Smartphone OS Results: Who’s the Leader of the Pack?

The smartphone operating system market is one of the most hotly contested in the tech space. Many companies are vying for top spot, with each one bringing something unique to the market.

Quarter four of 2013 was no different than the periods before, with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS doing a lot of the heavy lifting.

Although there are many companies looking to gain ground on the top spot, Android continues to be the dominant player. According to ABI Research, Android once again held the top spot for smartphone advanced operating systems with 77 percent market share across more than 280 million shipped devices in the fourth quarter of last year.

For a better idea of how big Google has become, consider this: of the nearly one billion smartphones shipped in 2013, the Android operating system accounted for approximately 78 percent.

Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Is this Really a Big Deal?

While this may sound like a huge win for Google, it is not all that it seems, thanks to the fact that most of the growth came from forked Android operating systems. Furthermore, the growth occurred in India, China, and other geographically related markets.

The real fun begins when you take a closer look at what Apple’s iOS is up to. While this operating system was unable to move all the way to the top, it took back some market share thanks to the launch of the iPhone 5s. During the third quarter of 2013, iOS held onto 15 percent of the market. During the fourth quarter, however, this number moved to 18 percent.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) continues its push, and despite growth from the Windows Phone, only has four percent market share. This is not as bad as it could be, but the company has been working hard to push this number forward.

As you can see, there is a lot of jockeying going on within the smartphone operating system market. Google and Apple are riding high right now, in the number one and two spot, with others coming up the rear.

Android remains leader of the pack, but 2014 is a new year. It would take a lot for a competitor to knock Google off the throne, but you never know what will happen as each quarter comes and goes. This is a story we have been watching for quite some time, and will continue to monitor as the year wears on.

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