- Android has developed a giant lead over Apple's iOS in the global smartphone-platform wars and reached a new high of 85% of shipments in the second quarter. Android's share of quarterly shipments has hovered between 70% and 80% for almost two years.
- The vendor picture is more competitive. Several emerging-market-based Android vendors have put pressure not just on Apple but also on market leader Samsung. Firms like Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE, and Xiaomi have gained ground, while Apple and Samsung have seen global market share decline over the past year.
- While Android is the dominant platform worldwide, each country's market paints a slightly different picture. For example, Apple is holding steady in its home U.S. market and thriving in Japan, while Windows Phone has seen a resurgence across Europe. It has even surpassed Apple for the No. 2 spot in Spain. Other platforms control negligible shares.
- Going forward, market growth will be driven by emerging-market vendors catering to low-income consumers and first-time smartphone users globally. In the second quarter of 2014, five Chinese vendors — ZTE, Coolpad, Huawei, Lenovo, and Xiaomi — combined for roughly 75 million shipments worldwide, slightly higher than the 74 million smartphones Samsung shipped during the quarter. The five Chinese vendors accounted for ~30% of all Android phones shipped during the period.
- Apple remains very strongly positioned, despite a shrinking global market share. Strong brand loyalty and a huge number of iPhone 4 and 4S users ready to upgrade to the upcoming, larger-screened iPhone 6 device mean Apple's near-term prospects look very good.
THE GLOBAL PLATFORM WARS
Android reached a new quarterly high for market share of shipments in the second quarter of 2014. Roughly 85% of smartphones shipped during the period ran Android, according to Strategy Analytics.
- Android's 85% market share is almost 4 percentage points higher than its previous historical record, which it first achieved in the third quarter of 2013 and is also up from the 80% share Android held in the same period last year.
- Nearly 250 million Android phones were shipped [...]