The Android + iPhone duopoly in the smartphone space will ease up slightly this year, according to a marketshare forecast by ABI Research. The analyst predicts Google’s platform will take a 57 per cent share of the global smartphone pie, while Apple’s iOS will cut itself about a fifth (21 per cent) — giving the two rival platforms a 78 per cent chunk of the market. (In Q4 last year the two had a 92 per cent share, according to Strategy Analytics’ figures.)
While 78 per cent is still a huge majority, the relative newcomers to the market of Microsoft, fuelled by its rebooted Windows Phone 8 platform, and BlackBerry with BlackBerry 10, will end the year powering millions of devices apiece — albeit, their share of the pie will still be in very low single digits, with Windows Phone taking around three per cent, and BlackBerry 10 around half that share.
The analyst is forecasting 45 million Windows Phone handsets in use by the end of the year, along with a BlackBerry 10 installed base of close to 20 million. Commenting in a statement, senior ABI Research analyst Aapo Markkanen says “2013 should be seen as relative success for both Microsoft and BlackBerry”. The analyst predicts the global installed base of smartphones will total 1.4 billion by the end of the year, meaning Android will be powering close to 800 million handsets, and iOS approaching 300 million — which puts Microsoft’s and BlackBerry’s “relative success” in context.
Commenting on BlackBerry, ABI’s enterprise practice director, Dan Shey, said the company needs to woo and win both enterprise and consumers to its new BB10 platform. “BlackBerry needs strong backing from IT administrators but it also needs enough consumers and more specifically, employees to choose BB10 over Android, Apple, and Windows smartphones. The BYOD trend is having a big influence on enterprise mobilization strategies,” he said in a statement.
On the tablet front, ABI predicts there will be 268 million tablets in active use — with 62 per cent of them built on iOS and 28 per cent on Android. It expects Microsoft to have some 5.5 million Windows-powered tablets in circulation by the year’s end.
ABI says the annual growth rate against 2012 will be 44 per cent for smartphones and 125 per cent for tablets. The figures come from ABI’s Mobile Application Technologies Research Service.