A recent study by IHS iSuppli Wireless Communications projects the end of 2013, the cumulative global shipments of smartphones based on Android will reach 1.1 billion. 2013 marks five years after the operating system owned by Google Inc. became available. Furthermore, annual shipments of Android smartphones will increase from 357 million this year to 451 million next year. By the time 2016 arrives, the cumulative global shipments will be close to 3 billion. By comparison, Apple’s iOS will have 527 cumulative global shipments in 2013.
According to Daniel Gleeson, a mobile analyst at HIS, the 1 billion milestone is significant for Google because it affirms that Google’s strategy for developing Android is beneficial for the company. Its open-source nature gives phone makers wide latitude to customize Android. Having no licensing fees is also a bonus. These factors help make Android attractive for phone makers, and in the long run, allow Google to earn income from its services as well as advertisements.
Among the large companies that support Android Operating system are Samsung, which is currently in the top spot, HTC, which occupies second place, as well as others like Motorola, LG, Huawei, Sony, and ZTE.
In the larger scheme of things, Google and Apple’s competition has not only altered the smartphone experience of individuals but also intensified the competition among the several popular platforms. Together, Google and Apple control 76 percent of the smartphone market. Meanwhile, the rest is divided among Symbian by Nokia, Blackberry by Research in Motion, Windows Phone by Microsoft, and others like Bada by Samsung, and Linux. It may be recalled that in the past, before Android and iOS reached the success that it enjoys at present, handset manufacturers turned to Symbian and Windows Mobile for phone software. Google and Apple have, since then, radically changed this by means of two different business models. Google relies on advertising whereas Apple creates a strong link between the iPhone’s software and hardware.