Android smartphone shipments fall for first time in Q4 of 2014

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Analyst firm ABI Research has reported that certified Android smartphone shipments fell quarter-on-quarter for the first time in 4Q 2014.

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In what is traditionally a shipment spike quarter, certified Android shipments fell from 217 million in 3Q 2014 to 206 million in 4Q 2014, mainly due to Apple iOS? 90 percent growth from 39.3 million to 74.5 million iPhones shipped, but also due to forked Android.

?Google?s Android is being attacked by Apple?s iOS at the high end and forked Android (AOSP) at the low end in high growth emerging markets. The Android One initiative has slowed forked Android growth, but Apple?s success has taken the high end of the market away from certified Android?s premium tier vendors,? said Nick Spencer, senior practice director for mobile devices at ABI Research.

?4Q 2014 has been a seismic quarter in the smartphone industry and many premium tier Android vendors may once again review their operating system and therefore content and service strategies in light of Apple and forked Android vendor Xiaomi?s success. Worrying times for Google?s mobile services and Android, but it presents opportunity for other service providers and even operating systems,? added Spencer.

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