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The latest trends in the mobile market favour Android

I am still in vacation mode but I will start to post a lot more thematic content over the next two weeks. This post will concentrate on the mobile handset market and is based largely on a recent market analysis by Gartner.

Earlier in the month I wrote about the last IDC report on the mobile market as a watershed event. The leap in Android market share is alarming for Apple because it is starting to approach Windows-level dominance of the smartphone market. Android had a 68.2% market share in 2012 through Q3, with that number surging to 75.% in Q3 on the back of the Samsung Galaxy S3.  Gartner has confirmed the IDC numbers, putting Android’s Q3 2012 market share at 72%. Meanwhile overall sales of mobile handsets declined 3% from the same quarter in 2011 to 428 million units. Of that number, smartphone sales totalled 169 million units in Q3, which is up 47% in the last year.

Here’s what I think this means.

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Bottom line: the mobile market place is slowing. Growth is increasingly driven by the move from feature phone to smartphone. But because the mobile adoption rate is slowing, increasingly the dynamics of the marketplace will be driven by price and market participants will focus less on customer acquisition and more on retention and upgrades. In my view, this heavily favors Android over any other operating system and I expect to see Android solidify its place as the dominant smartphone operating system over time.

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Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty years of business experience. He is also a regular economic and financial commentator on BBC World News, CNBC Television, Business News Network, CBC, Fox Television and RT Television. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. Edward also writes a premium financial newsletter. Sign up here for a free trial.