Android

Android is winning the platform race

Jack Wallen highlights the numbers for you to draw a conclusion that has already been drawn -- Android is winning the platform race.

Android ranking

As a long-time supporter and user of open source, it gives me great pride to say this:

Android is outselling everyone. Period. End of story. Of course, it wouldn't be much of a story if I simply ended it with that. The numbers don't lie, but there's more to it than just that. With that statement, it's easy to assume I'm speaking of mobile platforms and that Android is crushing iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Fire OS, and the rest of the platforms that power smartphones and tablets.

But no. It's much, much more impressive than that. Android is outselling:

  • Windows
  • OS X
  • Linux
  • Amiga
  • OS/2

You get the idea (and the last two were inserted for snarks sake). According to Gartner, for 2014 thus far (per 1000 devices), the sales look like this:

  • Android: 1,168,282
  • Windows: 333,419
  • iOS/OS X: 271,115
  • Other: 660,112

Gartner also predicts that in 2015, Android will outsell Windows by 3.5 to 1. Let that sink in a moment. Android is outselling Windows. No platform has managed to do that until now... and do it in such a crushing fashion.

Furthermore, this doesn't include Chromebooks. Why do I even bring the newest kid on the block into the conversation? Because Chromebooks are currently outselling both MacBooks and Windows-powered laptops. That means Google-driven platforms are slowly taking over where Microsoft and Apple once reigned as king and queen of the world. This is a gigantic shift in the ecosystem — a shift toward the cloud and a shift toward user-inspired flexibility. The people are speaking and being heard.

This becomes even more startling when you realize that an increasing number of people are using their smartphones more than their desktops. In the US, mobile apps have overtaken desktop apps. Web usage alone indicates 55% of internet browsing is done from mobile devices. Add to that the fact that (in the US) 55% of people own smartphones and 42% own tablets, and you can see how the landscape is shifting. Mobile devices are taking over and Android is leading the charge.

What's amazing about this is that it's happening at the same time juggernaut Samsung is experiencing a major sales slump. So, how does this magical math add up? It helps that there are currently so many outstanding devices being developed by other companies like Xioami, LG, HTC, and Sony — all creating devices powered by Android. While Samsung slumps, the competition picks up the slack (and then some).

The power of Android has even infiltrated Microsoft. The once king of all things bits and bytes are turning to Android to power their Nokia X2 handset. This isn't your run-of-the-mill Android OS — it's Android without the Google and the look and feel of the Windows mobile platform. But underneath the hood, the open-source elements of Android are running the show. These are spec'd to be low-cost, budget-minded devices "aimed at the next billion smartphone users in emerging markets."

Those emerging markets have become crucial to platforms. It's why Xiaomi has skyrocketed with their cost-effective Mi line of budget-minded phones.

How do they pull this off?

In a word... Android.

Some people speculate that the landscape may shift when the iPhone 6 is released. If history has any bearing on this, it won't. Yes, the iPhone 6 will sell like crazy — but the overwhelming majority of buyers will be those upgrading from 4 and 5. The landscape will not shift from Android to iOS, there'll just be a lot of iPhone 4s and 5s in the recycle bins or for sale on eBay and Craigslist.

Android will continue to dominate the world's computing platform for some time. Although it may not (in the near future) take over your business process, it will continue to evolve in such a way to make that a possibility.

What do you think? Will Android continue to dominate the computing platform ecosystem — or will another tectonic shift change the landscape? Share your thoughts in the discussion thread below.

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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