Non-Google Android devices gain ground

Non-Google Android devices gain ground

05 AUG 2014

Devices powered by AOSP (Android Open Source Project) – forked Android devices without support for Google services – saw faster growth in Q2 than fully-fledged Android smartphones, according to ABI Research.

AOSP device shipments grew by 20 per cent sequentially, compared with 13 per cent for “certified or OHA [Open Handset Alliance]” Android devices. Both of these grew faster than the total market, which increased by 3 per cent.

The growth of non-Google handsets was “driven by the development of Chinese and Indian handset manufacturers, not only in their domestic markets, but increasingly throughout Asia and beyond”, according to Nick Spencer, senior practice director for mobile devices at ABI.

The growth of AOSP devices in China is perhaps part of a bigger issue for Google – access to its services in the important emerging market.

But one of the biggest international threats – AOSP alongside the global internet services portfolio of Microsoft – has been diminished, with the news that the computing giant is killing the well-received Nokia X series devices.

This instead leaves a number of local efforts, such as Yandex’s proposition for the Russian market, rather than a potential international threat.

Aside from Android in its various forms and Apple’s iOS, “the scraps remaining for third or fourth place are few and far between”, ABI said.

Third-placed Windows Phone saw a “near flat” quarter, with a 1 per cent drop in volume and 2 per cent market share.

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Steve Costello

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