April 23, 2014
Ever since they entered a heavily Apple-controlled sector, Android devices have taken the market by storm.
And though Android’s success clearly demonstrates the recent trend of more users than ever shifting from desktop to mobile, Google’s dominance extends beyond just mobile devices.
Experts at Gartner even speculate that by next year, Android devices could be nearly four times more prevalent than devices running Windows (currently the no. 2 best-selling OS) – speculations that are strongly supported by recent data.
To date, sales of Google OS devices more than double the sales of any other OS devices this year, including Windows and Apple’s iOS. At this rate of growth, Gartner expects that of the estimated 2.6 billion devices (consisting of computers, tablets, and mobile phones) to be sold in 2015, 1.3 billion of them will run Android.*
Google’s objective is to increase Android’s footprint, and it is still on target to sell more than one billion devices during 2014.†
But Apple doesn’t need to worry about the market share falling in Google’s favor, because it’s a completely different story when it comes to profits.
Though Android devices made up 81 percent of the market share (compared with 12.9 percent by Apple products) in Q3 of 2013, Apple’s iOS took 56 percent of the overall market earnings. ‡
Turns out that, despite Android’s huge market share advantage, Apple still earns more revenue from apps and advertising.
Apple also boasts a majority of smartphone and tablet app sales, Web browser usage and ad network hits, leading Android in enterprise adoption and retail shopping use.
And although Google Play apps comprise 75 percent of total app downloads (while Apple apps comprise only 18 percent), Apple made half of all app revenue last quarter. As Forbes writer Tony Bradley puts it, “Android dominates in market share. Android dominates in app downloads. At the end of the day, though, somehow Apple’s iOS is making all of the money.” ‡
That’s why things don’t look good for Microsoft: Of the 2.6 billion devices expected to be sold in 2015, Gartner predicts that about 379.3 million of them will run Microsoft Windows – a ratio of 1 Microsoft device for every 3.6 Android devices.*
Recent changes in the device industry are largely thanks to an increasing shift toward mobile, not to mention the proliferation of data consumption driving advancement in network technology.
* Tofel, Kevin C. How big can Android device sales get? Think nearly 4x that of Windows in 2015, GigaOm. GigaOm, Inc.
† Gartner Says Worldwide Traditional PC, Tablet, Ultramobile and Mobile Phone Shipments Are On Pace to Grow 6.9 Percent in 2014, Gartner, Inc. March 2014.
‡ Bradley, Tony. Android Dominates Market Share, But Apple Makes All The Money. Forbes, Forbes.com LLC.