BlackBerry And Windows Phone May Gain Ground On Android
February 6, 2013

Android Still In The Lead, BlackBerry And Windows Phone May Be Hot On Their Trail

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

New research data from ABI confirms what we've already known for some time: In the global scheme of things, Google's Android is far out pacing Apple's iPhone. All told, there are some 1.4 billion smartphones in the world, 798 million of them Android-based. 294 million of these smartphones are Apple branded devices, leaving 45 million to Windows phone and the remainder going to BlackBerry and the rest.

What makes this study so interesting, however, is what ABI believes will happen in 2013. According to analyst Aapo Markkanen, this will be the year Windows Phone and BlackBerry finally begin to make their way up the charts as they snatch some global marketshare away from leader Android.

“2013 should be seen as [a] relative success for both Microsoft and BlackBerry,” said Markkanen, according to VentureBeat.

“For the end of the year, we expect there to be 45 million Windows Phone handsets in use, with BlackBerry 10 holding an installed base of close to 20 million. Microsoft will also have 5.5 million Windows-powered tablets to show for it.”

Though an impressive number at any level, 1.4 billion smartphones represents a slight decrease in growth over last year´s estimation. In a 2012 study by IDC, smartphone sales were estimated to be growing at a rate of 45% every year. 2012 ended with a bang for smartphones, thanks to flagship phones from both platforms: The iPhone 5 from Apple and the Galaxy S III from Samsung and Android.

Though growth may have slowed down ever so slightly, ABI expects BlackBerry and Windows phone will be worthy competitors to the longtime leaders, possibly even luring users away from the big, green giant that is Android. By the numbers, ABI claims Android has captured a 57 percent global market share, followed by iOS with 21 percent and Windows Phone with three percent. While Android´s dominance is seemingly clear-cut, this new research points out they´ve lost some significant ground. In the third quarter of 2012, Android had 70 percent of the global market. This dip could be the result of a strong fourth quarter by Apple and Windows Phone. Both of these platforms released new flagship phones in this quarter, just in time for the holidays. Furthermore, as is often the case, Apple noticed a slight dip in their iPhone sales in the months leading up to the launch of the iPhone 5, as consumers were saving their purchase to buy the latest and greatest or save $100 on the previous year´s model.

Other recent research has shown while Android is handily beating iOS in all points across the world, Apple still holds America´s heart.

According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, 51 percent of all smartphones in the U.S. are iPhones, an increase from 44.9 percent one year ago.

Microsoft released Windows Phone 8 late in October of last year, while BlackBerry has only recently announced their latest Hail Mary pass of an operating system, BlackBerry 10. According to the data, any customer curious about these new platforms will likely leave Android first, as iOS has the “stickiest” platform around, retaining more users with each passing generation.