Canalys: Android powers 59 percent of smartphones, tablets and laptops

Shipments for all smart mobile devices grew by more than a third worldwide last quarter -- but tablets are rising the fastest.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor on

Smarter mobile devices continue to dominate worldwide -- and Android is at the forefront, based on the first quarter report from Canalys.

Total smart mobile device shipments worldwide grew by 37.4 percent annually during the first quarter to approximately 308.7 million units, according to the market insight firm.

That pool of consists of laptops, tablets and smartphones, but analysts quickly pointed out that the tablet segment is growing the fastest.

Tablet shipments grew by a whopping 106.1 percent on an annual basis, accounting for 41.9 million units. Even without a new iPad or iPad mini on the horizon, Apple continues to lead with just less than half of the entire market with 46.4 percent of the global pie.

Canalys senior analyst Tim Coulling suggested in the report that tablets are surpassing expectations perhaps because the bar was set too low to begin with:

Spearheaded by Google and Amazon, the commoditization of the tablet market has happened far quicker than that of the wider PC market. Profit margins are being squeezed and vendors without a low cost structure will find it hard to compete. A solid range of must-have accessories and a software and services strategy are vital as vendors will increasingly need to make revenue around their devices.

Smartphones accounted for 216.3 million of shipments, while laptops totaled 50.5 million units, a 13.1 percent drop from Q1 2012.

Overall, Android remains on top as 59.5 percent of all smart mobile devices shipped last quarter were running Google's mobile operating system.

Apple came in a distant second with 19.3 percent while Microsoft hovered close (thanks to its PC share) with 18.1 percent.

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