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A ‘Seismic Quarter’: iOS Soars As Android Falls

A Traditionally a spike quarter, ABI found certified Android shipments fell 5 per cent from 217 million in the third quarter to 206 million, which it stated was mainly due to iOS’ 90 per cent growth from 39.3 million to 74.5 million iPhones shipped.

Windows Phone also posted strong growth on the previous quarter, with 10.7 million shipments representing 19 per cent growth, while forked Android (Android Open Source Project) recorded a 1 per cent decline, with 85 million shipments.

Nick Spencer, ABI Research senior practice director, mobile devices, noted Google’s Android faces dual attacks from Apple’s iOS at the high end and forked Android and AOSP at the low end in high-growth emerging markets.

“The Android One initiative has slowed forked Android and AOSP growth outside China, but Apple’s success has taken the high end of the market away from certified Android’s premium tier vendors,” Spencer commented.

“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.”

Spencer added that it is “worrying times for Google’s mobile services and Android”, while noting it presents opportunities for other service providers and even operating systems.