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How a fragmented smartphone market could dilute the iOS-Android duopoly

Published Aug 20th, 2013 3:30PM EDT
iOS Android Market Share Projection

It’s always risky to project things like smartphone market share numbers over the next five years but Juniper Research is predicting something that should make anyone who’s a fan of competition happy: Namely, iOS and Android aren’t going to completely kill off rival smartphone platforms over the next five years. That doesn’t mean iOS and Android are just going to go away, of course, and Juniper still projects that those two operating systems will still account for the vast majority of smartphones shipped in 2018.

All the same, the firm thinks that around 13% of smartphones shipped in 2018 will be a wide mix of small newcomer operating systems such as Asha, Sailfish and other HTML 5-based platforms that will “begin to gain ground in niche areas.” Even though 13% may seem like a small number, it actually represents a bigger share of the smartphone market that smaller players have today since Android and iOS are now estimated to account for more than 90% of all smartphones shipped.

Juniper’s press release follows below.


Smartphone Market to Fragment in Emerging Markets as New Players Capture 13% of Operating Systems share by 2018

Asha, Sailfish and HTML 5 based operating systems (OS) to gain traction

Hampshire, UK – 19 August 2013: New findings from leading hi-tech analysts, Juniper Research, has revealed that the Smartphone OS market will see new emerging players, such as Asha, Sailfish and emerging HTML 5 based OS players begin to gain ground in niche areas.

The market globally however is expected to continue to be dominated by Android and iOS.

The report argues that these new contenders will take away important niches – focusing on cost innovation and utilising local knowledge – in synergy with the next generation of consumers. This may begin the slow decline of the current global OS elite.

Global Smartphone Dichotomy

In terms of smartphone shipments, Apple and Samsung will continue to dominate the global market, shipping 17% more smartphones in 2018 than were shipped globally by all vendors in 2012. The new Juniper report found that Apple and Samsung’s global smartphone shipments will hit nearly 800 million by the end of 2018, compared with 677 million last year.

Apple’s New Horizons

Juniper’s latest report, ‘Smartphone Futures: Differentiation Strategies & Emerging Opportunities 2013-2018’ forecasts sustained growth for Apple in the emerging markets over the forecast period, with Apple expected to announce a diversification in its product portfolio shortly.

It notes that this brings Apple closer to the Samsung model of catering to diverse set of markets utilising different models which will maintain the current global dichotomy.

New Region New Rules

The new report noted that significant growth is expected across emerging markets such as the Indian Subcontinent and China. These areas will see particular growth in the Ultra-Economy and Economy sectors, with heavily localised handsets. Slower growth is forecast for the Ultra-Premium and Premium smartphone sectors, but only if they can offer clear differentiation within a crowded market.

Other Key Findings Include:

·         There will continue to be a lack of short and medium term diversity within the OS market.

·         The Average Selling Price of a smartphone will fall as new lower income demographics are exploited.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.