In the latest mobile market share statistics, Android continued to expand its dominance globally, grabbing all but 15% of smartphones sold worldwide. The research, released by Strategy Analytics, also demonstrated still-strong growth overall in the global market.
The year-over-year growth was 27%, which is down from 49% last year. This is not entirely surprising with the American and European markets getting close to saturated with fewer and fewer people going without smartphones. Most growth was propelled by emerging markets in Africa and Asia.
At 85% of smartphones sold globally in Q2 2014, Android hit yet another all-time high in smartphone market share. While iOS device sales grew, market share fell slightly as did Windows Phone. Blackberry’s tremendous tumble continued, as expected.
For Google, the statistics reflect a deliberate effort to get Android running on as many devices as possible. While Google derives no profit directly from device manufacturers’ use of Android, since it is a free and open source project, the use of Google services on Android devices drives serious profitability.
Mobile advertising and growing use of Google’s other services, like Gmail, are all big victories for Google. As of 2014, mobile advertising spending out-values spending in newspapers or desktop online ads. Google is far and away the largest seller of ad space on mobile, with more than five times the market share of its nearest competitor, Facebook.
Microsoft is trying to take a page out of Google’s playbook by licensing the Windows Phone operating system for free, thus competing financially on low-end devices where licensing fees would otherwise drive up the retail price too high. Adoption remains slow, however, especially in the US.
Market share domination is not truly Apple’s game, as they have always built their brand by focusing on high-end devices. Apple’s brand recognition relies in large part on outsider, luxury status and this report does not necessarily indicate struggles for the highly profitable manufacturer.
Meanwhile, regulators in Europe are evaluating whether Google is becoming a monopoly in this sphere. Microsoft does relatively well there and it will be interesting to see whether anti-trust regulation in the EU could play into Microsoft’s hand.
Featured image by Rob Buhlman (Flickr).