Android Crushing Apple, But Not In The Enterprise
This development is a reflection of how the smart device market is evolving; since we're looking at "worldwide" market shares, the impact will be far more tempered in the US.
Based on the most recent market share numbers out of Strategy Analytics, it appears that Android is following the same track in the tablet market that it did in the smartphone market--starting later but ultimately dominating Apple and its iOS. Looking at shipments for the second quarter of 2013, Android leapt past Apple, garnering 67% of the worldwide tablet market to Apple's 28.3%. The overall market grew at a rate of 43% quarter-over-quarter, though Apple's shipments fell 14% while Android shipments grew an eye-popping 87%.
Figure 1: Global Tablet Operating System Shipments and Market Share in Q2 2013 (preliminary)
In the much larger smartphone market (1Q 2013 worldwide shipments for smartphones were 210 million units or roughly 4-times tablet sales), Android pushed past iOS in mid-2010. Of course in 2010, Symbian was still the worldwide leader with 37.6% and RIM (now "BlackBerry") was also slightly ahead of Apple.
While this news will undoubtedly launch a chorus of "I told you so's" and "Apple is over" jeers, I think it is more of a reflection of how the smart device market is evolving, and since we're looking at "worldwide" market shares, we have to remember that the impact will be far more tempered in the US.
In our recent Information Week 2013 State of Mobile Security survey of 424 IT professionals, we asked which personally-owned and company-provided smartphones and tablets were being used to access corporate email, and we found that Apple still held a commanding lead among both personally-owned (50% to 34%) and company-provided (40% to 24%) devices; BlackBerry actually topped Android in company-provided devices (27% to 24%). Unfortunately this is the first year we asked this question so we don't know how it's trending, but it will be interesting to see how this race turns out next year.
Figure 2: Company-provided and Personally-owned Smartphones and Tablets Accessing Corporate Email
As Galen Gruman of InfoWorld writes in a recent blog, "Apple is in the business of making money, so it takes in about three-quarters of the mobile industry's profits and half the PC industry's profits, despite its small market shares." And despite a rather lackluster set of offerings over the past 18 to 24 months, Apple is still seen as the trend-setter by a significant portion of the buying public--at least the affluent part.
Clearly, price is a factor in Android's success, but there are other forces at work as well. Android is available everywhere, and on devices from a number of manufacturers. There are "buy-local" preferences in many parts of the world, so having so many outlets clearly works in Android's favor. Further, the smart device market in the US is essentially saturated, and now the big growth is shifting to lesser-developed countries, and those are some BIG markets. According to Wikipedia, there are 1.15 billion mobile phones in China and 867.8 million in India, versus 327.6 million in the US.
How the smartphone/tablet battle plays out in the US will have more to do with user experience than price--at least to a point. Apple is clearly under pressure to reinvigorate its "dazzle factor", but overall, consumers might simply be getting tired of their smartphones. It's not that they're getting ready to toss them, it's just that they seem to have absorbed what the devices can do.
Smart mobile devices have been one of the great stories of this young century, and the story continues to play out. It's most encouraging to see that prices are coming down and that now billions more people will have the opportunity to get their hands on this technology--but I'm sticking with my iPhone.