The latest numbers from research firm Canalys are in for worldwide smart mobile device shipments, and Android continues to hold a significant lead. A staggering 183.7 million Android devices were shipped in the first quarter, accounting for 59.5 percent market share. Meanwhile, Apple shipped an estimated 59.6 million devices for 19.3 percent share of the market.
Microsoft finished a close third place behind Apple, capturing 18.1 percent of the market on shipments of 55.9 million devices. It’s important to note that Canalys factors in notebooks alongside tablets and smartphones, so much of Microsoft’s success lies in its strength in the PC market. On the contrary, Windows Phone handset and Microsoft Surface tablet sales have been dismal compared to market leaders Apple and Samsung.
Canalys analyst Pete Cunningham spoke of the increased competition that Apple faces, particularly in the mobile space.
“Despite its slowing growth, Apple still shipped over 37 million iPhones,” said Pete Cunningham, Canalys Principal Analyst. “But HTC and Samsung have raised the bar with their latest handsets and Apple needs to respond with its next iPhone. The iPhone user interface is now six years old and badly in need of a refresh.”
Cunningham also fueled speculation that Apple will eventually increase the size of the 4-inch display on iPhone, but will not release a so-called “phablet” device.
“Hardware-wise, the biggest dilemma that Apple faces is what it does with the size of the display on the next iPhone. It cannot afford to ignore the trend for larger displays in premium smart phones. We expect an increase on the iPhone 5’s 4-inch display but are not anticipating a ‘Phablet’-style iPhone.”
Apple continues to be the top-ranked tablet vendor, holding a respectable 46.4 percent market share. However, the Cupertino-based corporation lost footing to its Android-based tablet rivals for the third consecutive quarter. In terms of smartphones, Android leads the way with an impressive 75.6 percent share. South Korean handset maker Samsung is accountable for most of that success, growing 64.3 percent year-over-year.