This year could be a turning point in the dominance of iOS and Android despite Apple’s App Store and Google Play contributing 82 per cent of all app downloads in 2012, according to analyst firm research2guidance.
The company predicts that a more “heterogeneous mobile operating system landscape” will emerge in 2013 and that there is evidence of this taking place already.
Apple’s share of app store downloads at the end of 2012 was 39.6 per cent with the official Android app store on 42.6 per cent, giving them 82.2 percent of the market jointly.
But with new platforms such as Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10 already launched and Firefox OS, Ubuntu and Jolla on the horizon, consumers will have a bigger choice of technologies that could challenge the two dominant players.
The market hype attracted by the newer platforms suggests the market is getting “a bit bored” with iOS and Android and looking for something new, research2guidance suggests.
In addition, smartphone manufacturers will want to compete on the technology they offer, rather than just price. With iOS and Android accounting for 90 per cent of all smartphones sold in 2012, manufacturers such as HTC, Huawei and ZTE will offer alternative platforms.
ZTE was the first handset maker to unveil a smartphone running on Firefox OS with its Open device, launched at Mobile World Congress in February.
With these new mobile operating systems arriving, app development and distribution will become more complex, as the need for developers to build for Windows Phone and BlackBerry increases over the next two years. Developers looking to reach early adopters of Firefox OS, Ubuntu and Jolla will also need to take these into account.
The emergence of new app distribution platforms addressing specific areas such as business and health, will also be an additional factor, the report added.