keep momentum up, and the main reason behind it could be that Nokia know how to make easy to use and good looking smartphones, and Windows Phone is less complex to use than Android or iOS if you’re coming from an older feature phone. WP is becoming the opening of the funnel into the smartphone world, and if they can keep their place their, they won’t get the ridiculous sales numbers of the two giants, but they will manage to gain and likely hold a place in the mobile market.
What will be very interesting is seeing what happens when Google inevitably announce some new shiny tech at I/O and Apple start pushing the hype machine up a few gears. An announcement, or even teaser, of a new iPhone will probably be enough to get Cupertino back in the spotlight. The telling results will likely come in Q4, so we’ll be back then to give you the next run down most likely.