Every quarter we see new reports from different research firms on the sales of mobile devices and their breakdown worldwide per platform. Every year since 2010 Android has led the pack when measured like this, and that continues to this day. Right now we're looking at Kantar Research's global tracking charts, which breaks down the data in fantastic detail by showing specific data from the 12 largest world markets. If you've seen some of the latest sales figures by manufacturers like LG or Samsung you won't be surprised at all to hear that Android now makes up a total of anywhere between 50.6% to a whopping 85.9% of sales depending on which country we're looking at. In the US where iOS has traditionally been more popular than any other OS out there, Apple has continued its downward trending in sales, moving from 49.7% of US sales in 2012 to 43.9% in 2013. This is compared with Android's 46.2% of sales in 2012 to 50.6% of sales in 2013. The data compiled here from Kantar Research uses the period from October to December at the end of each year, so generally the most sales in any given year since that's the Holiday time period.
There are a few surprises here too, namely Windows Phone and Samsung's market shares. Windows Phone, which has struggled since it received a complete redesign via Windows Phone 7 in 2010, is starting to pick up some serious steam in every single country on the map except for Latin America. The US and China remain the smallest supporters of Windows Phone, while Italy keeps the largest lead with 17.1% of the sales going to Microsoft's mobile platform. While the data here only represents overall operating system breakdown, Kantar does track different manufacturers and their standings in the ranks, and their newest numbers for Samsung are starting to show some trouble.
Samsung's sales in Europe fell by 2.2% from 2012 down to 40.3% of overall Android sales, and showed no growth at all in China with 23.7%. Speaking of China it's darling local brand, Xiaomi, is now the reigning king when it comes to comparing manufacturer sales, overtaking Apple and Samsung for the first time ever. This is incredibly impressive considering the fact that Xiaomi not only started in 2010, but also only sells their phones online. It's no surprise then that "The Woz" thinks they are ready to start selling their phones outside of China, is it? Xiaomi specializes in devices that are high-end but are sold at more of a low-end cost, similarly to Google's own Nexus lineup. Xiaomi seems to have the edge in sheer advertising and buzz-worthiness in social media though, which is part of the reason they are doing so well now. 2014 will surely prove to be another excellent year for Android, especially with the crop of phones coming out over the next few months.