Android has beaten Apple in the smartphone wars

android has beaten apple in the smartphone wars

Here are lots of people queuing for the chance to preorder an iPhone.

Credit: Hazel Nicholson

Call me counterintuitive, but facts don't lie -- Android has won the smartphone wars, but it still isn't a business.

Where's the money?

Strategy Analytics tells us Android grabbed 84 percent of global smartphone shipments in Q3 2014 (July to September). That's a mighty achievement for an OS swiftly retooled subsequent to the launch of the iPhone, but this marketshare is unsustainable because: "Where's the money?"

Where?

Samsung has failed to best Apple at the high end of the market, is losing money and position and is now involved in the classic race to the bottom, fighting rivals such as Huawei and Xioami with low cost smartphones.

If cash is king where is it?

Don't underestimate these low cost devices. Global smartphone shipments grew 27 percent annually from 252.9 million units in Q3 2013 to 320.4 million in Q3 2014. Smartphone growth continues to be driven by robust demand in emerging markets, particularly Asia and Africa Middle East, Strategy Analytics explains. And loads of these are cheap -- almost subsidized -- devices.

It's a mess.

Everyone is working hard and no one is making any money. Well, except Apple. Whose profits show it does have a smartphone business.

“The Android platform is getting overcrowded with hundreds of hardware brands, Android smartphone prices are falling worldwide, and few Android device vendors make profits," notes Strategy Analytics.

Android is a charity benefitting Google

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