Yes! Apple has remained the apple of the world’s eyes as far as its iPhone is concerned. The iPhones have taken a lion’s share – 23.8 percent – of all the smartphones sold in the world. Though that rings victory bells from a manufacturing point of view, when it comes to the operating system and software, the eco-system where battles are fought, it has been left behind by Google’s Android.
According to the latest reports by the global research firm, Gartner, the Android software ran on more than 50 percent of all the smartphones sold in the year 2011. Android has definitely become a worm in the Apple as far as the share of the financial pie is concerned!
With its mass- market offerings in a weak competitive environment where rival operating systems lacked exciting features, Android just devoured the market share as far as smartphone operating systems are concerned. Google is very cleverly and strategically sacrificing current profits for market share and popularity.
Android is not only a very sophisticated and swish operating system, it is available completely free of cost! And by offering it that way to manufacturers to stick on to their smartphones, Google seems to have started what Steve Jobs had famously termed as a ‘thermo-nuclear’ war against Apple.
Apple, on its part, has made many frenzied attacks on Google via a host of patent-infringement cases. There is also the part where royalties have to be paid to Microsoft for every device sold with Android.
These however, have served only as bumps on an otherwise smooth road to success and glory for the OS. The entry level smartphones sporting Android are simply getting better with each passing day and they thus offer consumers with great value for money. The growth rate for smartphone consumption has fallen in the US and Europe which are faced with economic uncertainties.
In the other economies, price is a very important factor and Android phones have done exceedingly well.
The statistics speak for themselves. Nokia has taken the top spot for smartphones, slightly tipping Apple at 23.9 percent for the second quarter of 2011. It has fallen after that however. But Samsung, LG and ZTE Corp have arrived on the top, battling heatedly. Samsung is fast emerging as the leading preference for a smartphone and tipped Apple in the second quarter of 2011. These are disturbing news for Apple of course, but as far as the consumer is concerned, it is great news. Greater competition only implies greater fall in prices and better features.
2011 saw many consumers delay their smartphone purchase in anticipation of Apple Inc.’s latest release. In spite of that, smartphone sales in the year grew by 42 percent with Google’s Android garnering a majority share in that. Google’s share stood at 52.5 percent for 2011. Things are getting very interesting. It remains to be seen how the executives at Cupertino plan to wage the war against probably the world’s most innovative and fast company – Google.