Android has increased its lead. According to new data, roughly 79% of all smartphones shipped globally were Android based handsets. Global smartphone distribution also increased greatly, with 990 million devices being sent out in 2013. If you’re keeping track, that’s 782.1 million Android handsets shipped in 2013.

The overall growth was 41% year-over-year, with Q4 being the benchmark for succeess. In Q4 2012, 217 million smartphones were shipped, while Q4 2013 brought us 290.2 million smartphones. The overall number of 990 million for 2013 was an increase over the 700.1 million units shipped in 2012. Impressive numbers, but growth has slowed.

Android’s growth in 2013 was 62%. While impressive, it’s the slowest rate in Android’s history. That trend could reverse in 2014, though, as emerging markets and mid-range devices become the new standard. With new markets opening up, worldwide growth is prime for explosion. In the US, we’ve likely seen the tipping point.

Android’s growth can also be attributed to forked versions, of which there is a 137% surge. Much like Amazon did with their Kindle lineup, China and other markets are taking Android and using it more as a support system than a standalone OS. It’s still Android, but perhaps not the Android we’re familiar with.

As for the competition, Apple’s iOS has a 15% market share, while Windows Phone is a distant third at 4%. Both platforms shipped a record number of devices, but are slow to gain traction on the world stage. Apple has made important inroads into China, but are less successful in other markets like India.
VIA: Strategy Analytics