Technology, although a double edged sword, has been helping humankind right from the beginning of time. The youth today is particularly obsessed by it and wants to be able to communicate with anyone at any given point of time. And technology has been helping us satisfy this obsession, to the extent that mobile numbers and email-ids are exchanged later but people “friend” you or “follow” you on social networking sites first.
In today’s day and age mobile phones play a vital role in our lives. They have made our lives much easier and have taken them to a whole new level. While their initial purpose was for making phone calls that is no longer the only reason why an individual uses a mobile phone. Now smartphones are widely used for texting, social networking, searching, playing media files, sharing files and various other features.
Apart from helping us connect, smartphones have also made our life simpler with various applications for e-shopping, e-payment, e-booking etc. These apps practically save us hours of time; just a few taps on the screen and one can book tickets and even pay for just about anything in a few minutes.
Mobile phones basically run on four platforms as of now, Android, iOS, Windows and Blackberry. Although Android and iOS are the pre-dominant operating systems available in the (mobile phone) market, slowly and steadily the Windows OS is making a name for itself. More so, after the takeover ofNokia by Microsoft, rapid expansion is expected. Their team has already announced new mobiles and the first ever Nokia Tablet (Lumia 2520).
According to the latest report by IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, among the mobile phone OS market, the Google-owned Android has just breached the 80 percent market share and is the leading OS provider, followed by Apple’s iOS which has about 13 percent of the market share. The “third platform” isWindows with as little as just 3 percent of the market share, but their increment of the market share as compared to last year is nearly 150 percent, the highest increment ever recorded in the history of operating systems.
Android, on the other hand, has moved forward if compared to last year’s market share (about 75 percent), but its vendors are finding it difficult to increase their user-base. In the Android family,Samsung leads the handset-users with about 40 percent of the market share, but the rest found it difficult to expand their user base.
And although the sales of Apple devices increased from about 27mn handsets to about 34mn devices worldwide, the total market share of the iOS declined from 14 percent to 13 percent. The reason for this can be attributed to their high price-tags and also hard-to-share and hard-to-understand user interface.
Coming to the Windows OS, Nokia (now Microsoft) accounts for about 93 percent of all the Windowshandsets. Nokia, the market leader before the introduction of Android and the growth of Samsung, has achieved this tremendous development in a very short time. Although Nokia continues to grow in this sector, other companies are either still sticking with Android or are finding it difficult to find their foot in the market.
Blackberry’s market share on the other hand decreased from about 4 percent to 1.7 percent marking the highest negative decline of about 41 percent, Adding to its woes, the number of handsets also declined from 7.7mn to 4.5mn. Blackberry, which was contemplating selling itself earlier this year, has given up on it as of now. It not only provided a free BBM app for the Android market and iOS App Store, but is also contemplating providing free apps to Blackberry users in a bid to attract users.
So, for now, the market is set. Android is leading and expanding, iOS being the second-largest software provider, Windows has made a name for itself as the “third platform” and is rapidly expanding and making its presence felt, whereas Blackberry continues to decline.
The credit for Android’s popularity can be given to its easy interface; it remains the easiest interface to understand, one that even a layman can handle. Unlimited and ever-increasing free apps also appeal to the users.
Apple’s stagnancy can be attributed to its prices. It still remains a luxury product with very few being able to afford the devices, thanks to their exorbitant prices. Not to mention that most of the apps on this platform are paid apps, making it even more difficult for customers to use these phones efficiently.
Windows phones are the most attractive and the user-interface is clearly the best among the lot. However, very few developers show interest in developing apps for Windows mobiles and one can’t download third-party apps for free.
And finally, Blackberry, once touted as the best bet for businessmen, is continuously losing its sheen and user-base. With BBM now available for free on Android and iOS, nobody is willing to buy expensiveBlackberry mobiles anymore, except for loyal admirers.
So, which platform do you prefer and why?
(This post was first published at The Viewspaper, an online magazine.)