Google Android hits 79% market share and 785 million units in 2013, as Lenovo deal is set to intensify competition

Android now runs on 79% of all smartphones worldwide, with Lenovo’s decision to buy Google’s Motorola smartphone business set to boost competition in 2014, according to market analysts Canalys.

The figures show around 1 billion smartphones (998 million) were shipped during 2013, up 44% year-on-year over 2012.

Worldwide, the dominant platform remains Android, shipping on 785 million smartphones, representing 79% of the market – up from 68% a year earlier.

The figures confirm Apple’s marketshare slipped from 20% in 2012 to just 15% in 2013, despite its shipments increasing to a record 154 million units.

Microsoft now represents around 3% of the market or 32.1 million units, now well in front of fourth-placed Blackberry on 19.8 million.

The figures come one day after Google announced it is selling its Motorola smartphone business to Chinese PC maker Lenovo for just $US2.91 billion, a steep discount on the $US12.5 billion it paid for the business in late 2011.

According to Canalys’ figures, the combined market share for Google, Motorola and Lenovo stood at around 6% during the fourth quarter of 2013.

Canalys principal analyst Chris Jones says Lenovo’s strong presence in its home market of China, combined with a foothold in the US is likely to make a big impact in 2014.

“A strengthened Lenovo will affect all the other Android partners. Asus, LG and Samsung have enjoyed high-profile partnerships with Google for the supply of its Nexus phones and tablets.

“Nexus supply will now presumably pass to Lenovo, which also gains an immediate entry into the US, Motorola’s major market, as well as key markets in Western Europe and Latin America.

“Lenovo must continue with Motorola’s speed-of-update strategy and ensure it can create pull for its smart phones through the carrier channel in mature markets when up against the might of Apple and Samsung.”

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