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back to article Google's ANDROID CRUSHING smartphone rivals underfoot

Google's Android mobile OS now runs on 84.7 per cent of the 301 million mobile phones the world created in the second quarter of 2014, according to market-watcher IDC. The Google spawn's market share is up a third compared to the same quarter in 2013. Every other mobile operating system is not even eating Android's dust – they' …

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Yet Apple's sales are still growing - albeit slowly

Android is growing as fast as it is because it is going to lower and lower priced market segments. That's great for market share, but many of those low end devices aren't even using Google's services. They're using services local to China, Indonesia, etc.

I wonder if there's a way to determine the market share of Android devices using Google's services versus those not using Google's services?

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Holmes

You are only free to choose the lesser evil?

Actually the relative weakness of the google's control over Android is probably one of its most attractive features. The downside is the increased risk from malware apps.

These days it seems like most of the major companies are primarily notable for their degree of EVIL, and too often I feel like I'm being forced into a choice between lesser evils. As someone who used to think that the google was a nice company, now I just feel quite naive. Apple's evil is more philosophic, but apparently the most profitable. My interpretation is that they are basically against freedom and expect their customers to accept their products as mysterious black boxes not to be understood or interfered with. Meanwhile Microsoft is trying to convince us they've given up their evil ways, but the mask keeps slipping. If they offered an actually superior OS, then I wouldn't feel so bad about being stuck with a Windows XP box, eh? Actually, I think Microsoft has become to most resemble GE when they were sitting on FM radio because the AM profits were satisfactory.

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Anonymous Coward

Shipment v Market share?

Android appears to ship but there are huge discrepancies between the number of shipped handsets and those in use. How many languish in the back rooms of stores?

Also, look at the number of Android handsets, compared to iOS. How many android handsets are on sale? Has anyone counted? Could El Reg even make an estimate on the different models of phone.

For a producer of only a few iOS products Apple are not doing too badly.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You are only free to choose the lesser evil?

Very true, I run an Android as the lesser of evils because I happen to like Samsung h/w and can root the thing, remove/disable apps, install a firewall, adblock and use XPrivacy to control permissions. I've been keeping a very close eye on Jolla's progress (hope to purchase next gen) and seriously hope they keep going.

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Re: Shipment v Market share?

"the number of shipped handsets"

If one of those ships sunk would there be a lot of armless people around?

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Joke

Re: Shipment v Market share?

"the number of shipped handsets"

If one of those ships sunk would there be a lot of armless people around?

Well, the ship did sink because the captain was legless....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shipment v Market share?

That's more a problem for Windows Phone. They can't sell them fullstop.

Every other day, I get calls from EE trying to offload some crap Lumia phone onto me....

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@AC "lesser of two evils"

It is only the type of people who read the Reg who are going to root their Android and install all that stuff. The typical buyer just takes what they get, and if they even hear about this capability would dismiss it as a lot of geek nonsense.

The reason Google's control is important is because Google controls Android. If they didn't make money from it, they wouldn't continue providing it for free. The problem they see is that most of the new growth is coming in markets where they don't see any benefit. Not that there is much benefit from people who can only afford to buy a $50 smartphone, as they are worth less to advertisers and will buy fewer if any paid apps.

Android proponents talk about "Android" market share as if it is a big monolithic entity. It isn't the same as Windows market share, where Microsoft makes money off every one. It is more comparable to Windows installed base, including all the pirated copies in China. As an Android user you may not care who, if anyone, makes money off its growth, but it matters for the future direction of Android. i.e. Google forcing tighter control to make it harder for Google's services to be stripped out of it in future versions

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Big Brother

Re: Yet Apple's sales are still growing - albeit slowly

How are these Android Dollars different to Apple Dollars. How many high-end Android phones are sold compared to Apple iOS? ref

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@pakkuman - share of high end market

I don't think anyone knows for sure, and there would undoubtedly be some argument over the meaning of "high end".

That said it can perhaps be inferred, given that Apple reportedly makes 2/3 of the profit in the smartphone industry, Samsung makes 1/3, and the rest (collectively) essentially break even, then based on this it seems likely that Apple has a a majority share of the high end smartphone market.

If iPhones were way more expensive or cost way less to make that could also account for it, but they cost only slightly less to make (primarily due to smaller displays, which will no longer true with the iPhone 6) and are sold at about the same prices as Samsung's high end phones. One potential difference is that Samsung's phones are quickly discounted to lower prices, while iPhones are very rarely discounted - and when they are the seller eats the discount, not Apple.

The other wrinkle is that Samsung's smartphone marketing costs far exceed that of Apple's marketing costs for iPhone, which reduces Samsung's profitability.

So maybe in the end taking all these factors into account, Apple and Android roughly split the high end market.

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The ultimate monopoly? Total information control?

As a current Android user, I look at this chart with concern.

Google needs better competitors. Without competitors they will become even more oppressive than they've already gotten in the last few years.

Examples:

Mandating removal of MicroSD Card slots from Nexus devices

Blocking various apps from Google Play, just because they didn't like them (the kind of stuff why I left Apple)

More and more locked down boot loaders

Google never bothering to fix a lot of audio issues...

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"And despite Windows Phone's declining market share, the analyst thinks there's a chance for improvement once Microsoft's channels get Lumias into developing countries at attractive prices."

You mean the ones that run an OS that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike Windows Phone 8.x?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/08/11/nokia_130/

Don't really see how that's going to affect Windows Phone OS sales.

Unless, Microsoft spins the heck out of the confusion between Windows Phone the OS, and Windows Phone, the phone.

Sarcasm alert: No way that'll end up biting them in the ass!

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Fascinating...

....how Microsoft actually managed to lower their market share by bringing out a product that's even less desirable than the old Windows CE-based devices.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fascinating...

Windows Phone has peaked. It's had it's day.

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Holmes

Re: Fascinating...

"Windows Phone has peaked. It's had it's day."

Microsoft has a mobile phone out? Fascinating.

I'll look forwards to seeing one out in the street.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fascinating...

Not to mention that they turned every ex- an current Symbian user against them. Either by that rat indirectly or by their current actions after the Nokia buy-out.

I truly hope that they, like myself, have the common sense to NEVER buy a Windows Phone no matter what.

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IT Angle

Today, smart phones and tablets........

.......tomorrow desktops and laptops???????

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Today, smart phones and tablets........

So tomorrow is the day of Linux on the desktop?

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Re: Today, smart phones and tablets........

It's always tomorrow.

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Re: Today, smart phones and tablets........

No it's the day of windows phone ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Today, smart phones and tablets........

No, Linux is the OS of tomorrow.

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Re: Today, smart phones and tablets........

"Linux is the OS of tomorrow."

And it always will be.

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Linux

Re: Today, smart phones and tablets........

>"Linux is the OS of tomorrow."

> And it always will be.

Actually, as you wrote that you absolutely certainly used directly or indirectly one or more devices with the Linux kernel in it. Note that includes all Android phones, most consumer routers, a good chunk of telecom network elements, servers, smart TV:s, and so on and on...

Linux _is_ the OS of today, it has just arrived in a way that most consumers have not noticed. Resistance is futile...

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No one believes IDC

No one believes IDC's figures. They are guesswork at best which are completely manipulated to ensure the integrity of the headline figures with the current narrative. It is quite impossible to know, with so many vendors globally, how many phones actually ship with each OS, except for Apple because they say so. Samsung, don't across the board - so how do they know? They don't.

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Devil

Re: No one believes IDC

No one believes IDC's figures. They are guesswork at best which are completely manipulated to ensure the integrity of the headline figures with the current narrative.

True. Remember that IDC is in the business of selling reports. Developers are building apps and GUIs around Android, not iOS. A report that shows Android is popular, helps sell a project to upper management. So those project people better buy that report from IDC, right?

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Re: No one believes IDC

No one believes IDC's figures.

I wouldn't go that far. They, along with all the other research companies, are often guilty of showing bias to those companies who pay for or even commission their reports – in the past IDC has done a lot of business with Microsoft. To find out more about how they collate the numbers you'll have to buy the report. However, in this field, the IDC numbers correlate more with what I see around me than, say, those of Kantar.

Getting real sales figures from companies isn't that easy as, apart from Apple, they don't control the chain from factory to store shelf.

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Re: No one believes IDC

They are the best at being the worst when it comes to projections.

In 2011, IDC’s 4-year projection put Windows Phone marketshare at 20.9% in 2015.

Basically WP next year growth will have to be amazing to go from 2.5% now to 21% then.

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Anonymous Coward

Unregulated markets tend to converge towards monopolies and that is not good for consumers. I would welcome more competition. It would possibly be less of a concern had Android been more open so that it would be as easy to create custom versions of android with unrestricted access to the community infrastructure as it is for anybody who create a fork from open systems such as Debian/Ubuntu. Market regulation could possibly help if there were regulations in place that would require separation between hardware and software. Then we could at least get rid of the horrible junk-ware from manufacturers and/or operators that is near impossible to remove today, and manufacturers should be required to design their products such that the use of an independent OS is no issue wrt warranty.

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Anonymous Coward

Unregulated markets tend to converge towards monopolies

Spoken like a true Communist.

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It would possibly be less of a concern had Android been more open so that it would be as easy to create custom versions of android …

The source is open and Amazon's version living proof that custom versions can be made. Then there are all the mods out there.

Given that Google's own hardware has such a small market share I think it's difficult to talk of a monopoly. All the manufacturers have the chance and most seem to make use of it to customise the OS and the applications supplied with it. We might profit from regulation regarding the ability to remove software and control privacy settings without rooting devices (and thus potentially invalidating the warranty). But this might occur anyway through market pressure.

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And yet...

Here we are as Android phone Users, getting treated less then Second-class Citizens behind the deluge of Apple iOS only Apps...

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Re: And yet...

Speak for yourself. I don't feel like a second-class citizen because I have some Android devices. Given the size of the Android market, the premium segment is now big enough to sell to. Developers that don't think about the Android market are primarily punishing themselves.

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Re: And yet...

It's not so much getting treated as second class citizens because you are on Android, it's because there is so much different hardware running so many different versions of Android that it can become a support and bug fix nightmare for developers. They don't have the same kind of problems with IOS and Apple hardware. Piracy is also a far bigger issue on Android that it is on IOS and when you put the two together a lot of developers are simply going to come to the conclusion that it's just not worth the hassle.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And yet...

Yep. They're the bad sides to it's strengths.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And yet...

>it's because there is so much different hardware running

>so many different versions of Android that it can become

>a support and bug fix nightmare for developers.

Bugs that only appear in the userland on certain devices are maybe 1 in 1000. I can't actually remember seeing any in 4.x devices. I'm sure there are some but I don't think it's as big an issue as some would like to make out.

There are issues with the varying screen sizes etc but the UI framework has been able to work with that from day zero.

>They don't have the same kind of problems with IOS and Apple hardware.

iOS developers have issues as soon as a new version of iOS comes out that breaks something.. it's happened a few times now.

>Piracy is also a far bigger issue on Android

Why?

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Ooo!

Nice one Google!

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Linux

It's only just begun

This Internet of Things thing - it involves running an OS on kit far removed from the original hardware it first appeared on, right? So clearly one which is free, open and easily adaptable to such a purpose is going to dominate. When was the last time you heard of iOS for fridges, Windows for toasters etc?

History will record the time we're living in now as the end game for closed source.

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Anonymous Coward

*WARNING* Smartphones deprive you of fine lagers!

I just saw a new smartphone priced £410.00.

Do you realize just how many pints that is!

And unlike a smartphones, no one ever had a problem with BYOB.

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Now we know why Steve Jobs...

...was so pissed off at Google for stealing his ideas.

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Alien

There is such a paradigm or potential paradigm out there waiting to be discovered and made real.

On the down side MS, Intel and IBM know how to get their *hit together better than all of the oppositions?

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