back to article Rivals routed by Apple, Google smartphone onslaught

It's a two-horse race, no question. Apple and Google's grip on the world smartphone market tightened even further during Q2, with everyone else's combined share falling to 15 per cent from 34.3 per cent in the year-ago quarter. The numbers come from IDC, a market watcher, and they chart RIM's decline - from an 11.5 per cent …


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  1. cyke1

    here is why

    Apple been on the offensive using all the patents they have to stop android phones, even patents that are clearly invalid. Driod phones been owning apple but a wide margin.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: here is why

      The Fandroids has now become the new sheep.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: here is why

        The Fandroids has now become the new sheep.

        Have now? They've always been cheap, disfunctional and fake copies of their fruity counterparts. Just like their phones. The Peng Peng cloned sheep of the smartphone world, including the extra worm genes.

      2. Da Weezil

        Re: here is why

        No.... were I a sheep I would have purchased one of the various generations of Iphone. I chose a handset that suited me rather than the monoform that Iphone is.

        Incidentally Windows was one of the reasons for my dropping Nokia, and I know I am only one of many who feel that way

        1. <shakes head>

          Re: here is why

          funny so did I and I ended up with a 4S

          horses for courses

        2. Khephren

          Re: here is why

          yep, i would probably be a happy Maemo/Meego user still, but rather than repair my N900, they sent me an N8 instead. I will never buy an 80's wallpaper windows phone.

      3. Anonymous Coward

        Re: here is why

        Why? With Android, you can pick whatever phone you like, from all the big companies.

        Perfer a keyboard over a touchscreen, no problem.

        Like small phones rather than large? no problem.

        Want one thats waterproof? no problem...

        The whole POINT of Android is you aren't a sheep. You can pick and choose your DEVICE... And if your requirements change in the future, no problem either, you just sell it and buy a different Android device, all your contacts, all your apps, all your content is there to go with you... No lock-in to a specific hardware supplier.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: here is why

          Baaaaa, there is no way that iSheep can understand nor appreciate what you are saying. Baaaa, meeeee.

    2. LarsG

      It just goes to show

      It just goes to show how hard hitting this recession is that phone users are so short of cash that they cannot afford an iPhone and have to opt for the cheaper Android alternatives.

      1. HipposRule

        Re: It just goes to show

        Cheaper, and better value (actually better in some cases)

        1. Spearchucker Jones

          @HipposRule - Re: It just goes to show

          Developers get poorer, but hey, there's better value for teh harkerz.

          Cheaper for consumers for sure. Shame they lose out everywhere else - from being lumped with yester-year OSs to being subjected to the likes of CarrierIQ and pissing their privacy to the wind.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It just goes to show

        "It just goes to show how hard hitting this recession is that phone users are so short of cash that they cannot afford an iPhone and have to opt for the cheaper Android alternatives."

        Are you off your face?

        Stop trying to big up the iPhone. They are just as cheap. I could walk into my local high street and get one FREE!

        Also, do you really think that a products price has any bearing?

        What, you think you’re the dogs bollox because your phone cost more than someone else’s?

        You, sir, are the advertisers dream.

        1. foo_bar_baz


          Free iPhone? So you wouldn't be paying ~ 400-500 Transatlantic Monetary Units over the course of several years? During which you're stuck with the operator? You, sir, are an advertiser's dream.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Obviously!

            "Free iPhone? So you wouldn't be paying ~ 400-500 Transatlantic Monetary Units over the course of several years? During which you're stuck with the operator? You, sir, are an advertiser's dream."

            W O W, missed the point completely. No wonder!

        2. Antidisestablishmentarianist

          Re Obviously!

          "Stop trying to big up the iPhone. They are just as cheap. I could walk into my local high street and get one FREE!

          Also, do you really think that a products price has any bearing?"

          You should take a bus, then a train, and when you finally reach an international airport, jump on a plane, away from your cosy little high street. I think you'll find in many many many many more parts of the world that price has a HUGE baring on things, and the (false) luxury of subsidised plans is but a dream. In these markets iPhones (and yes yes, top end 'droids too) are aspirational, with your cheap and dirty 'droids being the winners due to pure economic necessity. I mean, obviously!

          But please, just continue on in your little world where the butcher asks if you're local.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Celebrate good time come on

    There will be celebrations and dancing in the streets as Fandroids emerge from their caves after hearing the news that they are now 68% ers.

    Though the 68% does not give the proportion of operating system builds.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Celebrate good time come on

      I'll hold off on the celebrations until we're in the 69% position.

  3. Goat Jam


    If we were to assume, for the sake of the excercise, that in 2011 Nokia = Symbian we see that they had 17% market share.

    Now it is a year later and we are witnessing the results of Elops "burning platform" strategy where Windows was supposed to replace Symbian.

    Let's be extremely generous and give ALL Windows phone sales to Nokia (instead of sharing them around the few manufacturers that produce Winphones) and we can see that Nokia now has 8% market share, or less than half of last year.

    I wonder when Nokia shareholders are going to start demanding that Elop producing results instead of a steady stream of epic fails?

    <- The platform, it is burning

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: LoLtastic

      The market share of Symbian has been in freefall since the second half of 2010, long before 'burning platforms'. Many argue that the infamous memo hastened the fall of Symbian, and maybe that is true, but it was dying on it's arse long before the speech. The most likely cause was Android phones arriving in developed markets in large numbers and multiple price points.

      1. Goat Jam

        Re: LoLtastic

        While everything you say is true to a degree I would proffer two points;

        1) Symbian msrket share fell by 75% in a single year. Yes, it has been in decline for years but nothing like that sort of loss.

        2) Winphone was supposed to turn Nokia's fortunes around.

        You could argue that WinPhone has not had time to establish itself yet, which is debatable.

        We shall see what happens in another 12 months I guess.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: LoLtastic

        Here's a graph which says it was the Burning Platforms memo and Flop destroying Nokia's relationship with retailers and operators. Here's the whole blog post.

        Flop couldn't have really done worse if he tried.

        1. Anonymous Coward 101

          Re: LoLtastic

          @Dan 55

          The author of that blog was being very disingenuous with that graph.

          Firstly, he quotes smartphone sales rather than market share. At the end of 2010, smartphone sales were exploding rapidly, and Nokia managed to grow sales even when market share was falling. At the start of 2011, there was no growth over the previous quarter, so the decline of market share became evident in sales. Secondly, he doesn't include the whole market in the graph. If he had, Nokia would not have looked so rosey - I seem to remember HTC had success with Android before Samsung did.

          I urge you to read Tomi Ahonen's postings from the end of January 2011. You will discover his opinions of Nokia's performance before 'burning platforms' happened, and why I think he was being disingenuous.

    2. Andus McCoatover

      Nokia: "The platform, it is burning"


      Elop set light to it when he joined about 2 years ago. It's burned.

      We're now seeing the smouldering remains.

      My prediction? he'll vanish* from Nokia to destroy another company that Microsoft will buy. Timescale? Before the end of this year.

      *He doesn't have a reputation for being a 'stayer'. Neither did Simon Beresford-Wylie, when he set up the disastrous NSN millstone - which seems to have been partly instrumental in causing Nokia's woes. Noticed he pissed off sharpish, too, when he saw the iceberg his Titanic struck looming.

  4. Andrew Baines Silver badge

    Question the data

    The market's shifting. Android's changed the market by allowing phones <£200 to be smart. People who in the past would have just bought a regular phone, now buy a smart phone. Whether they use it as such is open to debate.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Question the data

      Much the same could be said for the shift from typewriters to PCs, back in the day. Probably explains why tablets are so popular, as they eliminate the 'general purpose programmable computer' nonsense that has been a headache for users all these years.

      I'm only half joking there, as just like the winds of fashion that blow between centralised and distributed computing models, there is the to-and-fro between general-purpose and appliance computing in which the appliances eventually become fat, programmable, and hard to understand.

      Of course I'm much entertained by all the cloud hype, in the old days I believe this was called a 'computing bureau'?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Question the data

      As a mobile developer I think this is the real question. Android has much higher market share for smartphones, so in theory it's by far the best platform to develop for. Yet talk to developers, and you'll commonly hear that android only provides about 20% of their income, compared to 80% for iOS.

      There has to be some explanation for that, and I do think it's because a lot of people buy an android device to replace their old feature phone, and use it in pretty much the same way.

      1. Arctic fox

        @Chris 19 " only provides about 20% of their income, compared to 80% for iOS."

        I would agree that the acceleration in smartphone ownership that we have been witness to has to a very considerable extent gone Android rather than iPhone (given that it would be a touch unusual for someone to jump straight from a feature phone to a highend phone like Apple's offering) with the consequence that many are to a considerable extent using them as a "feature-phone+". However, that (IMHO) does not take sufficiently into account Apple's traditional demographic which is (whether some of their supporters like it or not) the "well heeled middle classes" in income terms if not that precise demographic in social terms. The last survey I saw of customer groups within "smartphonery" from the States (about ten months ago) indicated that the "typical" Apple customer (ie approximately 50% of their demographic) in the US is male, 25 - 35 years old and lives in a household where the household income is over $100.000 per annum. Given that is the case it seems highly likely that Apple have a larger percentage of customers with significantly above average incomes than the Android os does. In other words the devs do better out of Apple customers because they have more money to spend than is typical amongst Android customers. This of course is hardly surprising since Cupertino have, with considerable success, been courting that demographic for the last two decades or so.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Chris 19 " only provides about 20% of their income, compared to 80% for iOS."

          That's probably a large part of it too. The same group of people buy audio, bmw and mercedes too, even though they could get a ford for less money.

          The thing is though, it makes iOS the better platform by default. When I start planning a new project and look at the platforms, android offers less income for more work. I only consider it as either a secondary platform. Therefore my apps appear either only or first on iOS, and the iOS version gets a lot more attention. Most developers are doing exactly the same.

          If you consider the platform to be something you run apps on (which after all is the real point of a smartphone), the quality of the apps is critical - and iOS ends up way ahead.

          1. Arctic fox

            @Chris 19 Re:"Therefore my apps appear either only or first on iOS"

            Indeed, the business case for a dev in these circumstances is entirely understandable (I speak as someone who runs a Desire Z) and if one is earning one's "daily bread" in that way one has to follow the money. Currently this means, of course, that the situation is self-reinforcing as long as there is no Android "hero-phone" that begins to attract a similar demographic. Although it has to be said that Sammy's Galaxy series is now beginning to attract the kind of kudos and sales that suggest that such a shift is possible (albeit not certain). One can at any rate remark that it is reasonably obvious that Cupertino are entirely convinced that the only Android competitor (currently) that is any threat to them is Samsung!

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Question the data

        Because those reports you get your information from, are all part of the Apple viral marketing to pretend that there isn't a mass exedous towards Android development.

        It's quite obvious on the ground however it's now VERY different. Most apps/games launch at the same time, or sooner than their iOS counterparts. That's partly helped by the fact that on Android, you don't need (nor should you use) separate iPhone and iPad versions..

      3. vic 4

        Re: Question the data

        > Yet talk to developers, and you'll commonly hear that android only provides about 20% of their income, compared to 80% for iOS.

        That is very true for app store/google purchases. However there is also a large demand for buisness apps which never go anywhere near the stores, in my experience android is by far the biggest earner. Consider a say a warehousing app for a tablet or a team of field engineers, don't have to be anything flash

        > There has to be some explanation for that, and I do think it's because a lot of people buy an android device to replace their old feature phone, and use it in pretty much the same way.

        Very true. My own wife is now on her third android phone, never used the play store and after two months I heard her mention it wasn't as good as her previous one and it didn't even have netflix (previously I loaded everything I thought she'd want). Now she knows the store is there she had a quick look and never touched it again. She also never used teh app store on her iphone.

      4. Mikel

        Re: Question the data

        "you'll commonly hear that android only provides about 20% of their income"

        Apple had a head-start and a much larger installed base. Android only passed in installed numbers a few months ago. If Android continues to outsell iPhone by 4:1 these numbers will change very quickly.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Emerging markets

    "But IDC's data show the value of enabling low-cost product in other markets, particularly emerging ones. The rise of the budget Android smartphone is clearly playing dividends for Google."

    That depends on how you define value. If it's number of units shipped, then yes. If it's income, the value is probably low - especially for google, whose income is mostly from advertising. Emerging market customers are not high value customers in the eyes of the advertisers. It's probably low for the handset makers too, if the customers in these countries are buying low-end and low-margin phones.

    1. Big_Ted

      Re: Emerging markets

      Don't forget that Google get paid for every time a phone is made that has gmail docs maps etc on it as they are not part of the free OS as used on feature phones.

      Also even if the adds only get 100th as much in emerging markets they still get money and with the millions buying thats still big bucks.

  6. Captain Hogwash


    We're not there yet but the time is coming when robotics will have advanced to the point where androids can make apple and blackberry crumble. Mmmmmm, mobilicious.

    1. The Baron

      Re: Futurology

      I assumed this post was just harmless fun; I don't understand why it has accrued a downvote. Here, have an upvote to balance things out.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Baron

        I had to upvote you, not all of us like balance. Hey! It could have been a downvote!

      2. Passing Through
        Thumb Up

        Re:,Re: Futurology

        sometimes with an touch screen your right thumb will select things at random or sometimes you can just hit the wrong button, I have several times voted the wrong way and been unable to change my mistake.

        I thought it was funny too.

  7. Big_Ted
    Thumb Up

    Why Android and not iPhone for my sister.

    She has an old feature phone that is getting buggy and has a scratched screen.

    She asked me to sort out a replacment for her, said she loves her mates iPhone but not sure she wants to pay that much and can i get something thats as nice but cheaper.

    Well I bought a Huawei Ascend G300 for £83 (had a voucher) spent a fiver unlocking it and sold the PAYG sim on ebay for a fiver.

    Set it up with lots of useful apps and satnav etc and handed it to her. She loves it and even her iPhone loving mate thinks its a great phone. Best of all Vodaphone rolling out ICS to it very soon.

    Moral is unless you love iPhone enough to be happy to pay hundreds you can get a great Android smartphone for a fraction of the price, in these cash strapped times that will boost market share quickly.

    1. Passing Through

      Re: Why Android and not iPhone for my sister.

      "Vodafone rolling out ICS to it soon".

      I would have thought as you have sold the sim you won,t be gettin g the Vodafone update.

      1. Big_Ted

        Re: Why Android and not iPhone for my sister.

        Have a vodafone SIM in my phone so just a quick swap for the upgrade,

      2. chipxtreme

        Re: Why Android and not iPhone for my sister.

        Doesn't make a difference what sim card is in the phone, when Vodafone push the update out then the phone will know and update the user.

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Why Android and not iPhone for my sister.

      I'm real happy that that phone works well for your sister, but I would not describe that phone as "great" - "competent", "good value" maybe.

      A "great" Android phone would be the Nexus S or a Galaxy S III, both of which are comparable in spec and price to the iphone. Android phones are not cheaper than the equivalent Apple phone, but Apple does not provide a comparable low end model.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why Android and not iPhone for my sister.

        Tom 38 - how can you compare a 4.8" screen with the tiny iPhone 3.5" and say comparable spec?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Why Android and not iPhone for my sister.

      ... and the key....

      When she wants to upgrade to something better, there is a Android path to take you to the next tier of devices....

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How can you state that Apple's (in conjunction with Google's) grip on the world smartphone market tightened even further during Q2, when Apple's share actually dropped from 18.8% to 16.9% in that time? Yes, iOS obviously has the second biggest share, but it's clearly Android eating that the difference, as well as everyone else's lost share...

    1. Big_Ted

      Its % of market share not number of units sold.

      Apple have increased the number of sales over the period so couldn't care less about a drop of 2% overall share.

      1. Sordid Details

        It makes me wonder how bad RIM's sales must have been in the last year that their market share can drop so significantly. Am I the only person who bought a new BlackBerry?

        1. Mikel

          "Am I the only person who bought a new BlackBerry?"

          @Sordid Details - Pretty much, yeah.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ Big_Ted

        I see your point, but this article is specifically talking about share (as in percentage), not number of units, because it's claiming Android and iOS are pwning the rest. Apple lost share from one chart to the other, so the claim they're part of the pwnage is misleading.

      3. chr0m4t1c


        And, IIRC, Apple are also raking in about 70% of the money; I'm fairly sure that makes them care even less about market share.

  9. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Um, let me see if I get this straight

    On a chart that clearly demonstrates Android gaining over 20% market share, and Apple losing almost 2%, we have an article that centers itself around Microsoft, which gained a hair over 1% in the same period.


  10. Rupert Stubbs

    Total Cost of Ownership...

    Look at the total cost of owning any smartphone over 2 years, and the vast bulk of the cost is network fees (this assumes you use your smartphone for more than just texting, ie. lot of data use as well as calls).

    Look also at resale cost when you upgrade to your next phone.

    iPhone looks pretty good overall.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Total Cost of Ownership...

      Thanks for that, but how exactly does that relate at all to the subject discussed in this article, aside from merely also mentioning "iPhone"?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows Mobile?

    I'd probably take the whole article more seriously if you were able to get the basic facts right. In the context in which you are using the phrase "Windows Mobile" it is pretty obvious you should have said "Windows Phone". Makes no difference to the point you are making, but does seem a very uninformed mistake.

    1. Mikel

      Re: Windows Mobile?

      It's a product labeled with "Windows" and it's mobile. Don't be a pedant. We know that Microsoft figure is STILL padded with WinMo 6.5 phones as retailers attempt to shift their dead and undead stock, and businesses that standardized on the Windows Mobile platform desperately cache a few cold spares against the day they get their line-of-business ware ported to Android. You can still buy those Windows Mobile phones on Amazon, and until recently they were still shifting more units than Windows Phone.

  12. Radelix

    This thread

    deserves some popcorn

  13. Mikel

    Total domination: LOOK at THAT CHART

    Holy cow that is brutal ownership of the mobile universe. Android is just crushing it. Was anybody ever to 68% before, after the second smartphone vendor entered the market? There is such a story in these graphs.

    Obviously the iPhone drop in share is pent up demand for iPhone 5, and seasonal deviation, and a little bit loss of share in BRIC as uptake there for lower priced smartphones outpaced the market overall. But the iPhone 5 will have to be quite astounding to quadruple the iPhone sales going into Q4. It needs a miracle. It's always been a great phone, though it offers limited choices.

    Apple and Android together? 85%. A tiny 15% left for EVERYBODY else when a year ago that was less than Symbian alone. It's a two dog race now for sure.

    The Nokia story here is quite striking too. Apparently Nokia's brand value wasn't in "Nokia" it was in "Symbian". Obviously the Symbian buyer was an "Anything But Microsoft" buyer, so those customers didn't transfer over to their Lumia line _at all_. They killed Symbian and got nothing for its meat.

    Of course the Blackberry story is sad, but we knew that. RIM's customers are either abandoning ship or hoping for a Hail Mary pass in BB10. The schedule push was triply bad because some customers were holding off purchasing to get the BB10, and some of those abandoned ship immediately on the schedule push, and the remainder are still holding out.

    Kudos to Samsung and all the other Android OEMs for not just hitting their marks but service over and above.

    And then there's Android's amazing 104 million units. More units than Windows PCs for the quarter just in Android phones. In case you didn't know, Android is a Linux. It seems the world is changing quite fast. Let me be the first one to enunciate that idea all the way out: "In 2012Q2 Linux phones surpassed Windows PCs in unit sales, dollar sales and manufacturer profits. Linux took the lead as the most popular kernel in the world for client devices."

    Far and away the most profitable OS kernel is still the iOS kernel, but since it's exclusive to Apple other vendors can't participate in those profits.

    Let's hope there's more good news to come. Apple's iOS is still the profit leader by 3x, but they may find themselves suffocated again by sheer volume, as they were in the distant past.

  14. DaddyHoggy

    Why I gave up on Symbian and went to Android not iOS

    I've always had Sony Ericsson phones (W200i -> K800i -> C902) and then I got the offer of a Smartphone as an upgrade - a Sony Ericsson Satio...

    Oh lord, it was terrible, I know now it was a cludge of Symbian and SEs own UI, but it put me off Smartphones for a year (I went back to my C902 for a while) and swore I'd never buy another SE or phone that ran Symbian. (So sorry Symbian - I won't miss you if you go!)

    When I finally bit the Smartphone bullet again, I went to my 3 store and after a chat about what I wanted, how I was likely to use the phone and of course how much I was willing to pay it was clear that Apple was definitely NOT the way to go (for me).

    I like to fiddle, so was pleased to discover that rooting my Samsung Galaxy Ace was astonishingly easy and being cheap (sub £120 to buy new) but I got it free for £13/mnth all you can eat data I wasn't that worried about screwing it up.

    I just don't fit Apple's pigeon-hole, if I decide I want a better phone I've got a huge choice of Android phone manufacturers competing for my modest budgets. I don't have to wait for the single manufacturer of the iPhone to do an modest incremental update in Hardware capability and expect me to pay quite a lot of money for it (if I don't want to wait for my mobile provider to offer me an upgrade).

    I think Apple make some beautiful products but I'm not their type and I won't be buying their products.

    I really don't care who makes the best product or who has the best OS, or who sues who more than who. I just want the best phone for me and the way my brain works and the way I want to use it and that just happens to be the Android platform. And there's the rub, this is my first tentative venture back into Smartphones and hence why I chose a cheap smartphone and a low cost tariff, but Android's got me hooked low and cheap and I will stick with this OS now, working my way up, no doubt through progressively more expensive handsets (where I presume margins are better for the manufacturers).

    This is where Android wins (for me) - cheap, low entry attention grabbers where margins are small, but there's potential for bigger profits from a hooked user in the future. I suspect though that Apple doesn't care, it just hooks people who can afford their dream, so they sell less but make more profit per unit sale.

    I'm also therefore quite happy for Samsung, HTC and Apple to fight it out at the top-end because competitive innovation at the high end tends to filter down to the lower strata of handsets (mid-range phones at least, if not all the way down to where I am at the moment). But the thing is, only Android based phones have the capacity to soak up the advancements, There is no iPhone lite...

    So, enjoy your phone, enjoy your choice of OS, because at the end of the day, they're just phones and it doesn't really matter, as long as there's competition between manufacturers (of Android) and OSes (iOS and Android) we, as end users, can only benefit in the long run.

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Robot

    In the first pie chart, Android looks like Pacman chomping all others ...

    ... including iOS.

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