Android's Global Market Share Continues To Rise at Apple's Expense

Surprised? Don't be. While Apple's iOS is doing just fine in the lucrative North American market place, Google's Android is quickly becoming the all-encompassing player when looking from a global viewpoint. The reasons are numerous: for one, Android is more accessible. It's free, tons of OEMs use it, and it's available on thousands of products across all kinds of price points. iOS, on the other hand, is exclusively available across just a handful of iProducts, and most of them are tremendously expensive -- particularly for emerging markets.

Still, the latest market share numbers from research outlet Strategy Analytics show that Android is gaining, while Apple is slipping. The latest report shows that global smartphone shipments reached 251 million units in Q3 2013, and the Android OS hit a new record high of 81% market share (worldwide). Global smartphone shipments grew 45% annually, and researchers found that the growth was largely driven by "robust demand for Android and Microsoft models in developed and developing markets, notably Europe and Asia."

To put things in perspective, four out of every five smartphones are now running Google's OS, which likely explains the company's new goal to bring new builds of Android to every single phone out there starting with v4.4 (KitKat). Apple's global OS share slipped a few percent, and interestingly, Microsoft managed to ship over 10 million smartphones in a single quarter for the first time ever. In fact, Windows Phone has seen its share double from 2% a year ago to around 4% today. Tellingly, BlackBerry's global share fell from 7.4% a year ago to just 2.5% today, which probably explains why it's getting out of the consumer business and trying to save itself via other means.