The mobile phone landscape has changed so much over the last four or five years. Without doubt, Android has been the biggest game changer. I do not think anyone could have predicted how popular Android would have got.
I was one of the first of my friends to buy an Android phone. Namely, the HTC Hero. In fact, it was months before anyone else had Android; however by then I was frustrated by the phone (not the software). It was slow and buggy and I ended up selling it on eBay and buying a BlackBerry. That was later sold for a 32GB iPhone4 and a few months ago I picked up a basic Windows Mobile Phone. I also picked up a very cheap Android phone in Colombia two years ago…which was quite possibly the worst phone ever made!
The Android platform has come on leaps and bounds since it launched a few years ago. It’s infiltration into low, medium and the high-end phone market is no doubt part of the reason of its dominance. Tech Thoughts recently shared a report that detailed the growth of Android. The results detail the sales of smartphone sales from beginning of 2009 to the middle of 2013.
As you can see, the growth of Android is nothing short of astounding. Along the way, Nokia’s popular Symbian software has went from the market leader to the graveyard. Windows is becoming more popular, though its sales are very low when compared to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
In a few hours time, Apple will be announcing the release of their new Apple iPhone, which the industry has been calling the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. A cheaper iPhone may help Apple reach a totally new market, however I do think it is going to be hard for them to become the leader in smartphone sales again. Within the UK, iPhones are still very popular. The difference is that there are many other premium phones to choose from. With the likes of HTC One and Samsung Galaxy 4 packing larger screens and better specifications, it may be difficult for them to retain the lead ever again. Particularly when Apple’s phones are always much more expensive.
There is no doubt that Apple are going to grab the headlines over the next week. When the dust settles, I do not see iPhones outselling Android devices; especially with the impending release of the Google Nexus 5, which will have a better spec than the new iPhone at around half the price.
It is worth pointing out that iOS devices are only made by Apple, whereas Android phones are made by dozens of companies. From a sales point of view, I believe Apple are only slightly behind Samsung. When you consider that Apple also make a huge amount of money from their AppStore, it becomes clear that Apple are not going anywhere.
It will be interesting to see if Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia will help then push the Windows 8 Mobile operating system to another level and gain a larger market share. Time will tell. Until then, Android will continue to dominate the market.