Android Market Share Continues To Gain, Kantar Says

With smartphones increasingly dominating markets around the world last year, Android also increased its share, accounting for 69.5 percent of all sales in 12 key markets, compared with 23.7 percent for Apple's iOS, according to a new report. In 2012, Apple's iOS still controlled the majority of the market in some key areas like the United States but last year, that changed.

During 2013 Google's Android OS grew in popularity and began to control a larger portion of the global smartphone industry, according to the report from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

The growth of Android in the smartphone industry has been a theme for years and is not expected to change. The increase in popularity of Windows Phone in 2013 was something quite different. The growth in Windows Phone seen during most of the year faded at year's end, the Kantar report said, suggesting the market will continue to be controlled by iOS and Android in 2014.

The Race for China

China, with its population of 1.35 billion, is the world's largest concentration of consumers, and much of its wealth has been untapped by foreign companies like Samsung and Apple. In the West, there is a tendency to assume the same companies that are popular in North America and Europe are popular around the world, but especially for China, that has not been the case.

Android may be the most popular OS in China, with a 78.6 percent share, but local companies dominate much of the Chinese market. Xiaomi, a brand virtually unknown outside of Asia, overtook both Apple and Samsung in December. By selling its high-end phones without any significant profit margins, Xiaomi has been able to offer better devices to budget-minded consumers.

"In December, Xiaomi overtook both Apple and Samsung to become the top-selling smartphone in China --...

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