Why did Google’s Android lose share in the US smartphone market?


Oct. 29 2019, Updated 7:00 p.m. ET

Google’s Android is a dominant smartphone operating system

In the previous article in this series, we discussed how Apple (AAPL) and Samsung are fighting hard for market share gains in the U.S. smartphone market. This is because of the obvious reason that the U.S. market is the most lucrative market for smartphone makers. Here, we’ll discuss the impact of these findings on another player, Google (GOOG). Google’s Android has been a dominant player in the smartphone operating system market. Android is present on more than half the smartphones in the U.S.

Android U.S. smartphone subscriber market share declined slightly

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However, despite Android’s dominance, its share of U.S. smartphone subscribers declined slightly from 52.2% in October 2013 to 51.7% in January 2014, according to this report from Comscore. This report also revealed that Apple’s iOS smartphone operating system market share increased from 40.6% to 41.6%, while BlackBerry’s (BBRY) OS declined from 3.6% to 3.1%, Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Phone remained flat at 3.2%, and Nokia’s (NOK) Symbian market share also remained flat at 0.2%.

Analyzing Android’s market share loss

For Google, increasing the presence of its Android operating system is very important. Google earns advertising revenues from Google searches and the mobile applications that smartphone users download. Samsung is the number-one player that has adopted the Android operating system. Although Samsung’s share in the U.S. smartphone market increased from 25.4% in October 2013 to 26.7% in January 2014, Google’s share still declined. This is because other players that use the Android operating system lost their presence in the U.S. smartphone market. In particular, Motorola’s market share declined from 7.0% to 6.4%, and HTC’s share declined from 6.7% to 5.4% during the same three-month period.


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