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Android conquers almost 50 percent of smartphone market

By Shawn Knight
Aug 3, 2011
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  1. A new study by researcher Canalys indicates that Google’s Android platform has reached nearly 50 percent of the global smartphone market.

    Read the whole story
  2. No surprise really. As a university student I sit in a lecture hall and can easily see a dozen Android phones, mostly Galaxy S variants as they are quite popular at my school.

    Android is the Windows of mobile phones.
  3. i enjoy paying angry birds on my galaxy s.
    i don't mind the ads.
    if a certain operating system has a market
    that is full of free content, people will want to use it.
    that's what happened here.

    but i want android to develop further.
    i need a good, long, solid game on a phone.

    i don't mind DS/PSP ports.

    i just don't want to carry another device with me.
    i need a phone, a browser, a portable game console,
    and camera in one device.
  4. 1977TA

    1977TA TS Rookie Posts: 90

    Exactly, oh noes for Apple. This time next year I bet Android's market share will hit 75%+.
  5. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,048   +75

    On the contrary I think Android's march will start to slow / settle down, one of the reason is android device sellers need to pay patent holders significant amount for each unit sold. Hence, the primary attraction of grabbing a totally free OS and slapping it on bad, average, and good hardware platform and sell like crazy will start to fade away as well.
  6. 1977TA

    1977TA TS Rookie Posts: 90

    It's worked for the PC market in the past and yet we have to pay for windows which dominates like 90% of the world or something crazy like that. Sure, you have your cheapos, like emachines, gateway, etc... but you also have your highend sys builders.

    I see the the mobile market following the same pattern, giving people the choice/freedom to choose their hardware wins in the end. Not that they need it given their success thus far with the iphone/ipod/ipad but look at Apple's market share in the desktop arena?
  7. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,272   +91

    You seem to see Android as the hardware, but Android is an operating system. Whether the devices have "bad, average, or good" hardware, people don't get an Android phone specifically for the hardware, they get the OS and whatever experience it brings to them.

    When there is an alternative in a competitive market, most people stop looking for fancy things, and start looking at the functionality/price ratio. Currently, people see Android as the one with the highest ratio. Ask yourself this, what can an iPhone do that an Android can't? When regular people go into a store they ask this question to the reps, and while these very reps might be biased towards Android phones or the iPhone, they will ultimately tell the customer that they can do the same thing, but that certain Android devices are cheaper. And that, is exactly why Android's market share won't just slow down anytime soon.
  8. I think the more people get on the android bus the better. Apple products are epically inflated !

    Samsung are getting it right.(got a Galaxy S myself :D )

    Here and the android can be tweaked I feel...small things my old Nokia had :/
  9. I myself don't use android because it is a good OS... I use it because it is cheaper than the apple equivalent and does the same job if not better...

    people who buy iPhone's are either stupid or very rich

    and another thing, people complaining that android phones like the galaxy s looks and feels to similar to the iPhone;s.... well yes that is true... however at the end of the day you buy a galaxy you will sit with an "iPhone" that actually works, for half the price...
  10. HiDDeNMisT

    HiDDeNMisT TS Enthusiast Posts: 202   +11

    I used to be a BB fanboy untill I user the andriod. Fell in love with it instantly. The only thing great about BB is is the BB messenger other then that I don't see why people would not switch over.
  11. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,048   +75

    Yes and if the platform is bad the OS suffers as well, reason being Android is not ideally optimized for hardware acceleration.
     
  12. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,272   +91

    Android is not optimized for hardware acceleration? Are you talking about the browser or the actual operating system?

    Because the operating system is optimized to take advantage of higher processing power, as seen in many benchmarks from, say, the Motorola Atrix's dual-core, Nvidia Tegra 2 SoC. There even exists tools that are used for overclocking the phones. Try play Angry Birds, or a 3D, OpenGL game on an old, Motorola Bravo, and then try it on an Samsung Galaxy S II, and tell me if the system resources are not being properly used to optimize the application's performance. The same applies to pretty much any task; tasks such a menu navigation, live wallpapers, 3D App Drawer speed, etc.

    That's also why enthusiasts and developers get high-end phones, because Android takes a lot of advantage of the newer hardware; arguing otherwise just lets me know you seem to be quite biased, and probably don't know you are talking about.
  13. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,048   +75

    SGS II may have improved things as it is a better hardware platform as well.

    It is not the point about being biased about android, it is all about my personal experience with it, I can quote you a several shortcomings / problems I've noticed on SGS.

    1. Stock launcher hardly ever works (probably samsung's fault)
    2. Video player sometimes decides to play videos as if they are being fast-forwarded at the same time.
    3. The phone will slow down /lag for no apparent reason.
    4. Stock messaging app always crashes every few hours sometimes sooner then that.
    5. App drawer scrolling crawls to slowest for no apparent reason
    6. If I pause while listening to music while playing it through 'playlist' it will simply forget about the playlist and start playing stuff randomly including ringtones, which is pretty annoying.
    7. Upon dialing a number either through gesture i.e. right swipe or manual dialing i.e. by entering a number, the dialer simply disappears at times for several tens of seconds before re-appearing and doing the job.
    8. Sometimes the phone decide to restart at its own for no obvious reason.
    9. At times it hangs even when not being used
    10. Sometimes when I have been forced to restart it, it get stuck at the galaxy S logo.
    11. USB connectivity never works.

    These are the few issues which readily came to my mind, and by the way I took this device to samsung twice and they simply re-loaded the stock ROM and told me everything will be fine, but it wasn't. So in the end I decided not to bother with them and have switched to other alternatives so at least I can use it. Now you may say that I should get rid of it, and I will, but I am waiting for next wave of WP phones or may think about considering (yes that is true) iphone 5.

    I have been using smartphones for ages, and frankly this has been the worst experience in this area for me.

    By the way just do a search with regard to acceleration of WP7/Mango vs others.
  14. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,272   +91

    So let's recap:

    First, because of the functionality/price ratio, Android is 95% of the time regarded as a better choice to regular consumers, as it does the same things (and more) as an iPhone, for a cheaper price. So your argument that it will decline because of the hardware, is not valid, as I've counter-argued in my first comment.

    Second, your following post then said Android doesn't even take advantage from hardware acceleration (which is absolutely unrelated to the market share topic at hand, but I digress...), which is clearly a misinformed argument. So your second argument is not valid, as I've counter-argued in my second comment.

    Now your third post is about your personal bad exprencie from one GS II.

    All you've said here is the bad experiences you've have with the Galaxy S II. I see nothing about proving how Android, as an operating system, doesn't take advantage of hardware acceleration (which you've said it doesn't on your last post), or how this relates to Android's future market share slowdown...?

    By the way, I do not own an Android anymore (I did, I had the Atrix a few months ago). I've played around with the GS II for a few days, and with me it worked flawlessly; it currently has my favorite Android interface, next to Google's stock one. I'm not trying to portray myself as some Android aficionado, I do recognize it has its many shortcomings, as any other operating system. I just think you are not arguing objectively, and base your personal experiences and paint them as the general rule.

    Lastly, I currently own (and love) a Windows Phone running Mango RC, so believe me, I know what's out there.
  15. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,048   +75

    If the patent situation continue to go the way it is, all android cell phone makers will be paying reasonable amount for each unit to patent holders, hence, it is my hypothesis.

    For two reasons, it has been rather cheap (well almost free before the patent wars begun), and due to is open source nature (which is a huge plus).

    But the first reason also means that Google have pretty much given free hand to phone makers to do whatever they want to do with the OS, which probably results in such issues which I quoted. So my underlying argument may sound like targeting the OS (which isn't the case), but it is the approach which is questionable.
  16. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,272   +91

    The issues you mentioned are absolutely unrelated to the fact that phones are cheap. It's not because phone makers have total control of Android that you get issues, its simply because the phone you got had issues. Like I said, I had the GS II for a few days (thinking that maybe I would switch back to Android), and it worked perfectly fine (although it didn't convince me to leave WP7).

    Patents are just that, patents. It will not slowdown neither the production, nor the sale of Android phones. Patent wars just means that because these Android phones use patented technologies, OEMs will have to pay certain percent of royalties to the current patent holders, meaning they will charge Google more for the production of Android branded phones. Google will pay more to pay such royalties, but it will never try to makes the phones more expensive to compensate paying for the patent. That is because the operating system of a phone is what drive sales to OEMs; if Samsung tried to charge Google for having to pay patent trolls, Google could simply not give Android to Samsung. That is a mutually damaging decision.

    So in essence, the patent situation is something bad for Google and manufacturing partners, not to consumers. Get your facts straight.
  17. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,048   +75

    My . Brother in Law have HTC Desire, and it had similar freeze issues, he was lucky enough though that they replaced the set. But the replacement unit still suffers from same 'unexplainable' sluggish /lagged performance from time to time.

    By the way aside from famous GPS issue, many galaxy S owners suffered from PC connectivity issue, so the problems aren't constrained to just one set. Even your Galaxy SII have yellow dot issues which were reported on gsmarena, and I think I linked that article in a recent SGSII news bit here. However, these problems aren't caused by the OS.

    I very much doubt that Google will be footing the bill, as far as I know HTC is already paying 5$ to MS for each droid sold.

    Samsung too is talking with MS, last I knew MS wanted them to pay 15$ for each droid they sell, but samsung was offering them 10$ for each unit sold, along with some deal on WP phones.

    So I wouldn't be surprised if in coming days more cell phone makers fall in line and pay MS and / or other patent holders just to sell their phones, this will come to pass more quickly now that the consortium of MS/Apple bought lots of Nortel patents which Google was so desperately trying to get as well.

    So I will stand my ground that in coming days this may get bit more ugly, and big cell phone manufacturers may broaden their portfolio more aggressively by offering other alternative OS phones, hence, reducing their android reliance. By the way one can argue more constructively if they don't personalize what they are saying.
  18. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,272   +91

    Again, you are basing your personal experience(s) as the general rule. It does not matter how many people you know, those you know are not even considered the 1 percent of owners of that device.

    Like I said, I had the GS II and it worked fine. All that means is the phone you and the people you know have tried, were defective. This very fact, doesn't even mean Android as an OS is somehow poor, just the manufacturing of such devices was poor. OEMs manufacture hundreds of thousands of smartphones every month; seeing a few hundreds of those malfunction is NOTHING out of the ordinary. That is why OEMs have refund/warranty policies, because this is an understandable factor of manufacturing.

    And those links you put there just keep supporting my argument (thank you?), OEMs such as HTC and Samsung will have to pay patent royalties to Microsoft, Apple, and whoever is a a patent--or joint patent--holder. What are these OEMs going to do then? They will either a) suck it up because Android is a free software (it's not like Google is selling it to them), or b) charge Google if they want their phones to have Android as an OS, in order to compensate paying the patent holders. If A happens, customers will remain unaffected. If B happens (which is the most likely), Google will have to then tell OEMs to make their phones more expensive in order to compensate for the loss, OR Google will comply and pay for the royalties, so that phone prices will remain unaffected. Now ask yourself this, if Android is both beneficial for Google's mobile market share domination, and to OEMs it is the driving force of sales for their wireless portfolio, why would they increase the price to end consumer to compensate for patent loss?

    It's like saying a store manager is not going to open his store because its raining. He believes that because it's raining people will be less inclined to go to the store. No, you might not get as many customers as in a sunny day, but you would make more than just closing the store. You following me?

    If you read anything of what I said, Android currently has 50% of the market share because of the functionality/price ratio. If Android phones had prices like the iPhone, sales would plummet, and what you predict will happen. What OEMs will do is, pay the royalties or make Google pay for them, since without selling Android phones, their phones will not sell (which is worse than paying a percent to patent holders); they won't take away the very reason consumers get Android (which is price).

    So, like I said, patents are only bad for Google and manufacturing partners, not consumers. If it's not bad for consumers (meaning the functionality/price ratio will remain higher than the competition), then sales will not slowdown, and market share will just keep on increasing. Of course, this is all without including actual competition (like better/cheaper phones from other manufacturers, etc.). Like you said, competitive phones that do not require the payment of patent royalties will definitely make OEMs push these devices to incur less costs (they are not intended to stop Android sales altogether, but to increase a competitive mobile presence), but because Android has such a big chunk of the mobile market share worldwide, its going to take a lot more than simply patents to stop OEMs from being primarily interested in selling Android.
  19. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,048   +75

    As I see things right now, I don't think Google is going to pay anything to OEMs, but the world's biggest ad broker probably can do it provided it is willing to take a significant hit on its bottom line.

    Option a) seems more plausible, but I don't think the cost will not be passed on to the users, after all, these corporations are driven by profits. If Google wasn't worried about all these problems they wouldn't be ranting about MS/Apple+others scooping up all the patents it wanted. Interestingly I just realized something (which we both missed) in a way Google is a thief in all this patent drama, a thief which is not making any money from what it has stolen by giving it away for free. It is not a smart thing to have yourself and your business partners in a position of such uncertainty.

    Absolutely true. In addition to that (I forgot to add this in my previous post) I would like Google to stop all these OEMs from slapping their stupid addons/UIs on the phones and sell phones a) with android's default UI; or b) give users option to have either a, or the OEM's UI.

    Probably true, but I think as the competition start to heat up and other Android (cheaper) alternatives with less troubles start to show up, things can be different from now especially in Asian markets. Anyway that is for future. Thanks :)


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