Tech Biz

Apple’s Shrinking Market Share: Android Broadens Mobile Device Lead

Long product cycles are causing a slowdown of iPad, iPhone sales.

Apple continues to cede ground to smartphones and tablets powered by Google’s Android operating system. While other manufactures are producing several devices a year, with various screen sizes and specs, Apple has yet to release a new product since the iPhone 5 was unveiled last September.

According to market research analysts at the International Data Corporation (IDC), the number of Android-powered smartphone users surged in the second quarter as overall worldwide smartphone shipments increased sharply from last year. The increasing popularity of Android was helped, in part, by the shipment of 23 million Galaxy S4 handsets in Q2 2013. Even smartphones that use the third-place Windows operating system are chipping away at Apple’s share.

“A total of 236.4 million smartphones shipped in the second quarter of 2013, a 51.3 percent increase from the same period in 2012. But the iOS portion of the smartphone market share saw a 20 percent increase, compared to the 73.5 percent jump of Android, and a 77.6 percent increase year-over-year for Windows Phone,” reported IGN, citing the IDC press release.

MarketWatch added: “Android expanded its share of the market to 63 percent from 38 percent in the year-earlier period. Apple’s iOS saw its share shrink to 32.5 percent from 60 percent.”

Although iPad remains the best-selling tablet, its market share has dropped by nearly half since this time last year. Global tablet shipments slowed in the second quarter, down 9.7 percent from the previous quarter.

“Lacking a new product launch in March to help spur shipments, Apple's iPad saw a lower-than-predicted shipment total of 14.6 million units for the quarter, down from 19.5 million in 1Q13. In years past, Apple has launched a new tablet heading into the second quarter, which resulted in strong quarter-over-quarter growth. Now, Apple is expected to launch new tablet products in the second half of the year, a move that better positions it to compete during the holiday season,” stated the IDC report.

Samsung, Apple’s chief rival for both smartphones and tablets, saw its tablet sales quadruple in the second quarter. Samsung shipped 8.1 million tablets, capturing roughly 18 percent of the market share, posting an 8 percent increase from Q2 2012.

With Apple expected to introduce new versions of the iPhone and iPad this fall, the Cupertino tech giant is positioned to reclaim lost ground in the mobile device market – especially if the rumored iPhone 5S/6 brings different sizes and production materials (see: affordable plastic) to the table.