This Android/iOS war that threatens to dominate the mobile device industry for the foreseeable future is chock full of different kinds of data and metrics. One day, you'll read about how iPhones are the most desired mobile device, and then on the very next day, Android reigns worldwide.
It doesn't stop there, however. Other articles point out that people could very well abandon the Android platform as soon as the iPhone 5 comes out, and then there are reports about 500,000 Android devices being activated daily.
So what can we take from all this? Simply put, when it comes to smartphones, in the eyes of the consumer, there are only two choices. Sorry Nokia, Windows Phones and Blackberry, but if the reports are to be believed, it is clearly an iPhone or an Android world. Now, which of the two are more dominant? Well, that depends on which study you read.
The latest study making the rounds come courtesy of Canalys, and their findings put phones using the Android OS as the dominant devices in the world. Of course, anytime you mention the proliferation of Android, it's important to remember that Google's mobile operating system is available on a number of different devices, while iOS is only available on Apple products. Having such variety undoubtedly contributes to Android's success, especially once you considered how much these devices cost.
For all their accolades, Apple still makes expensive devices.
As for Android's success, the findings indicate:
Globally, the market grew 73% year-on-year, with in excess of 107.7 million units shipping in the second quarter of 2011. Of the 56 countries Canalys tracks around the world, Android led in 35 of them and achieved a global market share of 48%.
The study also reveals that Android is the leader in shipped devices since the fourth quarter of 2010. As for Apple, well, let's not start shedding tears for them just yet:
With shipments of 20.3 million iPhones and a market share of 19%, iOS overtook Nokia’s Symbian platform during the quarter to take second place worldwide. In doing so, Apple also became the world’s leading individual smart phone vendor, stripping Nokia of its long-held leadership position.
So, Apple sells the most smart phones per company, but more people are buying phones with the Android operating system; or something like that. Such data only obfuscates the issue even further. Is the side dominating the device market the winner or the side with the largest OS market?
Is there even a right answer here?
Clearly, Android's success comes from the multiple device angle, although, it's flagship phone, the Samsung Galaxy S II isn't nearly as prolific as the iPhone:
Samsung also moved ahead of Nokia, with its flagship Galaxy S II product performing well, but its overall performance was underwhelming, considering the opportunities offered by the upheaval at Nokia.
While the winner can be debated on a never-ending loop, the loser here is RIM, makers of the Blackberry devices. Canalys' research reveals Blackberry devices are falling like a rock, losing 33 percent of the market share it achieved in 2010. That being said, RIM has experienced some success in South America, so all's not lost for RIM yet. Who knows? Maybe they can make their hay be strictly focusing on the Latin American portion of the globe, while letting Android and Apple battle it out everywhere else.