INTERNET GIANT Google's Android mobile operating system captured a record 80 percent market share in 2013 but likely now will see its growth start to slow, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.
According to the analyst firm's statistics there were a total of 781.2 million Android devices shipped last year, giving the open source operating system a record 79 percent slice of the global mobile devices market.
While Google must be pleased about this, it likely won't be feeling smug for too long. Strategy Analytics claims that the growth rate of the Android mobile operating system has peaked, and is likely to dip in 2014.
Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said, "Android shipped four times more smartphones than Apple and Microsoft combined. There is little doubt that 2013 was the year of Android.
"However, Android's annual growth rate slowed to 62 percent in 2013, its lowest level in the platform's history. We expect Android's growth to slow further in 2014 due to market saturation, and rivals like Microsoft or Firefox will be ready to pounce on any signs of a major slowdown for Android this year."
As for Apple, Strategy Analytics named 2013 as a year that Apple likely will want to forget, despite the firm having reported bumper revenues and device shipments for the October to December quarter. According to Strategy Analytics, Apple achieved 15.5 percent market share in 2013, down from 19.4 percent in 2012, but that doesn't yield much insight about how we can expect the firm to perform over the next 12 months.
Linda Sui, senior analyst at the research firm said, "Apple iOS grew a sluggish 13 percent annually and shipped 153.4 million smartphones worldwide for 15 percent marketshare during 2013. Despite record volumes, 2013 is arguably a year that Apple will want to forget as growth slowed sharply and its new [iPhone] 5c model performed less strongly than expected."
Strategy Analytics also reported that Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile operating system is having a rough time too, capturing less than four percent of the smartphone market in 2013.
Sui added, "The Windows Phone platform is still struggling to gain traction in the low-tier and premium-tier smartphone categories and they remain serious weaknesses that Microsoft will need to address in 2014."
According to a report released by Strategy Analytics earlier this week, Samsung is still the global leader in smartphone sales, having shipped 86 million in the final quarter of 2013. µ