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Android Smartphone Sales in Latin America Dominate iOS

First Posted: Mar 07, 2014 06:39 PM EST
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Recent trends have shown that Google's Android is becoming the mobile operating system of choice worldwide, and a new report substantiates Android's place at the top as it turns out Android absolutely crushed iOS during the last month of 2013 in Latin America.

According to Kantar Worldpanel, Android smartphones accounted for 84 percent of smartphones sold in Latin America during December 2013, a jump of 22 percentage points from the previous year. Apple iOS smartphones (the iPhone lineup) only made up 4 percent of Latin American smartphones, with even Windows phones edging out Apple by 1 percent in Latin America. BlackBerry, the once-popular enterprise-driven operating system, came in last with just 3 percent.

When compared to 2012 figures, it becomes clear that Android gained at the expense of BlackBerry and Windows operating systems. In December 2012, Android phones accounted for 62 percent of smartphones sold in Latin America. BlackBerry sat higher, with 10 percent, and Windows was able to snag 7 percent of the market. Apple's iOS, however, was at 4 percent.

Worldwide, the story remains similar.

A January report from Strategy Analytics revealed that Android ended 2013 with 79 percent of the global smartphone market, resulting in a 62 percent growth rate for the year. Apple, meanwhile, was only capture 15 percent of the smartphone market in 2013.

Tablet-wise, Android defeated iOS in 2013 as well. A little over 120 million Android tablets were sold in 2013, giving Android 62 percent of the global tablet market. Apple tallied 70 million iOS tablet sales for 36 percent. Last year marks the first time that Android tablets have overtaken iOS tablets in terms of sales. In 2012, Android garnered 46 percent of the tablet market with 53 million tablets, while iOS had 62 million tablet sales for a 53 percent market share.  

"As the Android tablet market becomes highly commoditized, in 2014, it will be critical for vendors to focus on device experience and meaningful technology and ecosystem value -- beyond just hardware and cost -- to ensure brand loyalty and improved margins," writes Gartner research director Roberta Cozza.

The gap between Android and iOS, although incredibly large, isn't too surprising. Recent years have shown consumers shy away from Apple iPhones, which haven't introduced any drastic new innovations in years. Android phones, on the other hand, seem to keep getting bigger, more powerful, and full of gimmicky features -- a trend that is expected to slow down as market saturation and lack of meaningful new functions begin to weigh on consumers.

"We expect Android's growth to slow further in 2014 due to market saturation, and rivals like Microsoft or Firefox will be ready to pounce on any signs of a major slowdown for Android this year," reads the Strategy Analytics report on 2013's smartphone market.

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