Android will continue to dominate the smartphone business, with shipments expected to reach 1.06 billion by the end of 2014, according to research firm IDC.
Google’s mobile operating system controls 82.3 per cent of the smartphone space this year. Apple’s iOS comes in second with a 13.8 per cent share, whilst Windows Phone controls just 2.7 per cent of the market.
The forecast looks particularly gloomy for alternative competitors, noted IDC.
“With Android volumes so dominant, it is no longer a possibility for new operating systems like Tizen and Firefox to compete on price alone — any underdog OS must bring a radically different appeal to gain any significant traction,” it said.
Meanwhile, the research house expects global smartphone shipments to hit almost 1.3 billion units this year, which is a 26 per cent increase over 2013. However, the growth will slow significantly in 2015, when 1.4 billion smartphones are forecasted to be shipped; this is a mere 12 per cent growth.
IDC expects the sluggish growth to continue through 2018.
By the end of 2018, Android smartphones will account for 80 per cent of the mobile market, while Apple’s iOS market share will drop to 12.8 per cent. In addition, Android will take 61 per cent of all smartphone revenue by 2018, compared with just 34 per cent for Apple’s iOS.
IDC also noted that smartphone prices will likely drop from this year’s average selling price of $297 to just $241 by 2018, primarily due to lower prices from several Chinese phone manufacturers.
Although premium phones such as the iPhone 6 will retain their average selling price, more affordable models are now sporting better specifications.
“Consumers no longer have to go with a top-of-the-line handset to guarantee decent hardware quality or experience. The biggest question now is how much lower can prices go?” said IDC analyst Melissa Chau.