The bean counters at IDC have tallied up the numbers for the second quarter of 2013, and it looks like Android’s market share has gone up year over year from 69.1% to 79.3%. But is it fair to look at just two numbers and come to just one conclusion?
Not really. First of all, of course Android’s smartphone market share is going to go up, because feature phones are on their way to becoming an extinct species. Any analyst worth their muster will tell you that we’re well past the point of talking about smartphone market share. What we should be talking about is phone share. Period.
At this stage in the market's development, talking about 'smarpthone market share' is quite nonsensical
— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) August 7, 2013
Second point, Apple’s market share dropped from 16.6% to 13.2%, so that means Apple is going down in flames, right? Not in the slightest. Unit sales in Q2 2012 hit 26 million; one year later they’re now at 31.2 million. And again, unit sales only tell you half the story. Most Android phones sold today are mid to low range, so they’re obviously going to sell more since they attract a larger market. Meanwhile, the iPhone is expensive. Really expensive.
So what conclusions, if any, can we reach? People are replacing feature phones with smartphones, and those smartphones run Android. Apple is losing market share because of so called “saturation” at the high end. That’s going to be mitigated by the release of a budget iPhone later this year.
And that’s it really.