Android dominates smartphone apps, iOS rules tablets

Posted by Trent Nouveau

The annual volume of smartphone app downloads is pegged to reach an impressive 56 billion in 2013.

Of various OS platforms, Google’s Android is expected to account for 58% of the total, with Apple’s iOS commanding an annual share of 33%. Microsoft’s Windows Phone will finish the year with a slice of slightly smaller than 4%, as BlackBerry trails by a paltry 3%.

In the meantime, mobile users will download around 14 billion tablet apps during the year. In the tablet segment, iPad’s lead as a development platform remains quite formidable, as 75% of the amount will be apps running on iOS.

In contrast, Android is projected to represent an annual share of 17%, excluding Kindle Fire. Meanwhile, downloads to Amazon’s tablets will warrant a market share of 4%, with approximately 2% of the total designated for Windows tablets.

"With its vast installed base and the generally improved conditions for app building, [we] expect a growing number of smartphone-focused developers to adopt an Android-first strategy within the year. [However], arguably the most pressing issue for Google is how much of this handset momentum will ultimately trickle down to tablets, where Apple is holding the fort remarkably well," explained ABI Research analyst Aapo Markkanen.

"We would argue that in this context Google will actually benefit from the efforts by Amazon, since the presence of Kindle Fire adds a lot of critical ‘code mass’ to Android’s proposition as a platform for tablet applications. It is worth remembering that Android’s so-called fragmentation problem isn’t only a problem, but that it has a certain upside as well."