2016 looks set to be a tough year for Android

There's a big problem facing the Android ecosystem in 2016 - there's hardly any money in it for the hardware makers.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Here's a chart that should worry Android fans.

Infographic: Apple Claims 92% of Global Smartphone Profits | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista.

It's easy to think that it's the lack of developer interest that makes of break an ecosystem - that certainly seems to be the case with Windows Mobile - but when it comes to Android, it's profits.

There are several takeaways from that one chart:

  • Samsung is the only Android maker pulling in any significant profits.
  • Samsung is the only Android hardware maker (outside of whoever Google chooses to make its Nexus device) with the breathing room to innovate.
  • Samsung's profits are on a downward trajectory.
  • Samsung has been hemorrhaging money for the past couple of years.
  • Almost every dollar in profits that Samsung loses goes to Apple.

2016 looks like it's going to be a tough year for Samsung, which in turn could mean a tough year for Android. Outside of Google's Nexus line, Samsung is essentially the main player when it comes to premium devices, and any weakness there could allow Apple to pick up more Android defectors.

This should also be a worry for app developers who already perceive Android users are far more miserly (and far quicker to resort to piracy) than iOS users . And since owners of premium Android handsets have always been seen as better customers, an erosion of the premium Android handset market will hit developers squarely in the pocket.

See also:

Last-minute tech gift ideas (for under $50)

Editorial standards