Android Activations Hold A Commanding Lead Over iOS In Q1

For those of you who like to keep track of such things, Android is still the most popular mobile operating system on the planet. Android's big advantage is that it's an open source playground where anyone and everyone can come play with the equipment, and that's precisely how things have gone down. With so many handset, tablet, and system makers offering Android devices, it's no surprise that Android activations are outpacing those of iOS, it's No. 1 competitor.

According to data released by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), Android accounted for 53 percent of the mobile phone activations in the first quarter of 2014, which is up from 46 percent versus the fourth quarter of 2013. Meanwhile, iOS activations accounted 42 percent, which is down from 48 percent the previous quarter. What's interesting about the dramatic shift in market share is that it occurred during Apple's first full quarter with iPhone 5S and 5C sales.

Android Rockstar
Image Source: Flickr (JD Hancock)

As for the other players, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and non-smartphones combined accounted for less than 3 percent of activations during the quarter, leaving the rest to basic phones, which itself is becoming a dying category. According to CIRP, that's cause for concern for both iOS and Android.

"On a percentage bases during the quarter, iOS grew a little faster than Android, from a smaller base, even though in absolute terms Android had a larger share," said Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. "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."