For years, Apple has been lauded for the phenomenal rise and success of its devices. From the iPhone to the iPod and now to the iPad, Apple has seen its user base rise. iDevices are everywhere and it seems that they are lording over the smartphone market. But are they?
Gartner Research has come out with a report that said that Google’s Android OS has cornered more than 50% of all smartphone sales globally for the third quarter of 2011. Surprisingly, Apple is a distant runner-up with only 15% of smartphones sold during the period running on its iOS operating system. At that rate, it came in third next to Android and Nokia’s Symbian OS.
Total smartphone sales globally reached 115 million during the quarter.
Don’t get it wrong, however. There were more iOS devices sold during the period than during the second quarter. But the growth of Android devices are just phenomenal.
RIM’s OS fell to only 11% while Microsoft’s Windows Phone only cornered 1.5% of the market.
How does this affect your apps development?
If you are forced to choose one platform for your apps, it seems that Android is a better choice than iOS. In fact, an ABI Research report said that in the second quarter of this year, there were more app downloads for Android devices, with 44% of all mobile app downloads. That is a huge difference compared to Apple’s 31%.
But reality is not simple. Especially in the U.S. market, there are still more Apple users than Android users. On top of this, Apple users are more likely to download apps than Android owners. ABI Research says that on a downloads per user basis, Apple still reigns with a 2-to-1 ratio.
As always, app developers and business owners should take into consideration who the target market is. Android is winning the numbers game, but iOS still command a good share of the market. Cross-platform might be the way to go if you are trying to come up with a great app.
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