An International Data Corporations report states that the smartphone market has expanded worldwide at a rate of 25.3 per cent on a year-on-year basis in Q2 of 2014. During this quarter, a total number of 301.3 million units have been shipped, which in itself is a single quarter record. The market is expected to remain upbeat in the coming quarters as well. In this swelling market of smartphones, the Android operating system by the giant research engine, Google, is the dominant force, for it captured 85 per cent of the total market in Q2 of 2014. It has been able to maintain its sheer dominance through its popularity in the low as well as ultra-low price categories. This market dominance is believed to continue as these two categories are growing at a rate of 16.5 per cent sequentially since Q1 of 2014.
The second largest market share is captured by Apples iOS. Though there has been a slight drop in its market share from 13 per cent during Q2 of 2013 to 11.7 per cent during Q2 of 2014, it is expected to rebound with the release of iOS 8 in the market. The observed decrease has been because of the growing demand for low cost smartphones. As most of the iPhones, including iPhone 5C, belong to the high price bracket, it seems to be a problem for Apple to expand exponentially.
Windows based smartphones have fared well in Q2 of 2014, for it has shipped 7.4 million units. However, when we compare this number with that of the corresponding period of last year, we witness a drop of 9.4 per cent. The market share has slid from 3.4 per cent during Q2 of 2013 to 2.5 per cent during Q2 of 2014.
Blackberrys market share has also shown a decline from 2.8 per cent to just 0.5 per cent during Q2 of 2014 when compared to the same period of last year. The same has been the trend observed for other existing operating systems as well, for their market share too has dipped from 1.2 per cent to 0.7 per cent.
Therefore, except for Android, all the other operating systems have lost their market shares. In fact, the rise of Googles OS for smartphones has been phenomenal, for just 3 years back, its market share was just 36.1 per cent and within a year, it touched the 69.3 per cent mark and in Q2 of 2014, it became 79.6 per cent. Thats called a meteoric rise.
The Future Ahead
The future of operating systems will not be different for desktops, laptops and smartphones. There will be an integration of the operating systems, which will help the users to use different devices right from a single platform. The transformation has already begun. Both Apple and Google have partly unveiled their new operating systems; iOS 8 and Android L. The success of the operating systems will now depend upon the expanded integration facility between devices, on one hand, and simplicity in use, on the other.