Android's decision to license out its operating system to multiple phone manufacturers is paying serious dividends these days, at least when it comes to smartphones.
Not only did the operating system already account for nearly 70% of the smartphone market last year, but it is apparently going to dominate in app downloads in 2013 as well.
There will be 56 billion smartphone apps downloaded in 2013, according to a new report from ABI Research Monday. And of those 56 billion, 58%, or over 32 billion, will be on an Android device, while around 18 billion, or 33%, will be on an iOS device.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone will finish the year with a slice of slightly smaller than 4%, or 2.24 billion, with BlackBerry trailing it with 3%, or 1.68 bilion.
As I have noted before, Apple's closed operating system means that it will never truly be able to compete on the same scale as Android, despite having the two best selling phones in the fourth quarter of 2012. It lags behind in both number of total devices shipped, revenue share and now share of app downloads.
For the full year 2012, Android shipped a total of 497.1 million units for 68.8% of the market, while Apple shipped 135.9 million units for 18.8% of the market.
Google also trounced Apple for share of mobile revenue in 2012.
Google holds an even bigger percentage of the market, with 53% share of revenue, compared with only 3.2% for Apple. Google was projected to see over $2 billion in ad sales in 2012, while Apple would see only $123.8 million.
More phones obviously means more downloads, which equals more revenue. There is simply no way around that for Apple.
Apple's tablet domination
But don't start feeling too bad for Apple just yet!
Just because Android has come to dominate the smartphone market doesn't mean it has been able to overtake iOS in the tablet market.
While it comes to tablets, far fewer apps will be downloaded: only 14 billion, or 25% of the number expected on smartphones. But Apple has the clear lead when it comes to these devices, with a whopping 75% of them expected to be on an iOS device, while Android can only muster 17%, or 2.38 billion.
It should be noted that ABI Research does not unclude the Kindle Fire in that number, which it expects to have 4%. If added together, that is still only 21%, or a little less than 3 billion. Another 2% of tablet app downloads will be on Windows tablets.
“Arguably the most pressing issue for Google is how much of this handset momentum will ultimately trickle down to tablets, where Apple is holding the fort remarkably well. We would argue that in this context Google will actually benefit from the efforts by Amazon, since the presence of Kindle Fire adds a lot of critical ‘code mass’ to Android’s proposition as a platform for tablet applications," Senior analyst Aapo Markkanen said in a statement.
"It is worth remembering that Android’s so-called fragmentation problem isn’t only a problem, but that it has a certain upside as well.”
The number of smarpthone and tablet apps combined for 70 billion. To put that number in some perspective: there are roughly seven billion people living on Earth right now. That means that there will be 10 apps downloaded for every living person!
(Image source: http://blog.teamtreehouse.com)