With almost twice as many smartphones shipping in Q4 of 2012 than the previous year, it’s no surprise that Google’s Android OS has maintained its lead in the smartphone race. A new report from Strategy Analytics estimates that a total of 152.1 million smartphones operating on Android shipped in Q4 of 2012, making Android’s global market share 70%, up from 51%, in Q4 of 2011.
With its open source ethos, Google’s Android OS has helped proliferate the manufacture and development of a variety of devices. Android devices of all colors and stripes have been popping up since it’s inception, ranging from high-end smartphones and tablets to entry-level devices. Unlike Apple, whose iOS only operates on a few devices produced strictly by Apple, Google lets manufacturers use the Android source code and customize it to their liking. It also allows Android devices to be sold at various price points, unlike the (new) iPhone that remains at a premium price.
“Android’s share of the global smartphone market has surged… crushing Symbian, Bada and other platforms in its wake. Android’s challenge for 2013 will be to defend its leadership, not only against Apple, but also against an emerging wave of hungry challengers that includes Microsoft, Blackberry, Firefox and Tizen.”- Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics
It’s true that Android is dominating the smartphone market right now, but can it keep up with competing and emerging smartphone OS’s such as RIM’s new BlackBerry 10 OS and Firefox OS? Let us know what you think.