Three-fifths of all smartphones, tablets, and notebooks shipped worldwide during the first quarter of 2013 run Google’s Android mobile operating system, independent analyst firm Canalys reports.
Manufacturers shipped 308.7 million smart mobile devices between January and March, Canalys states. Android powers 59.5 percent of all shipments. Apple’s iOS ranks a distant second at 19.3 percent, fueled by its strength in the smartphone and tablet markets, followed by Microsoft at 18.1 percent, buoyed by its relative strength in the notebook segment. Rival platforms including BlackBerry account for the remaining 3.1 percent.
Among the three device categories under the microscope, the tablet market continues to experience the fastest growth: Worldwide tablet shipments grew 106.1 percent year-over-year to 41.9 million units. Apple continues to lead tablet shipments with a 46.4 percent share, but Android-based rivals narrowed the iPad’s lead for the third consecutive quarter.
“Spearheaded by Google and Amazon, the commoditization of the tablet market has happened far quicker than that of the wider PC market,” said Tim Coulling of Canalys. “Profit margins are being squeezed and vendors without a low cost structure will find it hard to compete. A solid range of must-have accessories and a software and services strategy are vital as vendors will increasingly need to make revenue around their devices.”
Smartphone shipments eclipsed 216.3 million during the first quarter, up 47.9 percent over year-ago totals. Android accounted for 75.6 percent of all smartphone shipments, led by Samsung Electronics, which increased its volume 64.3 percent year-over-year to capture 32 percent market share. Apple’s iPhone shipment volume grew just 6.7 percent over the first quarter of 2012, the smallest increase since the launch of the original iPhone back in mid-2007.