Android Dominates Smartphone Competition

Three years ago, in the third quarter of 2009, Google’s Android had only a 4% unit share of a smartphone market that was at the time a race between Blackberry’s RIM (19%), Apple’s iOS (17%), Nokia Symbian (38%) and not to mention

Windows (8%) and a few stragglers who shared the remaining 14% of the market.

It’s amazing how times can change, as the Linux-based Android operating system now commands 72% of the unit share of smartphone platforms after the third quarter in 2012, according to a chart posted by Asymco analyst Horace Dedui on Twitter.

In those three years, Google’s Android has effectively crushed the competition, turning the smartphone market into a race between Android and Apple’s iOS, though after Q3 iOS only holds 16% unit share of the market.

However, it isn’t going to be a cake walk for the Android platform to stay on top. Though Google is effective at getting all of the handsets into the hands of consumers, keeping these devices up-to-date with the latest versions of Android is proving to be quite difficult. More than half of Android devices are still running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which hasn’t been updated since September 2011. Apple’s iOS, on the other hand, managed to get over 60 percent of users to update their devices to iOS 6 in less than a month after its release.

The key to the success of the Android platform may be that it has a wide variety of devices, ranging from inexpensive basic phones, to high-end LTE devices. Apple’s drop in market share may be due to the fact that while consumers await the release of their new products or price cuts on older iPhone models, there are plenty of Android devices to choose from.

Sources: ZDNet, Wired

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