comScore: Android makers lose ground, iOS continues to grow

comScore: Android makers lose ground, iOS continues to grow

Summary: comScore's latest mobile market share figures suggest that while Android manufacturers are losing ground, the mobile operating system is still growing rapidly.


comScore's latest figures on the state of the mobile market share union shows that while Android continues to dominate, with Apple remaining a far distant second place, Android phone makers are losing ground.

Perhaps most surprisingly out of the figures, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion remains steady without change.

It's no surprise that Samsung remains at the top of its game. But it is a surprise with the upcoming iPhone 5 expected within the next few months --- or the announcement at least --- Apple is two percentage points up. It could also be a sign that Samsung users were defecting away towards the iPhone after the latest iPhone 4S was released in early October. Holiday sales for the iPhone 4S as we know were phenomenal and shifted the entire market.

Motorola, which was given the approval by both U.S. and European authorities to be bought by Google for $12.5 billion, saw a small but a drop nonetheless for what continues to be a major player in the market.

But the mobile operating system figures show an entirely different story. Android reigns on despite phone sales dipping slightly, while Microsoft remains just about afloat but is hanging onto the life-raft by its fingertips.

comScore also highlighted that there is now an estimated 101.3 million U.S. smartphone subscribers, out of which most use their phones for 'dumbphone' activities, like sending text messages. The downloading of apps and mobile browsing are on the up, by 4.8 percent and 4.5 percent respectively.

In a nutshell, while Android continues to grow, Samsung as its main purveyor of Google-created goods is dipping, along with LG and Motorola. Times are tough for hardware makers, while operating systems can continue to be developed on and churned out; that is when the hardware makers are not being sued for patent infringement.

But as Apple is the end OEM and mobile operating system maker, it is powering through in second place in both tables. Arguably this holds it in the strongest position, even if it has a slightly weaker marketshare.

Image sources: comScore.


Topics: Mobility, Apple, Hardware, Mobile OS, Security

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  • What's the margin of error?

    With percentage changes that small you should cite the statistical margin of error. There is always a margin of error because human error, if nothing else, cannot be eliminated from any process. This got you a blog post but honestly, it doesn't really say much about the market without those margins taken into account.
    Mark Bryant
    • "Margin of Error" only applies to random surveys

      The margin of error is a statistic expressing the amount of random sampling error in a survey's results. I do not know how ComScore obtained its data, but I doubt it was from random sampling. If not, then "margin of error" is inapplicable.
  • Losing ground because of feature phones legacy, surely?

    It appears contradictory that Android manufacturers device share can have fallen while the Android OS share is rising faster than Apple. I think the discrepency is because the device market share figures include feature phones while the OS market share does not. So your headline would have more appropriately been perhaps "switch to Android smartphones by major phone manufacturers minimises market share loss to Apple". Imagine if Steve Jobs' patent dreams had all come true and noone else had anything remotely like an iPhone, their situation would be dire (ie: Nokia).
    • What....are you an idiot

      There are about 50 Android what it means is the big players are having their marketshare taken from them by the smaller cheaper OEM's like ZTE, etc.
      In fact what it really means, as the "pie is still growing", is that the smaller Android OEM's and Apple are growing quicker than the larger Andorid OEM's.
      • sorry... you are the idiot

        The tables above do not specify how individual manufacturers of Android phones fared with respect to the smartphone market so your comment is based purely on speculation.
  • Some picking of nits going on above me:P

    Still while I could not care less about Android and or Google... Obviously I do like the fact that Apple is still growing and nobody is arguing about that:) As I've stated before Android can have the over all number one spot if it wishes to have said. After all in the end it is profit from phone sales and after sale monies that actually count and in this Apple is KING regardless of market share.

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
    • On one hand you say that you

      "could not care less about Android and or Google", yet you're taking the time to post.
      [i]profit from phone sales and after sale monies that actually count[/i]

      Really? So the fact that GM makes a larger profit selling inexpensive cars then Telsa Motors does selling more expensive cars, Telsa should just drop out, as their profits are meaningless to them, or investors?
      William Farrel
      • Everything is relative. "IF" I'm going to sell cars for say

        15 grand or more and make a profit of what 5% per car sold I'm OK with that. If I sell a device for say a couple hundred and make only 5% per unit sold or even less than I'm far less OK with that:) Also I cane to this sight because it mentioned Apple not Android:P

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
    • Right, keep changing the metric

      When you don't like the numbers, just change the metric, eh Jim?
  • @paulhknight - Dead right!

    Just a small pedant but those figures for 'Android manufacturers' in the table "Top mobile OEMs" relate to 'smartphone and *non-smartphone*' subscribers.

    This report is worded cleverly so as to suggest the reason is because of less Android sales when theres every possibility it's at the expense of their non-smartphone devices.

    In fact the second table "Top Smartphone Platforms" suggests that Android is in fact gaining market share over all competitors. Put the two facts together and the possibility seems more like a probability.
  • Paul Knight, Dale 303, both absolutely right

    The article above appears to be a biased, deliberate misinterpretation of statistics to show Apple in a positive light in relation to Android. The report published by comscore clearly states that table 1 relates to smartphone and non-smartphone sales combined whilst table 2 relates only to smartphones. It is quite possible that sales of Android phones by Samsung and other major manufacturers has increased. The key fact to take away from the second table is that despite the release of the iPhone 4s, Apple is continuing to fall behind Android - their market share grew only 1.4% while Android grew by 2.3%. Also the statistics above come from a survey of 30,000 mobile subscribers so there will be sampling error but this was not reported by comscore
  • First table is misleading

    Fist table does not add to 100 percent. None of the columns do.
    Where is HTC or other phone manufacturers? It seems it is bias, just to favor Ios.
  • Numbers

    I think you may be missing something.

    The handset numbers are for all handsets, not just smartphones. From what I understand there is a transition occurring between non-smartphones and smartphones. I think I read that smartphones have crossed the 50% mark among US subscribers. I believe that companies like Motorola, Samsung and LG started with substantial non-smartphone market share. I think it's possible that the same transition that is happening in the market as a whole is happening for each of these companies. I actually think this is likely!

    For example suppose samsung had 25% market share 3 years ago, but only 1 in 10 of those phones were smartphones. If you were to break out that (hypothetical) 25% overall share they would have had 2.5 % market share that happened to be smartphones and 22.5% that were not smartphones. Now let's look at that analysis today. Suppose that, like the US market as a whole, their mix of subscribers is now more than 1/2 smartphones. Suppose it's a 60-40 split. That would mean that their 25% market share breaks out as 15% of all handset subscriber share that is smartphones and 10% that is non-smartphone. If the split is actually 50-50 then it would break out as 12.5% smartphone, 12.5% non-smartphone. Now consider Apple and RIM. They do not have non-smartphone market share that they are shedding as they sell smartphones. All of their handset share is smartphones and when they make gains like Apple, or losses like RIM, these changes are reflected cleanly in the share numbers above. Notice the difference? It's actually possible that Samsung is gaining more overall marketshare that is smartphones than Apple. Or perhaps they are not, but you need to understand that you're comparing pure smartphone numbers in the case of Apple and RIM with a mix of smartphone and non-smartphone numbers for the others. Also, I???d bet the dynamics within those mixed shares are roughly similar to the dynamics of the mobile phone market as a whole. People are switching to smartphones.

    Oh, by the way, Apple???s 3-month average OS share ending January is down slightly from its 3-month average share at the end of December. Googles? Up more than a percent. That sounds about right. Their 3 month share has been increasing by 2 or 3 percent per quarter. It continues to march steadily higher. Let???s talk again when the iphone 5 comes out. Something tells me there will be <em>dramatic</em> transitory gains then too.