This chart shows why Apple is happy with its market share, and how Microsoft intends to grow

has just come out with a devastatingly simple chart that explains a ton about the mobile ecosystem as a whole. The chart itself breaks down the Q2 2014 smartphone shipments for each platform by price tiers. Some of the things you'll notice were obvious before, like the fact that Apple flat out doesn't ship low-end iOS devices. But, there is some other interesting info if you combine this chart with some other recent data.

For example, data from Strategy Analytics recently showed that Android makers shipped a total of 249.6 million smartphones in Q2. Given that Statista shows 19.82% of the Android ecosystem to be high-end, that adds up to about 49.47 million high-end Android smartphones. On the other hand, Apple shipped 35.2 million iPhones, and 84.6% of those were high-end, meaning about 29.8 million high-end devices. Given how many Android makers there are, and how many different high-end devices, it is pretty impressive that all of those devices only add up to 20 million more units than Apple alone. We have said many times that Apple and Google are playing different games, and this is the proof. Google wants market share, and Apple wants profits. So, Android may have about 85% of smartphone shipments, but Apple is still extremely competitive in the high-end market, which is where you find the majority of the profits. 

Of course, while the high-end market holds the profits, it has become essentially saturated, and the low-end market is where you find the growth opportunities. The majority of Windows Phone growth has come from that low-end, which is why Microsoft has been doubling down on those devices. The low-end market is how Android built itself up at first, and Microsoft is hoping to do the same with Windows Phone, which is why you see a very similar price tier breakdown between the two platforms. 

source: Statista



1. chunky1x

Posts: 270; Member since: Mar 28, 2010

Microsoft is doomed.

4. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

You mean Windows Phone? How could you say a growing OS is doomed?

8. chunky1x

Posts: 270; Member since: Mar 28, 2010

I saw more people using Windows Phone last year than this year. In fact, I haven't seen a person using this since May this year.

10. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

So, your statistics and observations are more reliable than anything else?

12. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Not trolling, but WP8 market share declined. PA published the news a few days ago. If high end WP8 models were on all carriers and more countries, it would be higher.

53. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

stop looking at a few isolated quarters and see the big picture..

57. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

The big picture is world market share fell. I'm sure you know how to use Google so spend some time and educate yourself. Thanks and have a great day!

58. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

Like it does with every single company that doesn't release new devices It already went down before and got up with new devices, just like i will happen next quarter.. So you can stop with your WP doomsday trolling

11. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

IDC updated the stats and Android sold 255 million. Also WP has been declining and not growing for the last 3 quarters. It only has 2.5% of the market share. With those pitiful sales numbers after 4 years, it may as well head back into Microsoft's womb and get a rebirth..

16. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Thank you for providing me a reliable source.

46. Heritor

Posts: 47; Member since: Nov 05, 2012

The lack of growth is due to the stagnation of Nokia's product cycle due to Microsoft buying them out. Nokia has not put out much since Microsoft bought them out and seeing how Nokia made up 84% of the WIndows market this lull is enough to slow down sales. I really do enjoy your keyboard warrior analysis but you really need to try and understand the market. The real sin that Microsoft committed was relying on Nokia to dominate the WP sales and spread the OS. In the US alone Nokia has next to zero bran recognition. Sure, the kids who follow Phonearena and BGR may know nokia but majority of Cellphone buyers do not visit sites like this nor do they care. They buy based on what people they know have and what sales presents them.

51. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Anyone on phonearena can just look at Nokia's schedule of devices for this year alone, and can see that it has nothing to do with stagnation of their products. Also Nokia has made up over 90% of the Windows Phone market. The problem is not Nokia. Its Microsoft and WP both that have the problems.

72. Heritor

Posts: 47; Member since: Nov 05, 2012

Actually, it does. They have 15 phones and of that how many mid range and low end phones are on Verizon? How many mid range and low end phones plus high end phones on Verizon touting ANdroid? Oh wait they only have two WP all Nokia devices. T-mobile has one at the moment... that leaves only Att to fill that void in the US. How many Nokia devices were on Verizon during 2008 till 2012? A grand total of 1.. a flip phone that sold terribly. No manufacturer can pull an Apple and your insistence of that idea is what makes your entire argument moot. In the US alone depending on Nokia to grow the platform when Nokia again has ZERO prestige in the US is Naive. ANd in the US the best selling WP were the low end.. again why? Simple. Samsung and Apple are established brands and people know what they are getting. Nokia is a no-name brand in the states and abroad it was a brand known for its feature phones. There was a reason why Android was eating up Symbian despite Nokia never making an Android device. The failure of WP is not enough choice and a single Manufacturer cannot bear the torch. We can look at ANdroid for example.. It did not take off until Motorala, HTC, and Samsung adopted it in mass. I suggest you take a course in business and learn a thing called BRAND RECOGNITION. Nokia has zero brand recognition in the US and overseas it was a Dying manufacturer who only the Finns and the nokia fanboys talk up like it was some invincible juggernaut. Show me a brand currently that is dominating outside of Samsung and Apple? HTC is struggling just to stay alive. Motorola was brushed aside and has become a small fish. Who else? LG? SO you have the audacity to say WP should be growing with only Nokia making their phones when HTC, LG, and Motorola have all found themselves unable to make headway with their ANdroid devices? Let me sum it up to you. People do not care about the OS. Only the small and i mean very small cellphone geeks do. Most people buy based on brand recognition and what people they know recommend. It is why Samsung has toyed with the idea of bringing out their own OS.

73. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Get your head out of the sand. Carriers have to layout their money to buy the devices. Not to mention they have to pay their staff to get trained on the new devices as well as promotional materials and ads. Not to mention Microsoft makes new devices like the 630/635, and 530 to replace the existing 620/625 and 520/521 models. So what does Microsoft's Nokia do? They decide to just upgrade a few specs and leave the ram at 512mb for the new models. Why because Microsoft believes that you don't need the extra ram. So Microsoft has made the decision for us and that's it then. That's part of the problem right there. Microsoft has decided that for the cheaper models that you don't need the extra ram in the lower end models. If you want more ram then you have to buy a more expensive device. This has always been Microsoft's mentality. We changed and made it this way, shutup and you will like it. Not to mention they even nickle and dime you on the Surface Pro's as well. Microsoft's just doesn't get it. People want more bang for there money. Nokia had the brand recognition, but when Elop arrived at Nokia, then killed all their linux projects meego (joint project with Intel and Nokia) and outsourced symbian. And stickly went 100% WP.

78. Heritor

Posts: 47; Member since: Nov 05, 2012

Again you make the assumption that because it is important to you... a cellphone geek who follows a cellphone blog and argues about specs that it matters to the majority of customers. Go work at a Cellphone provider.... It doesn't matter to the vast majority of buyers. This crap you bring up about ram.. only a super small percentage of buyers cares about the specs of their phones.. the majority do not care. Does it look good, can I access apps, and the price. If you think specs are important you would never be able to sell a cellphone. Nokia had ZERO brand recognition in the states. Symbian was dead. It started off as its own Foundation that that was later purchased by Nokia because Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and LG abandoned Symbian for Android... Leaving Nokia to be the sole provider of Symbian devices. ANdroid started to visibly eat into Symbians Market share and Meego was Nokia attempt to make an OS to compete with iOS and Android.. However it was in development hell, the cell manufacturers did not like the power that nokia had over Meego so they refused to support it, and finally the Carriers had no interest in Meego.. Nokia's ENTIRE strategy before Elop was to release the N9 in 2011 with HOPES to take back the market from Android with it.... THE N9... They believed the N9 which by the time it was released was out of date and looked the part would propel them into the market. Here is a good read... what hurts WP is lack of manufacturers. You can bring up uninformed opinion but all you are stating is that you wont buy these devices because of specs. If specs mattered the Android market would be filled with mainly high end devices but instead it is the low tier devices that dominate androids ecosystem. So your statements of specs equalling poor sales from Nokia is complete and total hogwash. Go take a business course and work for a carrier instead of posting this uninformed drivel.

54. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

stop looking at a few isolated quarters and see the big picture..

70. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

WP added more users last quarter it fell to 2.5% because it sold 8.2% at the same time last year, don't let the percentage fool you they are not saying WP last it customer base no they are saying WP grew it customers base but the percentage fell from 8.2 the same time last year to 7.4 this year. Look at your own link.

74. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You need new glasses or something. That or your blind obsession with WP makes you see things that are not there. That 8.2 is the number of WP devices sold and last year it was 3.4% for the same time period. Yes anyone else who looks at the same link will see that you are WRONG.

75. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

Last year for the second quarter WP sold 8.2 this year at the second quarter they sold 7.4 which is largely responsible for the decline, the OS during the 4 cycles fell less than 1/10, which reduced its market share. Overall the platform is growing IDC even called it the clear number 3 platform as this quarter is an increase over the last as noted by IDC.

21. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

LG SONY Samsung have to make Windows phone of MS wants to play catch up.

49. justrt

Posts: 446; Member since: Jul 10, 2014

I think now that HTC is announcing an actual WP flagship other OEMs will follow.

66. InspectorGadget80 unregistered


27. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

The world was supposed to be doomed in 2012, but I didn't see that happening, like I don't see anything that you state happening for a VERY long time!

67. HildyJ

Posts: 338; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

For those of us old enough to remember, PCs used to be dominated by open source OSs and Apple. MS got in late. Fast forward a decade and Linux and Apple are also rans. Apple eventually focused on the high-end, high-design, high-priced (and some would say over-priced) niche in PCs and did rather well. I could see a similar situation in smartphones. Sometimes slow and steady wins the race. Don't forget that MS spends more than twice as much on R&D than Apple and owns the enterprise market.

77. michaelny2001

Posts: 328; Member since: Aug 01, 2012

Thing is, especially in the US, that low cost carriers have phones for 50 bucks with android on them, so of course their market share will be higher. Lately though i've seen low cost phones on cricket, H2O, etc running windows 8. I think it comes down to licensing...remember betamax (Sony) vs VHS? Well sony didn't want to license to to others to make those tapes so by mojority people adopted them. Apple will not let LG use their os on LG phones, if they would allow it, and collect royalties, i bet you things would be different, though i find iOS too simple which complicates things for me. I've had both for years, but Android just has more options and wins for me.

2. bucky

Posts: 3784; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

As long as they are both competing I'm good. I just don't want one os running everything everywhere.

3. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Seeing as how Android is 85% of the market, their 20% high end is about 16% of the overall market. Apple holds about 11% of the overall market and their high end equates to about 9% of the market. So technically there is double the high end money for android, but just split among a lot of competition (great for the Android crowd), while the Apple crowd has a monopoly in their arena.

24. techspace

Posts: 1037; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

correct me if i am wrong but i don't think android has double the high end money because the chart only shows all the phones that cost over $400, there are many android phones in the $400 to $600 price range but most of the iphones that people buy are the latest ones with more than 16gb internal memory which means that they usually get more than $700 per phone. last time, they released 5c and 5s, both of them are over $400 but the 5c wasn't really successful and most of the people bought the 5s which costs between $649 and $849.

35. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You are wrong. Think about all the Android flagships out there in the world. Using their stats that means roughly 50 million Androids were high end for the previous quarter sales (19.82%). That's way more then all the other platforms combined in just numbers alone. Never mind the mid range or low end markets, which we know total to over 250 million for Android.

37. techspace

Posts: 1037; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

we are talking about the money earned from the high end market, not the number of high end phones(now anything more than $400 is considered high end in this chart)

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