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The race for Android second place

Published on Friday, July 31, 2015

The race for Android second place

Competition in the multibillion dollar Android market is thriving. Over the last two years it has been notoriously dominated by Samsung. However, Samsung is not the only Android manufacturer in the battle, so the question we posed was which Android manufacturer is the front runner for second place?

51Degrees monitors and tracks more than 1.5 million websites around the world, detecting more than three billion data sessions to websites each month. This web traffic data helps to paint a realistic picture of ongoing device usage as opposed to initial sales figures.

The data starkly shows the demise of HTC. Globally, in June 2013, 25% of traffic was measured from HTC devices leaving it as Samsung’s closest competitor. This is a significant proportion during this period compared to the likes of Motorola with 16%, LG 14%, Sony 8% and Asus 2%. However, of all of the Android devices measured HTC‘s demise is the most significant with a steady decrease during the last two years to now only 9%.

In Europe HTC’s usage plummeted during early 2015. Forbes predicted this in November 2014 and put it down to “a result of competitive pressures”. The fact that the HTC had developed “a series of devices that were too niche-oriented to appeal to a broader audience” was seen as the issue by IDC’s smartphone research manager Ramon Llamas.

% of web traffic generated by Android devices (excl. Samsung) in United Kingdom.
% of web traffic generated by Android devices (excl. Samsung) in Germany.

In both Germany and the UK, perhaps a reflection of Europe as a whole, Sony device web traffic has been increasing over the past two years. Since June 2013, it has risen by 12%, from 21% to 33%. So why is this?

In 2015 alone, Sony has already released six new Android smartphone devices including the Xperia Z3 series and the ‘selfie smartphone’ the Xperia C4 and C4 Dual. It could be argued that this ability to churn out new devices and tap into the culture of the young generation in Europe has allowed them to take more market share.

% of web traffic generated by Android devices (excl. Samsung) in USA.

Outside of Europe, India in particular, it would seem that devices branded with a local manufacturer are preferred. In India, Micromax for example, has maintained the second place spot comfortably for two years. This could be due to availability but it could also be argued that performance is improved due to the knowledge and familiarity of the Indian market. Surprisingly, one country that bucks this trend is the US, with Motorola usage steadily decreasing over the past two years.

The 51Degrees data also shows that in the UK there has been a sharp spike in the use of budget tablet devices such as Tesco Hudl. Usage on these devices was non-existent up until the Hudl release in September 2013 and this has steadily risen to almost 10% today. This data shows that if you combine a well-known brand with a desired product that has a good price point it is likely your product will sell and have longevity. There may be more space for the cost effective android tablet manufacturers in the coming months.

According to the data Sony has globally earned the second place spot in the Android market. With rumoured devices in the pipeline such as the Xperia Z4 Ultra and Xperia C670X it would seem that Sony are here to stand their ground in the Android battle.

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