In recent months, Android has been proving to be a very marketable OS by accounting for 53% of mobile phone activations in Q1 (January-March) of 2014. iOS follows in second place with 46% of activations in the mobile market. Meanwhile, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and other devices only make up 3% of mobile shares.
“In a quarter without any significant phone launch, more buyers chose Android phones over iOS,” said Josh Lowitz, Co-Founder of CIRP. Android’s growing popularity can be credited to its open source OS, which has been used by many hardware manufacturers to test their own features and create versatile tablets and smartphones. Android’s market share has grown from 46% in Q4, while iOS has dropped from 48%, despite Q4 being the first full quarter of sales for the iPhone 5s and 5c. However, CIRP reports that iOS is still growing slightly faster than Android, from the data provided, with the gain of customers from other platforms.
The competition could heat up soon, with smaller shares of the market retiring basic phones. “The long term issue is where Android and IOS growth will come from when there are no more basic phones being retired. First time smartphone buyers are key to that equation,” said CIRP Co-Founder Mike Levin. Google and Apple will be racing to snatch up those new users, by any means necessary.
Meanwhile, Google plans to strengthen their sales with a rumored budget smartphone. According to MTKSJ.com, Google is planning to use MediaTek on a Nexus smartphone that could cost as low as $100, using the device to broaden their market share and entice new users. This could be in direct competition with the fast-selling Motorola Moto G, which is currently the cheapest, unlocked Android phone on the market, starting at $179. However, this is just a rumor, and Google could just be in talks with MediaTek and could decide to collaborate with another company on a device. The budget Nexus smartphone will reportedly be similar to the Moto G in design.
With the Nexus 10 selling out and the Nexus 5 becoming dated, other Nexus devices are rumored to be in the works. Despite its age, the Nexus 5 still beats the Moto G in processing speed, meaning that the budget Nexus will likely be underpowered, compared to its older brother. It would be no surprise if we see the Nexus 6 by the end of this year, adding to growing list of unlocked Android smartphones.