Our Changing Tech World

Android is crushing iOS in the market

Think you’re keeping up with the tech industry? Here are two recent reports that took me by surprise.

Android is crushing everything in its path. In the first quarter of 2013, Android smartphones had a 75% market share. Apple’s iOS came in at a distant second place, with 17% market share.

Two hundred million smartphones were shipped in the first quarter, up almost 60% from the first quarter of 2012, according to the IDC report.

IDC report - worldwide smartphone OS share

Remember when you thought the iPhone was dominating the smartphone world? It was never really true (Apple gets the lion’s share of the profits but never had more than half the market share) and now it’s old news. It’s all Android.

Samsung has benefited most from the explosive growth of Android, to the point that Apple and Samsung effectively are the entirety of the smartphone industry. HTC is falling apart and no one else is really playing. In March John Gruber crunched some numbers and put it this way:

“By profit share . . . last year Apple took 69 percent of the handset industry’s profits; Samsung took 34. For just the last quarter, the numbers were 72 percent for Apple, 29 for Samsung. You will note that both the annual and quarterly numbers total more than 100 percent; that is because all other handset makers, combined, are losing money. This is rather astounding — Apple and Samsung have together destroyed the rest of the mobile handset industry.”

One more detail from the IDC report: Windows Phone doubled its market share from 2012, becoming the number three smartphone platform in the world. Its market share is now – wait for it – over 3%! Woo hoo! We are the 3%, baby!

Sigh.

Lenovo is taking over the PC market

Lenovo is taking over the PC market. Later this year, Lenovo will become the number one PC maker in the world, overtaking HP. It is the only PC maker in the top five to have increased sales in 2012 – up 10% in the period when overall PC sales dropped by 8%.

HP and Lenovo are currently neck-and-neck in PC market share, so the difference in the financial results reported this week was particularly striking. HP’s numbers were awful, highlighted by a 32% drop in second quarter fiscal 2013 profits. Meanwhile Lenovo reported an 84% increase in profits for the same period. Lenovo is the fastest growing PC maker, with increasing market share, revenue, and profits.

(Dell is in complete disarray, by the way, with dropping revenue, profits, and market share. Dell desktop computers are still the best choice for small businesses but I’m keeping an eye out in case quality slips.)

Lenovo offers a dizzying selection of laptops, tablets, and hybrid devices. It has done more than any other manufacturer to step up to the new world of lighter, more flexible mobile devices with touchscreens. It tells you something about the world that Lenovo has achieved this growth despite having no presence in the US for desktop computers – it’s all notebooks and mobile devices.

Lenovo is also one of the only PC manufacturers who is also profiting from the smartphone market. Its phones are not yet sold in the US, but Lenovo is rapidly expanding its smartphone line overseas. It is now the number two smart phone seller in China.

One last bit of perspective.

Apple released the first iPhone in June 2007. The first Android phone appeared more than a year later, in October 2008.

The overwhelming need to have a smartphone in our hands at all times, our dependence on mobile devices, the shift to tablets – it has all happened in less than six years.

It’s no wonder we all feel a little overwhelmed. The world is changing fast.