As you are sitting on the bus or standing in line for coffee, while people around you are browsing, messaging or talking on their mobile phones, what are the mobile phone operating system and brand that you are most likely to see? The answers, as you may have guessed correctly, are Android and Samsung.
Android continues to enjoy its status as the top smartphone operating system, followed by Apple iOS, leading global market share as of the third quarter of 2014 while Windows ranks at a distant third. Similarly, Samsung is the top smartphone brand. A surprise statistic for the 2013 third quarter to 2014 third quarter period is the 60% growth enjoyed by the Chinese company Xiaomi.
In the third quarter of 2014, the top three smartphone operating systems globally were Android with 84% market share, iOS with 12% market share and Windows with 3% market share (IDC Canada) The top three smartphone companies globally were Samsung with 24% market share, Apple with 12% market share and Xiaomi with 5% market share (IDC Canada).
Over the course of the last 12 months (2013 third quarter to 2014 third quarter), Android gained 4% market share, iOS lost 8% market share and Windows Phone lost 25% market share. During the same period, Samsung's market share decreased by 33%, Apple's market share decreased by 8%, while the market share of Xiaomi increased by 60%.
In terms of mobile phone brands, Samsung's leadership is old news but their declining market share along with Apple is an interesting trend to monitor over the next few quarters. Since both Samsung and Apple have recently released new phones, this trend may be reversed over the coming year.
Also interesting is the combined dominance of several smaller mobile phone brands that populate the 'others' category. It would be worth paying attention to whether any single player emerges out of this crowd.
In terms of operating systems, Android is the undisputed leader due to the performance of brands that primarily use the Android OS. It is unlikely that this will change anytime soon.