Who leads in the two-horse race for mobile OS ownership? Current data from Kantar Worldpanel, a leading organizer of consumer panels, showed that during March and May of this year Android’s market share of smartphone sales in Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain has been 70.4%. Android’s share in each of these countries now ranges from 49.6% in Italy to a massive 84.1% in Spain. The numbers of the Kantar Worldpannel also indicate that much of the Android sales growth being driven by consumers trading up from feature phones to smartphones -almost half of all smartphones sold in Europe are a Samsung.
For startups developing mobile apps this obviously means that Android devices aren’t the second choice behind iOS devices anymore. This is especially true when it comes to games. CNET Australia’s Crave editor Michelle Starr stated in a current article: “It is becoming rarer for the best games to release only to one platform. But there’s always going to be that division between the two platforms, with iTunes offering more carefully made titles overall, but Google Play offering the potential for much greater creative freedom and technical brilliance – depending on your device.”
By the way: The contrast between iOS and Android is also interesting when it comes to mobile gambling. This is one of the few areas where Google has taken a harder line than Apple in terms of approvals. While Apple already allowed real-money gambling apps into the App Store, Google no longer allows them in Google Play. But users can still download and install poker and casino apps to their Android. Not directly from Google Play but from websites like androidcasino.com.au.
Be it as it is, the two-horse race for mobile OS ownership between Apple iOs and Google’s Android isn’t over yet. The only thing I’m sure of is that 5 years from now we’ll be able to name the clear winner of this race. But until the race is over, startups should clearly bet on both horses.