Google's Massive Android Growth Reduced Apple's iOS Market Share In Q2 2013
At this time last year, investors were still riding high on the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) money train.
As the company that could do no wrong, Apple enjoyed privileges that few others could ever hope to achieve.
That changed last fall when iPhone and iPad sales hype became so great that not even Apple could produce another device that lived up to analysts' lofty expectations.
According to a report by IDC, a global market intelligence firm, Android sales soared from 108 million units (69.1 percent of the smartphone market) during Q2 2012 to 187.4 million units (79.3 percent) during Q2 2013.
iPhone sales increased as well. While the company sold 26 million iPhones during the June quarter last year (which Apple reported as its fiscal 2012 third quarter), the Mac maker sold 31.2 million iPhones during the same period in 2013.
This is a huge win for Apple -- but it wasn't enough to help the company increase its market share. In fact, those higher-than-expected sales were unable to maintain Apple's stance in the industry.
During Q2 2012, Apple dominated 16.6 percent of the market. This year, the company commanded just 13.2 percent.
There are alternatives, such as BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY), Firefox OS and Ubuntu mobile that could impact the industry. Nokia's (NYSE: NOK) Windows Phone-based devices, marketed under the Lumia banner, have also experienced growth over the last few quarters.
Eventually, one of the aforementioned mobile operating systems will be retired as consumers gravitate to other platforms.
When that happens, there will be a number of new customers for Apple and Google to fight over. Given Android's price advantage (there are many cheap Android smartphones available all over the world), Google could benefit the greatest when another mobile platform disappears.
If Apple releases a cheaper iPhone, the game could change. But if the Cupertino, California-based tech giant expects to grow faster than Android -- and maintain that growth through 2014 -- it might need to find a price that's significantly lower than the iPhone 4's hefty $450 MSRP.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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