Android's Gains Aren't at iOS's Expense

A blog about business and economics.
Aug. 7 2013 4:17 PM

Android's Gains Aren't at iOS's Expense

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The Wall Street Journal made this chart based on IDG data of second quarter smartphone sales, but nothing about the numbers supports the text. Seventeen percent of 156 million is 26.52 million iPhones sold in Q2 2012. That compares to 13% of 236 million which totals 30.68 iPhones sold in Q2 2013. There's been a huge increase in the number of Android phones sold, but those sales haven't come at the expense of Apple. Apple is selling more phones than ever. We're either seeing a collapse in the market for non-smart phones or just a large increase in the total number of mobile phones sold.

At the same time, we should wait a minute or two before referring to Android sales as "Google gains." The story says the Android surge has been "helped in large part to a rush of new phones from Chinese handset makers." Are these Chinese-made Android phones tied in with Google services? China, as best as I can tell, is full of Android-powered phones that are linked it to Baidu services instead of Google ones. That's the famous openness that makes Android so friendly to device-makers and mobile operators alike. It's really open, including openness to non-Google web services.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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