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August 1, 2014

Android dominance squeezes space for BlackBerry

Google’s Android OS turning smartphone platforms into ‘one-horse race’

By CBR Staff Writer

Smartphones powered by Google’s Android OS featured in 85% of the total 295 million devices shipped during the second quarter of 2014, further broadening its supremacy over rival mobile OS, including Apple’s iOS, BlackBerry.

With the Android devices sold by a range of hardware makers, including Samsung, HTC, and Motorola, the market share of rival device makers including Apple, Microsoft and BlackBerry dropped to 11.9%, 2.7% and 0.6% respectively, according to Strategy Analytics.

Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said: "Like the PC market, Android is on the verge of turning smartphone platforms into a one-horse race.

"Its low-cost services and user-friendly software remain wildly attractive to hardware makers, operators and consumers worldwide.

"Rival OS vendors are going to have to do something revolutionary to overturn Android’s huge lead in smartphone shipments.

"Apple’s push into the big-screen phablet market and Firefox’s expansion into the ultra-low-cost smartphone market later this year are the only major threats to Android’s continued growth at this stage."

The report added that smartphone growth has been sluggish during the quarter, being at a five year low, with Africa and Asia booming, North America and Europe are growing.

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Strategy Analytics director Linda Sui said: "Global smartphone shipments grew 27 percent annually from 233.0 million units in Q2 2013 to 295.2 million in Q2 2014.

"We estimate worldwide smartphone growth has halved during the past year, from 49 percent a year ago to 27 percent today.

"Global smartphone growth in the current quarter is at its lowest level for five years, and there are wide variations by region.

"For example, Africa and Asia are booming, while North America and Europe are maturing."

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