For years now Android has dominated the mobile landscape with massive differences in marketshare between it and its next closest competitor, Apple’s iOS. As of the last marketshare counts between firms Android stood somewhere around 85% of worldwide marketshare with iOS trailing a rather distant 12%, and Windows Phone essentially picking up the other 3%. Now we’re seeing with the third quarter 2014 results that Android has dropped a minor 1% to hold an 84% worldwide marketshare, a trend which Stategy Analytics saysmay continue as there’s essentially no way for Android to grow beyond 85% unless the market for iPhones worldwide suddenly starts to collapse. While it may seem silly to use a single 1% drop over a single quarter to realize this, know that Android has held around 85% worldwide marketshare for some time now and there’s no reason to think Apple’s iPhone will die any time soon.
Stategy Analytics is also citing a number of other reasons here why this trend will continue. Firstly Samsung’s marketshare went from a massive 35% this time last year, a massive difference between it and the next closest Android manufacturer, to a considerably smaller 25% of marketshare for quarter 3 2014. This has been an apparent trend as Samsung’s earnings have continued to slip with every quarter as up and coming competitors like Xiaomi make their appearance on a more worldwide level and old favorites like Motorola finally start to get things right.
Then there’s also the question of Android forking which goes on in a number of places in the world by a number of manufacturers. Forking simply means that Google services aren’t included on the phone out of the box and therefore aren’t counted in the official Android numbers since Google has no way of actually counting these devices or specifically reaching these phones. Strategy Analytics estimates that forking has decreased since Q2 2014, down from 39% of shipped Android devices to 37%. This shows a slightly stronger hold over the market by Google and likely something that’ll continue as Android 5.0 Lollipop rolls out to devices and makes its appearance on newly sold devices as well. With Google changing the Nexus program to a fully subsidized carrier one to reach more individuals in the US, as well as expanding quickly to the rest of the world including growing countries like India with both the Nexus 6 and Android One, we’re sure to see this forked number go down as these types of programs ramp up.