By Matt Burns
The latest numbers are in: Android is on top, followed by iOS in a distant second. This word comes from Gartner, a top research firm for these sorts of things. Overall, within the last quarter, Android outsold iOS devices nearly three to one, while capturing 64% of the worldwide market share. Samsung (SSNLF.PK) was the top dog, accounting for 90M handset sales.
There is no denying Android's dominance anymore. There is no way even the most rabid Apple (AAPL) fanboy can deny that iOS is in second place now. Android is winning.
This report by Gartner looked at the second quarter smartphone sales. That pegs the date range from April to June, which admittedly was a high point for Android, while iPhone sales were starting to cool down. The Samsung Galaxy S III launched in late May, likely accounting for a good chunk of Samsung's haul. It was a great quarter for Android and Samsung.
Gartner's Q1 report notes similar rankings with Samsung and Android on top, too. At that time, Samsung had just overtaken Nokia (NOK) as the top worldwide seller of mobile devices. Android was hovering around in the mid fifty percent range in the market share pie, and Apple had its second best iPhone quarter ever with 33M units sold (Apple sold 37M in the previous quarter). But now we have a clearer image and Android is securely positioned at the top of the mobile mountain.
As the Gartner report shows, iPhone sales were a bit off during the second quarter. They are probably even worse right now. Apple CEO Tim Cook noted in the last financial report that iPhone sales are falling victim to the iPhone 5 rumor mill. Consumers are simply (and wisely) not buying iPhones as much right now when it's clear a new one is right around the corner. In fact iOS' market share only improved nominally year-over-year.
During Apple's best iPhone quarter, Q1 of 2012, the company moved 33M iPhones - an impressive feat, considering there are only three models. Now, during Android's best quarter, there were 98M units sold. There is simply no comparison. There is no way to spin these numbers. The iPhone 5 will likely light up Apple's holiday quarter, but Samsung, Motorola, LG, and HTC combined Android units numbers will account for more units. In fact, Samsung alone might move units than Apple.
This war is starting to heat up. It's no longer just a playground fight between fanboys. Developers cannot ignore Android. The old mantra of releasing on iOS and then eventually hitting Android needs to be rethought. Google (GOOG) also needs to step up its game. Google Play is a mess and Android has a very big problem with piracy. Android the ecosystem still sucks, but Android the mobile platform is winning.