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Android has never looked stronger

The battle for smartphone and tablet sales is never ending. With the news this week that Blackberry may be about to give up completely we take a quick look at the overall marketplace.

The Blackberry handset is still selling as well as Apple did when they launched their App store, but the market has changed in the preceding years. The Financial Times have even said that ‘Mindshare among consumers and developers is all. On that measure, BlackBerry lost a long time ago.’ It is a difficult case to pose a counter argument.

Microsoft have experienced some success with their latest Windows Phone 8 platform, and I have to admit it is really good. The problems which niggle many people on a desktop platform, all start to make sense with a smartphone. Windows 8 is easy to navigate, quick to respond and the store is steadily growing. Microsoft however still only have 4 percent of the overall market.

The Apple iPhone has dropped to around 13 percent marketshare. This is not a major concern for Apple right now however, they have been at this level before, just as a new version of the smartphone is due for release.

When we look at Android however, it is hard not to be impressed. Samsung have shipped more than twice as many handsets as their US rival in the most recent quarter, according to IDC. Apple may also be about to hand over their lead in application downloads too. Research has shown that Android users will not download as many applications as an iOS user, but there are more of them now and the lead is set to change. Developers want to target the biggest market, so we may see a shift in this regard also.

That said, Apple have an edge in regards to the money that developers can earn via their mobile platform. With iOS7 due for release soon, they may hold their own in the next 12 months.

Apple have a high profit level on the iPhone which is helping them maintain healthy figures. Apple plan on releasing a low cost iPhone to target emerging markets which poses a little problem. If this handset sells a high volume of units and other people feel it is ‘good enough for them too’, then their profit margins will start to slip. More and more Android handsets are being released at various price points, so the challenge seems to be ever growing.

Kitguru says: There is no doubt about it, the next 12 months are going to be critical for Tim Cook and the Apple team.

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