Forecast: Android to dominate 70% of smartphone shipments in H2 2012
Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android mobile operating system will power 70 percent of all smartphones shipped in the second half of 2012, increasing its global dominance despite the anticipated arrival of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) not-yet-announced iPhone 5, according to a new forecast issued by Digitimes Research.
Android device shipments are on pace to eclipse the 400 million mark during the months ahead, up 89.8 percent over year-ago numbers. Look for major Android vendors including Samsung Electronics, Huawei and ZTE to ramp up shipments during the third quarter, Digitimes said. Smaller manufacturers, regional brands and white-box players introducing entry-level Android phones targeting the Chinese market also will fuel the platform's growth.
Source: Digitimes Research, August 2012
Digitimes anticipates Apple will ship more than 125 million iPhone units in 2012, a year-over-year increase of 34.9 percent. Consumer demand for the newest iPhone is reaching a fever pitch: According to a recent Gartner report, sales for the current iPhone 4S model slipped 12.6 percent during the second quarter while shoppers hold out for the next edition of the iconic device.
Shipments of smartphones running Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone will reach 21 million this year, up 107.8 percent from 2011--an increase Digitimes credits to Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) aggressive efforts to promote its Lumia device portfolio. Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry shipments will fall 41.4 percent year-over-year, and Symbian will decline 65 percent.
The immediate future of the smartphone ecosystem is nevertheless cloudy after a U.S. jury ruled late last week that Samsung copied critical features of the iPhone and iPad, awarding Apple $1.05 billion in damages. The ruling could lead to a ban on Samsung products and may force other Android device manufacturers to make design changes as well. "While a ban would likely increase Apple's leading smartphone share in the U.S. market, we believe this verdict could lead to Samsung also delaying near-term product launches as it attempts to design around Apple's patents," Canaccord Genuity analysts said in a note.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster sounded a more optimistic note. "We believe that it is likely that other lawsuits between Apple and other handset makers move toward a settlement, given the precedent of the Samsung case," Munster said in a research note. "In these cases, we note that software changes are the most likely competitive outcome (aside from monetary exchanges). We do not believe further settlements are likely to hamstring Android in any serious way. We continue to be confident in our four-year outlook on mobile device share, which assumes that iOS and Android further dominate the smartphone market with likely close to 85% share combined by 2015."
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