Android Device Sales to Hit 1 Billion This Year
In 2014, sales of phones and tablets running Google’s Android operating system are projected to reach 1 billion users for the first time, according to a report from Gartner Research. That would give Google a 45% share of the mobile operating system market.
Android has leapt ahead of Apple’s iOS operating system, taking a big lead in both the smartphone and tablet markets. Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system is also gaining ground.
While Android growth is slowing, emerging markets such as India and China are expected to provide new customers. More than 75% of Android’s volumes will be from emerging markets by 2017, according to Gartner.
Both Android and iOS device growth has been fueled by a steep decline from personal computer sales. Tablet sales alone are expected to overtake PCs in 2015.
Google may be winning the market share battle, but Apple is still the profit leader from devices. The devices that run Android tend to be cheaper with thinner profit margins compared to Apple. An outsized dependence on Samsung also limits the profits that device sales generate for Google.
But while Apple makes its money primarily from device sales, Google relies on ads — making its market share dominance a source of considerable revenue.
Google currently claims more than half of all mobile ad revenue, with $4.6 billion in 2012 alone. That allows the company to make Android a loss leader. Profit from device sales is a pittance compared to the ad revenue it generates, making the sheer number of devices and market share very important to Google. Original article mashable.com.