New OS will fail to break Android, Apple smartphone domination

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The latest innovations in smartphone operating system technology will fail to make a dent in the dominance of Android and iOS, with Firefox, Tixen and Ubuntu struggling to hit a market share of five percent by 2018.

New figures from Analysys Mason have predicted that it will take until 2018 for smartphones to dominate the handset market, reaching a 52 percent share. This is in spite of smartphone sales starting to decline in the Nordics in Europe, and the United States from next year. By 2018, there will be 3.9 billion connected smartphones globally, up 136 percent from 2013.

The analysts said Apple will continue to lose market share, with iOS accounting for 13 percent of smartphone sales by 2018, compared to 16 percent last year. Android will continue its dominance of the market with a 72 percent share by 2018. While Windows Phone will make inroads in the high end of the market, Analysys Mason said its share will continue to be less than 10 percent by the same year.

The three biggest regions for smartphone adoption will be Western Europe (76 percent), North America (82 percent) and Developed Asia-Pacific (88 percent). The Chinese smartphone market was predicted to have sales of €95 billion between 2013 and 2018, with 1.3 billion smartphones sold in the region within the five year period.

Analysys Mason said manufacturers and operators will have to shorten the smartphone replacement cycle to stimulate sales and retain customers.

Ronan de Renesse, Principal Analyst for Analysys Mason, commented: "The pole position for the smartphone market in terms of operating systems and device manufacturers will not change much in the next five years. However, like a tugging war, much strength will be required from the major stakeholders to maintain their position and capture whatever little market share they can. The low-end smartphone segment will be paramount in maximising smartphone adoption across the world. The user experience on low-end smartphones is as important if not more than on the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S."