BII REPORT: The State of Android, A Platform In Transition


Last year, smartphone sales overtook PC sales for the first time, and Android is currently the global market platform leader.

However, platform wars are heating up. And with Android’s open nature and heavy reliance on device partners, Android is in transition. 

In a recent report, BI Intelligence takes a deep look into Android, detailing market penetration and market share by device type, analysing app store monetization and device and system fragmentation, and handicapping its greatest shortcomings and biggest opportunities. 

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Here’s a brief breakdown on where Android stands today:  

  • Android dominates smartphone market share: Android is winning the global race, accounting for more than 50% market share as of Q1 ’12. Android is especially strong internationally because many markets do not have carrier subsidies like the U.S., and Android can reach consumers through a wide range of devices and price points. 
  • Android tablets haven’t fared so well: Android is a tablet operating system as well, and tablets will blow past PC sales in a few years. Apple’s iPad dominates the market with 65% market share to Android’s 15%. This battle will heat up as the Nexus, Surface, and iPad mini hit the market. 
  • Android has monetization issues: According to Flurry, developers with apps on both platforms only earn $0.24 of Android revenue for every dollar of iOS revenue. Developer interest in Android has dropped almost 10% in the past year, and iOS takes the lion share of new project starts and has more apps available despite Android’s substantially larger market share. 
  • And fragmentation issues: Users are spread across eight different versions of the software, and across devices made by 20+ OEMs. This means many iterations that make developing a headache, leading to buggy or incompatible apps and expensive testing. In turn, this leads to slow adoption to new versions of Android, as opposed to iOS.  
  • But, OEMs don’t have many other choices: The acquisition of Motorola has given Google a good test bed for hardware innovations, and Android’s partners have little choice but to wait. Windows is in the middle of a platform transition, after their last version was not very popular. Mozilla’s Boot to Gecko mobile platform is still in its early days.
  • Android may be challenged — but their opportunity is huge: Android faces a lot of challenges, but over 100 million Americans, and billions of people around the world, do not own smartphones. Google is clearly ahead of every other player except Apple at this point, and it is their opportunity to blow. 

Our reports and presentations on Android are full of charts and data that you can put to use. 

For full access to the reports on The State of Android sign up for a free trial subscription today.

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