Apple rule the mobile ecosystem, Android may have more devices out there but Apple dominates usage by a country mile.
If you work on a 2 year replacement cycle you can do some man maths to work out where we’ll be in a couple of years.
Big numbers: Android has about 1bn devices out there and Apple half that. Apple (10% current new sales marketshare) is not losing share of phone sales to Android – it’s just not taking as much share as Android (80%).
There are an estimated 4bn people with mobile phones in total (included in the numbers above), it might be on the rise but only at the very bottom of the market where neither Android or Apple are likely to figure. Many of those 4bn will convert in the 2 year replacement cycle which gives Apple another 400m devices and with the appearance of low-end Android devices we might see another 2.5bn Androids.
There are other players, we have Windows, Sony, Mozilla, Nokia and these might grab 100m between them. From an ecosystem point of view they either need a killer blow or can be regarded as a backwater for niche applications and users.
Prediction: by the end 2016 there will be 4.4bn smart phones, of which Apple will have a 20% marketshare.
Time for tablet?
It’s thought that tablets will replace most of the laptop market in the next couple of years. It that’s true we’ll see a lot of Microsoft’s dominance be eroded away. Bill Gate’s empire dominates the desktop with over 80% market penetration.
Total usage is around 2.5bn device, all of which will have completed the replacement cycle by 2018. If tablets do replace desktops (it’s not happening yet) then we might see tablets dominating the ecosystem. Apple and Android and level on 30% each and the rest is made up of lots of smaller competitors.
However, tablet remorse is hitting sales as low-end users realise the limitations and function cross-over with smart phones. In fact, this is getting so bad that tablet targets are being routinely missed.
However, we may see another 700m apple and android devices in the ecosystem making a huge difference to Apple and far less to Android.