Android Marketplace Takeover: Google is eating BlackBerries and Apples


January 11, 2015
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In a little more than two years, Google’s Android OS has finally eclipsed RIM’s Blackberry and Apple’s iPhone as the top-selling smartphone in the United States. Research by the NPD – a global provider of consumer and retail market research – confirmed Android’s fast-paced ascendancy this week with its latest findings.

In this previous quarter, the Android marketplace gained an impressive 11 points – and flirted with a majority stranglehold – by securing 44% of the current smartphone landscape. Apple fell short of their target, and only gained a modest one-point jump to 23%; while BlackBerry market share in the last quarter has tumbled 6 points to 28%. This affects the BYOD trend.

While Android was expected to be a major smartphone player, their quick rise up the ranks and ability to dominate in such an imposing fashion has sent shock-waves throughout the industry, and even warranted an outburst by Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs. The Apple CEO is seeing the Google-backed phone seeing a rise in the Android Marketplace.

Android’s surge can be largely contributed to two major factors: (i) more global mobile giants, such as Samsung, are adopting the Android OS as their operating system platform; (ii) the open-source model that drives Android has attracted contributions from top-tier developers, who have innovated and enhanced Google’s product.

These two axis are where the Google-based OS diverges from RIM and Apple’s. On the open-source front, both Apple and RIM have a proprietary and closed system that only enables the original vendors (meaning they, and they alone) to improve upon the OS platform.  Google, on the other hand, freely provides codes to hardware vendors, like HTC, who want to use their framework and encourage improvements. By actively encourage development by both vendors, and third-party developers, Google ensures their product improves at a blistering rate.

The other area of advantage that Google has is that more hardware phone makers are adopting its OS platform. With powerhouses like LG, HTC, Samsung and Motorola already on board and Nokia long-rumoured to follow, Android’s user-ship will undoubtedly continue to grow. While Apple and RIM’s product expansion will be spearheaded in a unilateral and organic manner,  which many analysts believe closes the door on a new wave of improvements and stagnant “out of the box” innovation.

In other words, Google invites help, while BlackBerry and Apple prefer to go at it alone. Furthermore, in Apple’s case, their long-rumored exclusive contract with AT&T means that they are being locked out from a rich market sector, that other carriers have, such as Verizon. If Apple and Verizon are able to come to a deal, it will be a major coup, and iPhone user-ship will sky-rocket and pose a serious challenge to Android’s recent rise. Till then, this battle is Google’s to lose.

Summary

Android continues to send shockwaves across the mobile industry with recent studies showing that they have outsold Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry in the last quarter. Multiple studies by reputable sources have underscored Android’s booming market share in the last few months, and how their are exceeding and outpacing even the most optimistic predications.

Why is Android thriving at a faster pace than the iPhone and BlackBerry? Its unwavering commitment to being an open-source platform is a focal reason; but also, from a pure logistical standpoint, its ability to draw in major mobile hardware makers like Samsung and LG – who have happily embraced the Android OS – has given them an incredible consumer reach.

In other words, Google invites help, while BlackBerry and Apple prefer to go at it alone. Furthermore, in Apple’s case, their long-rumored exclusive contract with AT&T means that they are being locked out from a rich market sector, that other carriers have, such as Verizon. If Apple and Verizon are able to come to a deal, it will be a major coup, and iPhone usership will skyrocket and pose a serious challenge to Android’s recent rise. Till then, this battle is Google’s to lose.

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