Android Top Dog as Mobile Phone Growth Hits a Brick Wall

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News Posted: Tue, Dec 4 2012 12:35 PM
Mobile is trending high these days, though economic conditions are still the determining factor for any market. To wit, International Data Corporation (IDC) projects that the mobile phone market will grow just 1.4 percent year-over-year in 2012, the lowest annual growth rate in three years despite what it expects will be a record number of smartphone shipments.

"Sluggish economic conditions worldwide have cast a pall over the mobile phone market this year," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "However, the fourth quarter will be relatively bright due in part to sales of high-profile smartphones, such as the iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S3, in addition to lower-cost Android-powered smartphones shipped to China and other high-growth emerging markets."

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Going forward, IDC expects Android to maintain its dominant market share position, though it will also be "the biggest target for competing operating systems," especially Windows Phone. By 2016, IDC predicts Android will account for 63.8 percent of all smartphones, down from 68.3 percent in 2012. In that same time frame, IDC believes iOS will increase its share from 18.8 percent to 19.1 percent, while Windows Phone will show the biggest gains, going from 2.6 percent to 11.4 percent.
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Sluggish economy, or market saturation? I mean, there's always room for growth, but at some point the growth is going to have to depend solely on upgrades rather than new adopters, right?

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Jaybk26 replied on Tue, Dec 4 2012 1:24 PM

Wow, I never realized Android was dominating Apple in the Mobile industry.

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sackyhack:

Sluggish economy, or market saturation? I mean, there's always room for growth, but at some point the growth is going to have to depend solely on upgrades rather than new adopters, right?

Right and wrong.  There's always going to be 12 year olds turning into teenagers who are going to need phones, but at the same time their grandparents will be dying off, but on the other hand, we typically don't inherit our grandparents cell phone.  So "new adopters" should continue at a slower, yet consistent rate eventually.  

  But as far as upgrading goes, I think this too is slowing down.  When I had the Iphone 3, I couldn't wait for the 4.  When the iphone 4s came out, I didn't need a replacement yet, I waited until the 5.  Phones are getting to the point where their successors just aren't that good.  Why should we continue to upgrade if our phone is already capable of handling the task that the new phone offers?  I don't know about you, but I can't rationalize spending $200-$400 just for my applications to load 1 second faster.  Consumers went crazy when the smartphone technology we know today was introduced, but it's starting to become stale biscuits.  You only eat stale biscuits when you're really hungry.

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with the nexus 4, everything is just SO smooth. Its all pretty much instant. the only gain I can see myself ever wanting is certain software updates, battery life, and data speeds. The speed of the phone is simply exceptional, and I cant really comprehend how to make "instant" and "100% smooth" even faster

 

EDIT: meant to reply to whoever commented about diminishing returns on reasons to upgrade

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OSunday replied on Wed, Dec 5 2012 1:58 AM

@Dorkstar, that has to do with Americas consumerism and desire for something new quite often.

I think if companies like Apple were to slow down their release cycle their improvements between generations would be much more significant and thorough since there would be more time to research, refine and perfect (even though it's not like their releasing bad "imperfect" products)

As long as people will continue to buy new gear as soon as it comes it, there will be a motivation to produce and release something "new" even if it's barely new or different at all.

Android definitely has an advantage in market share since its mobile OS is run on so many more devices and since Google through Android isn't the sole producer of the hardware that Android runs on.

Windows could be a competitor, but apple for example only has iOS running on Apple products

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SmogHog replied on Wed, Dec 5 2012 7:52 PM

Retired my 3GS iPhone and replaced it with a Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

I never invested much into the Apple store so moving to Android 4 Jelly Bean was easy.

This is one great cell phone that came with a spare battery.

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SmogHog:

Retired my 3GS iPhone and replaced it with a Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

I never invested much into the Apple store so moving to Android 4 Jelly Bean was easy.

This is one great cell phone that came with a spare battery.

Man, I saw this pop up on my e-mail notifications earlier and my heart sank.  I don't have a whole lot invested in the apple store either, but if I move over to Samsung (which is planned next year), i'll lose my mobile version of final fantasy tactics!  

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