Google Android Jelly Bean adoption continues to inch up

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Feb 052013
 

Google has once again updated its “Platform Versions” report showing the distribution of various Android versions across devices that have accessed Google Play within a 14-day period. Jelly Bean (including both 4.1 and 4.2) continues to inch up (about 3% over the last month) with version 4.1 accounting for the lion share of the increase. At the same time, the story remains much unchanged: The nearly two year-old Gingerbread (2.3) still dominates with a 45.6% share.

Google Android version distribution
Click for a larger version

Combine Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) and Jelly Bean (4.1/4.2) and they still account for less than Gingerbread but the gap is narrowing. With Google Nexus 4 availability improving and still more OS upgrades get pushed out, the tipping point may not be much longer in coming.

Android Donut (1.6) also managed to cling to the charts for another month. Anyone care to hazard a guess as to how much longer it will remain on the chart?

Google is widely expected to launch the next major version of Android at Google I/O 2013 in May. Before then, we may see the release of one more Jelly Bean version as early as later this month.

Read more: Android Developers

Record tablet shipments in Q4 2012

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Feb 022013
 

Worldwide tablet shipments set another record in the last quarter of 2012. According to IDC, 52.5 million tablets were shipped over the quarter, an impressive 75.3% increase over the same quarter a year ago and a 74.3% increase over the previous quarter. Apple continued to dominate but its overall market share fell again as Android tablets continued to make gains.

“We expected a very strong fourth quarter, and the market didn’t disappoint,” said Tom Mainelli, research director, Tablets, at IDC. “New product launches from the category’s top vendors, as well as new entrant Microsoft, led to a surge in consumer interest and very robust shipments totals during the holiday season. The record-breaking quarter stands in stark contrast to the PC market, which saw shipments decline during the quarter for the first time in more than five years.”

Vendor 4Q12 Unit Shipments 4Q12 Market Share 4Q11 Unit Shipments 4Q11 Market Share Year-over-year Change
Apple 22.9 43.6% 15.5 51.7% 48.1%
Samsung 7.9 15.1% 2.2 7.3% 263.0%
Amazon.com Inc. 6.0 11.5% 4.7 15.9% 26.8%
ASUS 3.1 5.8% 0.6 2.0% 402.3%
Barnes & Noble 1.0 1.9% 1.4 4.6% -27.7%
Others 11.6 22.1% 5.5 18.5% 108.9%
Total 52.5 100% 29.9 100% 75.3%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, January 31, 2013 (preliminary data)

Microsoft’s entry into the tablet space with the Surface RT did not crack the top five. IDC estimated that just under 900,000 units were shipped and that Microsoft could expect the market to remain challenging.

“There is no question that Microsoft is in this tablet race to compete for the long haul. However, devices based upon its new Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems failed to gain much ground during their launch quarter, and reaction to the company’s Surface with Windows RT tablet was muted at best,” said Ryan Reith, program manager, Mobile Device Trackers at IDC. “We believe that Microsoft and its partners need to quickly adjust to the market realities of smaller screens and lower prices. In the long run, consumers may grow to believe that high-end computing tablets with desktop operating systems are worth a higher premium than other tablets, but until then ASPs on Windows 8 and Windows RT devices need to come down to drive higher volumes.”

Overall, the tablet landscape appears much as the smartphone one does: Apple and Samsung dominating with everyone else scrambling to make a dent.

Read more: IDC

Samsung and Apple account for half of smartphone market in Q4 2012

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Jan 252013
 

The smartphone market continued to show impressive growth in Q4 2012 with 219.4 million units shipped in the quarter, a growth of 36.4% over the same quarter a year ago. They also accounted for 45.5% of all mobile phone shipments, which themselves topped 1.7 billion units.

Samsung and Apple together now account for 50.8% of the smartphone market (up from a mere 45.5% only a quarter ago). Samsung set new records for number of smartphones shipped in a quarter and in a single year while Apple benefited from strong sales especially in China and the U.S. Up in third for the first time in its history is Huawei. Sony and ZTE held down fourth and fifth respectively with strong growth numbers. Out of the top five are RIM and HTC.

“The high-growth smartphone market, though dominated by Samsung and Apple, still presents ample opportunities for challengers,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “Vendors with unique market advantages, such as lower-cost devices, can rapidly gain market share, especially in emerging markets. A good example is Huawei, which overtook LG as a Top 5 vendor in the overall mobile phone market and passed HTC to become a Top 5 smartphone vendor.”

Vendor 4Q12 Unit Shipments 4Q12 Market Share 4Q11 Unit Shipments 4Q11 Market Share Year-over-year Change
Samsung 63.7 29.0% 36.2 22.5% 76.0%
Apple 47.8 21.8% 37.0 23.0% 29.2%
Huawei 10.8 4.9% 5.7 3.5% 89.5%
Sony 9.8 4.5% 6.3 3.9% 55.6%
ZTE 9.5 4.3% 6.4 4.0% 48.4%
Total 209.4 100% 160.8 100% 36.4%

Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, January 24, 2013

In the overall mobile phone space for Q4 2012, Samsung continued to hold first place with a 23.0% market share. Nokia held on to second with a 17.9% share, followed by Apple, ZTE and Huawei respectively. LG dropped out of the top five.

It will be interesting to see what 2013 changes will bring. Will we see RIM return to the top five and is there anyone that can take the crown away from Samsung? It certainly looks unlikely at thsi point.

Read more: IDC

Worldwide 3G/4G connections top 1.6 billion

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Jan 122013
 

There are now over 1.6 billion 3G and 4G connections in the world, according to the latest numbers by Wireless Intelligence, the research arm of the GSM Association. Put another way, use of mobile broadband now account for nearly one quarter of the world’s total connections.

HSPA now makes up the majority of mobile broadband connections and is the fastest growing wireless technology ever. LTE still accounts for only 4% of connections.

Global mobile broadband in Q1 2013
Click to see the full version

There are a few interesting facts to be found in the infographic:

  • Asia, which already has the highest number of connections, shows a penetration only 18%. We can expect to see tremendous growth in this area over the next few years.
  • The Americas, which includes both North and South America, accounts for the second largest block of connections. With penetration more than twice as high, annual growth is expected to be only half that of Asia.
  • Africa will show the highest annual growth rates (projected at 80%) as mobile broadband is just getting established there.
  • Oceania, the smallest block, also has the highest penetration rate at 74%.

Bottom line, while some markets are reaching maturity, there is definitely plenty of room for growth for the next few years.

Wireless Intelligence‘s definition of mobile broadband includes technologies that include LTE, WiMAX, HSPA, and China’s TD-SCDMA.

Read more: Wireless Intelligence

Jelly Bean now on 10% of Android devices

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Jan 032013
 

Android Jelly Bean (Android 4.1 and 4.2) adoption has picked up substantially since Google last published numbers a month ago. It can now be found on just over 10% of devices that accessed Google Play during the 14-day period ending today. That’s up from 6.7% a month earlier.

Android version distribution charts
Click for a larger version

Ice Cream Sandwich saw a modest increase and Gingerbread (Android 2.3) finally fell below the 50% mark, falling to 47.6%. Combined Jelly Bean and Ice Cream Sandwich numbers (39.3%) are finally catching up to Gingerbread and will likely finally pass it this year as more OS upgrades get pushed out and new devices continue to launch with newer versions.

There is also one casualty to report: Cupcake (Android 1.5) has completely dropped off the list and Donut (Android 1.6) should not be far behind.

If nothing else, it looks like good steady progress over the holidays (likely due in part to the number of Android devices found under the Christmas tree)…

Read more: Android Developers

17.4 million Android and iOS devices activated on Christmas Day

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Dec 272012
 

It appears that a few people asked Santa Claus for smartphones or tablets and Santa appears to have come through in a big way. In fact, it was a record-setting day with 17.4 million Android and iOS devices being activated on Christmas Day according to Flurry Analytics.

More iOS and Android devices are activated on Christmas Day than on any other day of the year. This year was no exception. On this Christmas Day 2012, more iPhones, iPads, Galaxy’s, Kindle Fires, and more, were activated than on any other day in history. Moreover, as soon as we could tear the wrapping paper off our cool new devices, we started downloading a record volume of apps.

As the graph below shows, Christmas is a day like no other. Christmas Day 2011 held the previous record of 6.8 million Android and iOS device activations. This year’s Christmas was a mighty 2.5 times larger!

Android and iOS activations on Christmas Day 2012

Interestingly, whereas smartphone activations dominated the first 20 days of December, tablets caught up and accounted for roughly half of Android and iOS devices found under the tree.

Tablet and smartphone activations on Christmas Day 2012

As soon as all those devices were unpacked, they were used to set a record download day. 328 million apps were downloaded, over 100% more than the average day in the first 10 days of December.

Read more: Flurry Analytics

IHS iSuppli: Samsung to become top cellphone manufacturer in 2012

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Dec 182012
 

Samsung2012 may not be over yet but it appears that the fat lady has sung her tune. According to IHS iSuppli, Samsung will displace Nokia to become the top mobile phone manufacturer for 2012. It will be the first time that the South Korean manufacturer will take the spot that Nokia has claimed as its won since 1998. Much of Samsung’s success can be attributed to its smartphone business.

“The competitive reality of the cellphone market in 2012 was ‘live by the smartphone; die by the smartphone,’” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS. “Smartphones represent the fastest-growing segment of the cellphone market—and will account for nearly half of all wireless handset shipments for all of 2012. Samsung’s successes and Nokia’s struggles in the cellphone market this year were determined entirely by the two companies’ divergent fortunes in the smartphone sector.”

The top five cellphone manufacturers in 2012 are as follows:

Rank Company 2011 2012
1 Samsung 24% 29%
2 Nokia 30% 24%
3 Apple 7% 10%
4 ZTE 6% 6%
5 LG 6% 4%
Source: IHS iSuppli December 2012

In the smartphone space, Samsung is expected to consolidate its lead over Apple thanks to its diversified smartphone lineup that covers everything from the entry-level space to the flagship market. The top five smartphone manufacturers are expected to be the following:

Rank Company 2011 2012
1 Samsung 20% 28%
2 Apple 19% 20%
3 Nokia 16% 5%
4 HTC 9% 5%
5 RIM 11% 5%
Source: IHS iSuppli December 2012

IHS iSuppli expects that smartphones will account for 56% of the mobile phone market in 2013. Whether the top five will remain as they are remains to be seen.

Read more: IHS iSuppli

IDC: BlackBerry 10 to be Canada’s third-largest mobile platform in 2013

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Dec 102012
 

Research In MotionResearch In Motion’s BlackBerry 10 will establish itself as Canada’s third largest mobile operating platform in 2013 if IDC Canada‘s crystal ball turns out to be accurate. The prediction is one of the market analyst’s top ten on its annual list of tech predictions.

IDC’s research has found that RIM’s current BlackBerry smartphone shipments are effectively tied with those of Windows Phone devices. IDC analyst Tony Olvet expects RIM to build on that with the release of BlackBerry 10 in January. “RIM, however, will have to be very, very sharp in its campaign to woo what we would call undecided buyers and go beyond their current and limited install base,” he added.

Among the other predictions IDC Canada had for 2013 are the following:

  • Mobile technology will penetrate every aspect of business in Canada.
  • Security breakdowns will make headlines before beefed-up measures are implemented.
  • Governments will capitalize on mobile and online technology to better pool resources and deliver services and information.

Do you think that BlackBerry 10 will establish itself as the third most popular mobile OS in Canada in 2013? Can it do the same in the U.S.?

Read more: The Toronto Star

Google Android 4.x continues to trail Android 2.3 on devices

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Dec 042012
 

The latest Android distribution numbers are out and show that Jelly Bean has been on a tear the last month and now finds itself on 6.7% of all devices that accessed Google Play over the 14 day period that ended on December 3rd. That’s up from 2.5% a month ago. Much of the growth can be attributed to new devices hitting the market and updates finally hitting older devices.

If you throw in Ice Cream Sandwich numbers, Android 4.x now accounts for 34.2%. While these numbers are encouraging, Android 4.x still trails Gingerbread which still dominates with a 50.8% share despite a 4% drop in the last month.

Android versions chart - December 3, 2012
Click for a larger version

Android 4.2, which was announced in mid-October, is making some fast inroads. It is already at 0.8% despite being only found on the Nexus 4 [product information], Nexus 7 [product information], and Nexus 10 [product information] at this time. This suggests that Google is seeing some strong sales of its latest Nexus devices.

Read more: Android Developers

Samsung Galaxy S III the best-selling smartphone in Q3 2012

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Nov 082012
 

Samsung Galaxy S IIIStrategy Analytics has named the Samsung Galaxy S III [specifications] “the world’s best-selling smartphone model” for Q3 2012. With global shipments of 18.0 million units, it dethroned the Apple iPhone 4S for the top spot. Roughly 1 in 10 smartphones shipped during the quarter was a Galaxy S III!

Neil Shah, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Samsung’s Galaxy S3 smartphone model shipped 18.0 million units worldwide during the third quarter of 2012. The Galaxy S3 captured an impressive 11 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally and it has become the world’s best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever. A large touchscreen design, extensive distribution across dozens of countries, and generous operator subsidies have been among the main causes of the Galaxy S3’s success. Apple shipped an estimated 16.2 million iPhone 4S units worldwide for second place, as consumers temporarily held off purchases in anticipation of a widely expected iPhone 5 upgrade at the end of the quarter.”

The Samsung Galaxy S III’s reign at the top may be shortlived. Despite a late quarter launch, shipments of the Apple iPhone 5 hit 6 million units and are only expected to climb higher next quarter. Strategy Analytics predicts that it will climb to the top spot in Q4 2012.

Samsung earlier this week announced that it had sold over 30 million Galaxy S III smartphones since its debut.

Read more: Strategy Analytics

Android makes inroads in tablet market in Q3 2012

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Nov 052012
 

The tablet market continued to show strong growth in Q3 2012. Shipments reached 27.8 million units, a 49.5% growth over the same quarter a year ago and 6.7% over Q2 2012. Apple continued to dominate despite slowing sales (tied in part to anticipation for the iPad mini). Android made strong gains thanks in large part to Samsung and ASUS.

“After a very strong second quarter, Apple saw growth slow as both consumer and commercial (including education) shipments declined, and rumors of a forthcoming iPad mini began to heat up,” said Tom Mainelli, research director, Tablets at IDC. “We believe a sizeable percentage of consumers interested in buying an Apple tablet sat out the third quarter in anticipation of an announcement about the new iPad mini. Now that the new mini, and a fourth-generation full-sized iPad, are both shipping we expect Apple to have a very good quarter. However, we believe the mini’s relatively high $329 starting price leaves plenty of room for Android vendors to build upon the success they achieved in the third quarter.”

Here are the full numbers:

Vendor 3Q12 Shipments 3Q12 Market Share 3Q11 Shipments 3Q11 Market Share Year-over-year Change
Apple 14.0 50.4% 11.1 59.7% 26.1%
Samsung 5.1 18.4% 1.2 6.5% 325.0%
Amazon.com 2.5 9.0% NA NA NA
ASUS 2.4 8.6% 0.7 3.8% 242.9%
Lenovo 0.4 1.4% 0.2 1.1% 100%
Others 3.3 12.2% 5.4 28.9% -38.9%
All vendors 27.8 100.0% 18.6 100.0% 49.5%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, November 5, 2012 (preliminary data)

The next few quarters will be interesting to watch. Apple has now launched its iPad mini (and fourth-generation iPad) and tablets powered by Microsoft’s new Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems are also now hitting the market.

Read more: IDC

Android takes 75% share of smartphone market in Q3 2012

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Nov 032012
 

Google Android
According to the latest numbers from IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Google Android shipped on an incredible three out of every four smartphones in Q3 2012. Year-over-year shipments increased 91.5% to account for 136 million units out of the toal 181.1 million smartphones shipped in the quarter.

“Android has been one of the primary growth engines of the smartphone market since it was launched in 2008,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager, Mobile Phones at IDC. “In every year since then, Android has effectively outpaced the market and taken market share from the competition. In addition, the combination of smartphone vendors, mobile operators, and end-users who have embraced Android has driven shipment volumes higher. Even today, more vendors are introducing their first Android-powered smartphones to market.”

Apple iOS was a distant second but still recorded an impressive 57.3% year-over-year growth despite being represented by only three models. The only other OS to show growth was the combination of Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile with the former driving the majority of that growth. With a promising lineup, it will be interesting to see if Windows Phone 8 can help Microsoft increase its market share further.

Here are the complete numbers:

Operating System 3Q12 Shipment Volumes 3Q12 Market Share 3Q11 Shipment Volumes 3Q11 Market Share Year-over-year Change
Android 136.0 75.0% 71.0 57.5% 91.5%
iOS 26.9 14.9% 17.1 13.8% 57.3%
BlackBerry 7.7 4.3% 11.8 9.5% -34.7%
Symbian 4.1 2.3% 18.1 14.6% -77.3%
Windows Phone 7 / Windows Mobile 3.6 2.0% 1.5 1.2% 140%
Linux 2.8 1.5% 4.1 3.3% -31.7%
Others 0.0 0.0% 0.1 0.1% -100%
Totals 181.1 100.0% 123.7 100.0% 46.4%
Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, November 1, 2012

It remains clear that this is still a two horse race with Microsoft and RIM with its upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS to fight it out for third.

Read more: IDC

Apple and Samsung continue to dominate worldwide smartphone market in Q3 2012

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Oct 262012
 

The worldwide mobile phone and smartphone markets continued to grow in Q3 2012. A total of 444.5 million mobile phones were shipped in the quarter (a 2.4% increase over the same quarter a year ago) while smartphones specifically recorded a growth of 45.3% year-over-year to reach shipments of 179.7 million units.

In the smartphone space, Apple and Samsung continued to domination. There was some shuffling of positions below them as Nokia fell out of the top five and Research In Motion climbed into third.

“Nokia’s share losses have meant gains for competitors,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “The company’s transition away from Symbian-powered smartphones to ones shipped with Windows Phone has left ample opportunity for rivals to steal share away from Nokia over the past 18 months. However, the smartphone market is still relatively nascent, which means there’s room for multiple vendors and operating systems to flourish, including Nokia.”

Nokia was not the only manufacturer to drop in the ranking. HTC also fell one spot due to slowing sales in markets such as the U.S.

The following table shows the top five vendors in Q3 2012:

Vendor 3Q12 Unit Shipments 3Q12 Market Share 3Q11 Unit Shipments 3Q11 Market Share Year-over-year Change
Samsung 56.3 31.3% 28.1 22.7% 100.4%
Apple 26.9

15.0% 17.1 13.8% 57.3%
Research In Motion 7.7 4.3% 11.8 9.64% -34.7%
ZTE 7.5 4.2% 4.1 3.3% 82.9%
HTC 7.3 4.0% 12.7 10.3% -42.5%
Others 74.0 41.2% 49.9 40.3% 48.3%
Total 179.7 100.0% 123.7 100.0% 45.3%

Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, October 25, 2012

In the mobile phone space, Samsung also holds down the top position. It is followed by Nokia, Apple, LG, and ZTE. Only Samsung and Apple showed overall growth over the same quarter a year ago.

IDC expects that both mobile phone and smartphone shipments will continue to grow as they become an increasingly pivotal tool in daily life.

Read more: IDC

Google Android 4.x now on 25% of all devices but Android 2.3 still rules

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Oct 022012
 

The latest Android distribution numbers are out and Android 2.3 Gingerbread remains the king of all Android versions. Gingerbread still accounts for 55.8% of all devices that accessed Google Play over the 14 day period that ended on October 1st. That’s down ever so slightly from 57.5% the previous period. Android 4.0.x Ice Cream grew to 23.7% from 20.8% and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean from 1.2% to 1.8% over the same period.

Android version distribution - October 2012
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Jelly Bean numbers are poised for a bit of a jump with a number of upgrades scheduled for October. A number of ASUS Transformer tablets have already received updates and devices like the Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X, and HTC One S will be joining them shortly. New devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note II and the just announced HTC One X+ should also help those numbers.

Unfortunately, Google will have to look over at Apple with continued envy. About 25% of all iOS devices were upgraded to iOS 6 within days of its release.

Read more: Android Developers

Apple leads smartphone and tablet markets in Canada

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Sep 172012
 

Apple iPhone 4SThe latest Ipsos Reid’s Mobil-ology report, which looks at smartphone, tablet and eReader usage in Canada, has found Apple as the top brand for both smartphones and tablets. The manufacturer accounted for 29% of smartphones and 42% of tablets in August 2012. Holding down second place is none other than Canada’s own Research In Motion. Its smartphones still hold 27% of the market while the PlayBook holds a 19% share. But both are facing fast growing competition from Android.

“In terms of Smartphones, the big story in this wave of Mobil-ology is the success of devices using an Android operating system,” says Mary Beth Barbour, Senior Vice President with Ipsos Reid. “While Apple’s iPhone continues to make steady gains, Smartphones using the Android OS have been living up to the buzz making the most ground in the wake of RIM’s losses.”

In fact, Android is now the dominant mobile operating system in Canada, accounting for 36% of smartphones. This is a 10% increase since January 2011. Android tablets are also showing signs of growth with Samsung, Acer and ASUS Android tablets now accounting for 28% of this market. Samsung in particular has been growing quickly. Both its smartphone and tablet shares have doubled since January 2011 to 18% and 9% respectively.

Overall, the report found that smartphones penetration stood at 40% in August, up from 23% in January 2011. Tablet penetration grew 3% to 15% during the same period.

Read more: Ipsos Reid (Source: Mobile Syrup)