The mobile landscape was quite exciting throughout 2012 on both sides of the isle, but especially for Android. With millions and millions of devices shipped and sold from the Galaxy S III, Nexus 4, to the iPhone 5. While we've all seen the numbers - which we'll mention again below - now that 2013 is in full stride lets look forward on how 2013 will come into its own.
Android had a strong year in 2012, but there's no denying that Apple did too with their iPhone 5 and new iPad. While we don't know what the future holds for the iPhone 6 (or 5s) or the next Nexus, surely the battle will continue on and grow tighter and tighter. At the same time is it fair to compare one phone to an entire Android platform with hundreds of devices? Research firms with their stats, details, numbers, and analysis all take different approaches but IDC always stands out for some raw data. So we figured we'd start there.
To end 2012 research firm IDC concluded that Android had 75% of the market share, compared to just 14.9% for Apple and even less for the rest. Not only did Android have 75% in Q3 of 2012, but in 2011 it only had 57.5%, which was still ahead of Apple. To put that in actual numbers, about 181 million smartphones were sold, and of those, 136 million were Android. Do these numbers even matter though? Those were just phones too, not tablets. And how many parents do you know who own an Android phone but don't use it for anything other than a dumbphone? Just something to think about. Another thing to consider is later today Apple will be releasing some of their financial results, but the numbers won't be changing too much here.
Now there's a lot that goes into these research numbers, not to mention product release schedules, 2 year contracts and more that can all effect the outcome. In the end though, it's pretty clear who is winning the battle, and even clearer who will win the war. That is Android! With Google's baby taking a strong hold on 2011, rocking through 2012 to top the charts - 2013 will be even bigger. Another report from Gartner confirmed Android's dominance as their sales completely doubled from 2011 to 2012. Can we expect the same in 2013? Samsung is clearly leading the charge for Android, and we're expecting big things from them, and others. In early to mid 2013 things will really start cruising again for the Android world.
If everything we saw at CES 2013 and what we'll be seeing at MWC is any indication, this will be an impressive year for Android that really puts a cap on Google's success. With powerful quad-core smartphones with 2GB of RAM or more pushing the limits. 5-inch 1080p screens, 6-inch handsets and bigger, 4G LTE as a standard across all carriers, and of course the Nexus lineup things are looking good right about now. The next few months should really set the tone for Android.
Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S IV will with no doubt be impressive. Motorola's looking to imitate their success and release a flagship device on all carriers like the X-Phone, and HTC's upcoming M7 could have a similar approach. If we start seeing top end superphone devices of all shapes and sizes from multiple manufacturers all readily available in one form on multiple carriers (as is the iPhone and GSIII) Google's Android will continue to dominate and only increase its lead as the year moves forward.
We're looking forward to all those devices mentioned above, and surely will be surprised by a few awesome phones this year. The Optimus G was one of those last year that caught us by surprise. Surely we will be keeping an eye on Google with their Nexus line and Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. The year will start taking shape in March and April as we head into Google I/O and things hit full force. Get ready to enjoy the top spot and doubling sales numbers again folks! Who's excited?