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August 6, 2014

Is Google facing a forked Android crisis?

Chinese domination skyrockets forked Android usage.

By Ben Sullivan

New research has dug up statistics that reveal forked Android smartphones grew 20% from the first quarter of 2014 to the second quarter.

Forked Android’s, otherwise known as AOSP (Android Open Source Platform) smartphones also accounted for 20% of the smartphone market. Certified Android smartphones still lead the market with a share of 65%. Whilst this means Google has a market share dominance, the rise of non-Google Android devices threaten its position. Budget Android device makers are stripping down the operating system, meaning Google ends up with nil even though the devices are Android.

Nick Spencer, senior practice director for mobile devices at ABI Research, said: "AOSP’s growth is driven by the development of Chinese and Indian handset manufacturers, not only in their domestic markets, but increasingly throughout Asia and beyond.
ABI Research’s findings also revealed the combined shipments of both forked and certified Android phones came to 278 million in Q2, a ‘staggering’ 86% share.

Spencer said: "Chinese and Indian vendors accounted for the majority of smartphone shipments for the first time with 51% share.

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Courtesy ABI Research

"While many of these manufacturers are low cost, some are making inroads in the mid-tier, including Xiaomi and Gionee, hence the growing challenge to Samsung in particular," added Spencer.

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The scraps remaining for third or fourth place (if you include AOSP) place are few and far between with third placed Microsoft Windows Phone experiencing a near flat quarter with -1% growth year-on-year and a share of 2%.

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