Apple may steamroll Android by 2015

“The most annoying and misquoted fact about smartphones is the infamous market share number,” Alex Cho writes for Seeking Alpha. “The business school argument is that higher market share will generally result in better returns on investment. But in the specific instance of mobile, perhaps having lower market share may still result in higher returns on investment.”

“The decline of Android is pretty much inevitable as users rarely upgrade their mobile operating system to the latest version. Currently only 1.1% of users are on Android 4.4, which is subpar when compared to the distribution figures for… iOS 7 (74.1%),” Cho writes. “This indicates that users have very little interest in the Android platform… Android’s durable advantage isn’t driven by the power of its software, but more because of the marketing dollars that OEMs [Samsung, LG, Sony and HTC have spent in order to maintain or grow market share. This is partially why Samsung may move to Tizen and break away from Android. If in the event that occurs, Android’s market share figure may fall even further than what my two year model suggests.”

“For the most part Samsung sells more than twice as many phones as Apple at half the price,” Cho writes. “Going forward Android’s market share will decline due to historic patterns along with Samsung’s rumored transition to the Tizen mobile operating system. Android 4.4 hasn’t generated a whole lot of excitement, which further supports my expectation of falling Android market share by 2015.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Yankee Group: iPhone ownership in the U.S. will top Android by 2015 – April 26, 2013
Yankee Group: Apple continues to eat Samsung’s lunch; customer loyalty will drive iPhone ownership past Android’s peak – April 26, 2013
Apple’s iPhone user gains again out-pace Android in the U.S. – April 5, 2013
Why Apple’s new iPhone can’t lose; as with all iPhones, next-gen likely to become best-selling smartphone of all time – April 4, 2013
Apple increases lead over Samsung, gains on Google’s Android in U.S. smartphone market share – April 4, 2013
Analyst: Apple iPhone 5 got over 5X times as many tweets as Samsung’s lackluster Galaxy S4 – March 27, 2013
Yankee Group: Apple to gain additional U.S. smartphone share over Samsung in 2013 – March 20, 2013
With 78% share, Apple’s iOS tightening its grip on the enterprise and taking share from Android – March 8, 2013
Apple rules the skies with 84% in-flight share vs. Android’s 16% – March 7, 2013
Apple iPad continues domination with over 80% usage share in U.S. and Canada – March 7, 2013
comScore: Google’s Android, Samsung continue to lose U.S. share to Apple’s iOS, iPhone – March 6, 2013
World’s best-selling smartphone: Apple iPhone 5; iPhone 4S #2, third place Samsung Galaxy 3 brings up rear – February 20, 2013
Apple iOS dominates mobile video viewing with 60% share vs. Android’s 32% – February 13, 2013
Android’s Web share down 13% since November; Apple’s iOS now over 60% – February 1, 2013
Android’s unit share growth has not hurt Apple’s profit share – February 26, 2013
Apple iOS dominates mobile video viewing with 60% share vs. Android’s 32% – February 13, 2013
Android’s Web share down 13% since November; Apple’s iOS now over 60% – February 1, 2013
IDC: Apple dominates worldwide tablet market with 43.6% unit share – January 31, 2013
The Android engagement paradox – November 26, 2012
People buy more Android phone units and do less with them vs. Apple’s revolutionary iPhone – November 14, 2012
Study: iPhone users vastly outspent Android users on apps, respond much better to ads – August 20, 2012
Apple utterly dominates mobile device market with 6% market share – and 77% of the profits – August 6, 2012


  1. May???

    By then, SamScum’s shenanigans, ethics, dishonesty and it’s cut throat tactics and lies will blatantly obviate is low life MO, ubiquitously to the entire world.

    Sam is Scum. Boycott Samsung. Don’t buy stolen goods.

    1. I am with u on san scum shenanigans.
      But what i dont get is why google is not getting as much a bad rap..
      After all the biggest and most blatant copy of an apple product is the android itself ! Blatant ( but yet crappy ) copy of IOS !

        1. Uh, BZZZZT! WRONG. No such argument can be made, you idiot. Apple invented the PDA category with the Newton starting in 1987. . . and in fact the term PDA (personal Digital Assistant) was coined by Apple CEO John Sculley. All others, including your handspring were made under license from patents from Apple’s original.

  2. of a deluded Apple fanboy. iOS worldwide share of mobile OS is less than 15%, and shrinking every quarter. How can it be mathematically possible for iOS to steamroll Android when Android owns 80% of the smartphone market. iOS will need to make quarterly exponential gains for that to happen which is a mathematical impossibility given the Apple sells high priced handsets. You might as well talk about Mac overwhelming the PC market.

    1. “Android” doesn’t own anything. It’s just a free operating system, so of course it’s going to be on more and more devices. But marketshare only really makes a difference when there’s some entity that benefits from its wide adoption. Simple fact is, there isn’t. So while there may be a billion Android devices in the wild right now, Apple – a single company – has a little more than half a billion all to its own. The only other company that comes close, is Samsung, but they don’t even control or own the OS they use or have direct access to their user base.

      1. “But marketshare only really makes a difference when there’s some entity that benefits from its wide adoption.”

        Not quite true, hackers benefit tremendously from Android’s wide distribution… so I guess that’s worth something.

      2. Eric Schmidt says by 2015, Android will have 5,000,000 activations per day and the number of Android devices will exceed every man, woman and child on the planet by a factor of 2. By 2050, Android devices will outnumber the grains of sand in the Sahara Desert. iOS devices will have .00001% market share. Android is w-i-n-n-i-n-g.

      3. Marketshare matters and does make a difference.. Just because it doesn’t affect a single company like Apple doesn’t mean the entire Android ecosystem doesn’t affect hundreds of other companies beneficially. For example how much do you think carriers worldwide are making off of plan fees on Android devices vs iOS devices?

    2. The article just explained why marketshare figures alone—the business school argument—is an incomplete picture. We’re talking about steamrolling on the basis of ROI.

      And, on that metric, perhaps we CAN talk about Macs overwhelming the PC market.

      1. thesis is correct, in that ROI is the only applicable measurable metric when why is iOS not overwhelming the mobile OS market today? Why wait till 2015? Doesn’t Apple earn 50% of the mobile smartphone profits as it is now?

        What is the basis of the article claiming that iOS will steamroll Android by 2015? Surely it has to be some other metric besides ROI. If he’s talking about market share, which I suspect he is, then he’s talking off the top of his hat.

        1. iOS is overwhelming the mobile market today, if you look at which operating system is actually being used. iOS has a ridiculous majority of mobile internet usage share, something like 60+% overall and 80+% if you just look at tablets. This is only possible if the vast majority of Android device owners rarely use them to access the internet.

          Android is only winning the market share contest because the market is being flooded with cheap no-name Android devices which are hardly ever used and never upgraded. (Many are obsolete the day they’re first turned on.) In short, not a market Apple cares about.


          1. Just as you say look at ‘usage’.. However you only point out ONLINE usage. There is no reliable way to measure actual OTHER usage of the devices in question. If you want to believe that people upgraded from feature phones to an Android phone w/o using functions outside of making phone calls and keeping a contact list that’s fine, but I find it hard to believe anyone would pay more for the Android device than just getting another feature phone in that case. As for ‘upgrading’, it could be the reason so many ‘new’ Android devices are being sold.. If the upgrade path is blocked it could encourage new device purchases to the delight of carriers and OEMs.

            1. Realistically, “smartphone usage” = “online usage”. The smartphone revolves around the internet. Yeah, there are functions that don’t involve the internet, but it’s hard to imagine use of those functions being so much that it makes up the gap.


        2. Sure, there can be other metric besides ROI. But this article is making the point that, on the basis of ROI, Apple is overwhelming Android as “Android.” This focuses on the iOS v. Android side of the argument.

          But in terms of Apple v. Android OEMs, the article is saying that consumers think of Android as their OEM’s software (in contrast to the Apple product—which is a cohesive package: one company, one experience). If Samsung switches to Tizen OS, their customers will follow. They’re not loyal to the Android software “brand.”

          Given this disloyalty to the software “brand,” Android’s one favorable figure—marketshare—will get eviscerated if OEMs leave it

          (I actually don’t think Tizen OS will pick up steam anytime soon though.)

    3. On the other hand, since Samsung admits the majority of their Android “smartphones” are not much more than feature phones, when those phones break or die or simply get replaced due to carrier contracts, those replacement phones will either be iOS-based or Tizen-based and so the market share of Android will drop — hugely if you’re right that the majority of phones out there are Android-based.

      Really, though, this is no surprise if you think about the business model of Android. Since it’s free to install on phones (regardless of some minor licensing fees to Microsoft, et al) there is no significant development effort underway to improve it in ways that garner market attention. You already know that to be true based on the “race to the bottom” pricing mechanics underway. When you can’t excite buyers based upon the next great thing you entice them with lower or zero cost models. As seen in the PC world, this has one ending and the timing is pretty short based on the initial price point: With PCs that started out costing thousands, then hundreds, and now out of business, it took a few decades. With phones starting out in the hundreds and now zero, it’s already happening (see “Huawei giving up on US market”).

      Your example of 80% to 15% market share has a problem: Apple Mac sales have eclipsed Dell’s PC sales; something no one ever would have thought possible given the disparity in market share numbers between Mac OS and Windows. But the same dynamic is at work there: Race to the bottom pricing due to a non-interesting OS have caused more OEMs to drop out leaving only the healthy Apple left.

    4. Reading comprehension isn’t your “thang” now is it?

      Let me spell it out for you, Android users: i.e. you and your ilk, only care about CHEAP phones. You do not upgrade, you do not pay for apps, in short, you are lousy customers that are killing the platform, you love to champion. The ONLY Android manufacturer making a profit is Samsung. So most of that market is a losing proposition now isn’t it?

      Don’t talk to us about market share, it doesn’t matter. No one cares about the low margin Android pre-paid garbage you include to inflate the laughable numbers, no one cares about the BOGO’s required to get that plastic trash out the door.

      Shipped doesn’t equal sold either smart guy.

      As a little exercise look this up:

      Who makes the lions share of PROFIT in smart phones?
      What former platform users made up the majority of iPhones sold over the busy thanksgiving shopping weekend?

      Then come prattle on about “market share”..

      1. That’s delusional. Apple would do anything to have the Android users. Apple just can’t compete with free.. and as much as you’ll say ‘doesn’t want to’,, They do.. Googles model is data mining and advertising. They are doing just fine… so that tells you a lot about the market.. that 85% of the customers couldn’t care less about their phone (like most fanbois,,, who are obsessed,, )… All they care about is that it works, and when speaking with them,, they are usually more than happy. Android keeps getting better. The point is, Apple squandered the opportunity again to OWN a market… They make money, have loyal customers, but don’t own the market.. NOW if Apple went right at GOOGLES search and Ad Revenue,, and made a REAL BIG DEAL about it, You’d See GOOGLE shares drop to 30% of what they are now, and then, and only then, Will Google Crap twinkles about giving away android for free.
        Who here would not dump Google NOW if Apple Search was on par with Google? I’d switch my advertising budget too… I spend More than a top of the line IPHONE per month outright, with Google Ads.. try that.

        1. 85% of shit is still shit. Keep talking out your ass. Why did Google buy Motorola if all they care about is data-mining and advertising? Neither of which Motorola does? Because they want to be like Apple, but can never be.

          Apple makes the lion’s share of PROFIT in smart phones. The iPhone 5C is selling like gangbusters (over the holiday quarter) to ANDROID users looking to exit that nightmare.

          With sales of “just” 33.8 million iPhones, Apple earned more than Samsung’s entire mobile unit (which includes PCs, netbooks and tablets) plus the mobile phone hardware divisions of LG, Nokia, Huawei, Lenovo and Motorola, too.

          Again: Apple’s sales of 33.8 million iPhones earned more than the combined sales of 211.2 million phones sold by rest of the world’s top five phone makers.

          Tell me again how Apple wants this money-losing feature phone space?

    5. And what devices are you counting? e-book readers, feature phones, devices that are never upgraded to keep it current with available software options, and NOT ONE Android is or will be a 64-bit device this year or next! Maybe ever! Android is a flash in the pan and can no longer copy Apple. Samsung and the rest are at the end of their parallel road. Next year, it will become even clearer, Android isn’t even a second class OS. Do you know of anyone buying 32-bit computers any more? No! The same thing will happen in device markets. Android is a dead OS. They will bury the road kill in 2014 when it stops kicking.

    6. Say What???

      For starters, Mac is starting to take over the PC market – this is the first year the Mac is the most requested computer for XMAS ….

      Next with respect to Android having 80 percent of the smart phone market ….. They may have a huge percentage, but most of the Android phones are stupid phones ….. Would hardly call them smart, I have witnessed several Android users who have no clue how to operate their phones other than text and pictures, they are pretty dumb phones …..

      And the money, certainly, is not in Android, unless it is “dumb money” …..

    7. A slight flaw in your mathematical argument is this assumption: “given that Apple sells high priced handsets.”

      Apple can easily afford to drop its prices to drive up market share. You only hope that doesn’t happen. Clearly, Apple is not panicking over market share, instead confidently adhering to its long-range plans to take over the world in its own good time. The real lemmings are those who believe there is safety in numbers.

    8. There’s “market share” and then there are targeted “market shares” – like Apple’s nicely profitable 90%+ grip on the “personal computers over $1000” segment that any other maker would envy (for margins alone – of which many makers have slim to none).

      And I’m certain the same would be found for flagship phones and absolutely for premium tablets.

      Apple’s not into the “global overall market share game” and never has been – nor (as they assess the sitch) do they see a need to be.

      And, darn, if that doesn’t seem to be working pretty OK for them…

  3. This may go faster than many can see because they still do not understand the real impact of being the only 64-Bit devise platform with it’s own iOS, the ability to keep designing and making smaller SoC chips, with the world’s largest (and ignored) cloud server farms all around the world. Apple has reintroduced the Mac Pro and at some point, Apple may blend the consumer Mac’s and iOS devices into the same A# CPU product.

    The cars are being developed to be Apple Siri iOS compliant and at some point, one of these car companies will choose to make either the Mac or the iOS device the CPU in the car. If you watched the iRadio on your AppleTV, you will see that cars are the dominant ads at this time.

    Apple is developing markets that most can’t see yet. But they will. Maybe even in 2014!

  4. I think even Google started to recognize that no matter what they do handset makers will not update to the latest version of android.

    They changed their terms and that did not work.

    It seems the route they have decided to go is to basically upgrade the major functionality in Android through the appstore and the various Google properties that run on Android.

    1. I think you touch on an important point: Where do handset makers make their money?
      Apple: On the device sale and then on the ecosystem
      Android: On the device sale

      So who has an economic incentive (and ability) to continue developing the OS for delivery to existing handset owners?

      Only Apple.

      And watch the market dynamics play out!

      1. You sir get it. It is the question I keep asking to my Android embracing friends.

        What incentive does a handset maker have to maintain builds, patches, updates for a phone that generated a few dollars of revenue?

        ZERO!! it is a money losing proposition and isn’t going to happen, ever. Those handset manufacturers make phones, they want to sell the next crap feature phone they are developing, not maintain the old one.

  5. SCAMSUNG don’t have the guts to abandon android or move to Tizen , both are huge disadvantage to Scambug. Dare Samsung
    to implement them ASAP and see what will happen to them!

  6. “subpar when compared to the distribution figures for… iOS 7 (74.1%)”

    Since when is an order of magnitude difference adequately characterized as “subpar”?

  7. I don’t give a damn whether Android fails or not. I just want Wall Street to realize that there is a possibility that Android might fail and give Apple shareholders a freaking break. It’s totally unfair for Google to be able to legally claim cheap Chromecasts and HDMI sticks as Android activations and have them measured against iPhone and iPad sales in regards to Android market share. Android is running on every electronic device imaginable just because it’s free.

      1. Actually that may not be true someday soon.. I understand there is at least one group working on an Android version for old iPhones since the new Android KitKat now has a footprint that will fit on them. 😛

  8. This article is a JOKE.
    For most users in Android you can’t just upgrade to the newest operating system like you do with iOS.
    Unless you have a google phone or run a custom ROM, you need the phone maker to release the OS to upgrade to.

    I would love to upgrade to 4.4 but until Samsung releases it or I want to jump thru a bunch of hoops (including voiding my warranty) I won’t get 4.4.

    So to say that 1.1% (which I’m assuming is just Nexus phones) is running 4.4 is a meaningless.

    Its like apple saying only 5s can run iOS 8 and then implying that the fact that only 20% of iOS devices run iOS8 proves that apple is in decline.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.