Android overtakes Windows as world goes mobile

2016-01-20 12:07 - Duncan Alfreds, Fin24
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Smartphones. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)


Cape Town – There is increasing evidence that people are shifting from traditional computers to mobile devices.

According to data from StatCounter, the dominance of computer operating systems has come to an end as Google’s Android grabbed the top spot in December 2015.

Android, already the top mobile operating system (OS), increased its overall market share from 20.6% in 2014 to 27% last year, beating out Microsoft’s Windows 7 which has declined to 26.7% from 33.5%.

For Apple devices, iOS which powers the iPhone is at 10.8%, far outpacing OS X which runs MacBooks at 5.5%.

In SA, the trend shows that Android dominates the market, powering 48.2% of all devices, with Windows 7 the top desktop OS at 9.3%, tying with BlackBerry OS.

The shift to mobile has been good news for mobile operators which are seeing healthy growth in data consumption.

Data growth

READ: Android smartphone survival guide

In its interim results in 2015, Vodacom reported a 33.5% increase in data revenue, or 28.3 million subscribers in the group using data.

“There are good opportunities ahead of us as only 66% of our monthly active customers in South Africa are using data and our share in fixed services is only a fraction of what it is in mobile,” said Vodacom Group chief executive Shameel Joosub.

For MTN, its interim results showed that data revenue jumped from R12.7bn to R15.4bn – a 21.3% increase.

In its global trends for 2016, Ericsson said that video consumption was set to a major driver of data growth.

“Teenagers watch more YouTube video content daily than other age groups. Forty-six percent of 16-19 year-olds spend an hour or more on YouTube every day,” the company said in its ConsumerLab report.

Lagging desktop sales do not bode well for PCs to reverse the mobile trend.

Gartner data showed that despite the holiday season, global computer sales declined by 8.3%, with 75.7 million units shipped over the quarter.

“Holiday sales did not boost the overall PC shipments, hinting at changes to consumers’ PC purchase behaviour,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

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