There sure is more doubt about the vaunted position of Apple in the marketplace these days, isn’t there? Whether it is warranted or not is a discussion for Android and Apple fan bois to fight out on neutral turf somewhere else.
What seems to be trending though are reports like this that comes from Strategy Analytics which show Android being quite dominant in 2012.
Commenting on the results, Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, described Google’s platform as the “undisputed volume leader” of the smartphone industry. ”Android’s share of the global smartphone market has surged… crushing Symbian, Bada and other platforms in its wake,” he said in a statement. “Android’s challenge for 2013 will be to defend its leadership, not only against Apple, but also against an emerging wave of hungry challengers that includes Microsoft, Blackberry, Firefox and Tizen.”
Strategy Analytics said Apple’s iOS grew in terms of shipment units — rising from an estimated 37 million units in Q4 2011 to 47.8 million in Q4 2012 (29 per cent annual growth) — but iOS’ marketshare declined slightly, as Android increased its lead, with iOS taking 22 per cent marketshare in Q4 2012, down slightly from 23.6 per cent in Q4 2011.
This always leads to the question that marketers must ask themselves more and more these days: Can they afford to develop for one platform over another? The logical answer is “No” but as an Android user I still see some products / services / companies taking an “Apple only” approach. Considering the evidence this seems incredibly shortsighted. Android is much less the red-headed step child of the mobile space that it was just a few short years ago. Devices like the Samsung SG3 running the latest Android OS and others have closed the gap between Apple and the rest of the field.
Android’s problem though is the stil fragmented OS world that exists. There are a lot Android users that are stuck in older versions of the Android OS and wondering if they will ever taste Jelly Bean before the next version comes along. That’s a real problem for sure.
So what is it marketers? Can you do one over the other? We ask this question a lot. We probably should be asking it less and less as time rolls on since the market size of the Android space can’t be ignored by most.
What’s your take? Let us know in the comments.