The latest statistics for smartphones have been released by research firm IDC, and the unsurprising news is that Android is still top of the mobile OS tree by a long way.
Android now has an 82.3 per cent market share, with 1.06 billion devices shipped throughout 2014.
iOS is in second place on 13.8 per cent and 178 million units, with Windows Phone on 2.7 per cent and 35 million. Other operating systems now account for 1.1 per cent of handsets.
In total, 1.29 billion smartphones will be shipped over the course of this year according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker – and that’s up 26 per cent compared to 2013.
IDC, however, expects growth will slow to 12.2 per cent in 2015, with 1.4 billon smartphones predicted to ship next year. Indeed, a slowing in pace is expected through to 2018, when IDC guestimates that 1.9 billion units will be shipped (representing a compound annual growth rate of 9.8 per cent for 2014 to 2018).
Android is expected to maintain a dominant 80 per cent market share through to 2018, and it’s hard to argue with that.
When it comes to the money made from smartphones, you can expect overall revenue to slow up, and indeed revenue will only see a 4.2 per cent compound annual growth rate from 2014 to 2018. Total smartphone revenue will be $383 billion (£244 billion) this year – which Android took exactly two-thirds of, and Apple most of the rest on 30 per cent – rising to $452 billion (£288 billion) in 2018.
Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager at IDC, commented: "The impact of upstart Chinese players in the global market will be reflected in a race to the bottom when it comes to price. While premium phones aren't going anywhere, we are seeing increasingly better specs in more affordable smartphones.”
“Consumers no longer have to go with a top-of-the-line handset to guarantee decent hardware quality or experience. The biggest question now is how much lower can prices go?"