Market research firm IHS iSuppli said on its newly-released report that mobile phones powered by Android, an open-source operating system offered for free by Google, will remain on top by the end of 2012, likely shipping out 357 million units in the year.
Another 451 million Android phones will flood the global market by next year, the IHS report said, and when the figures were add up to the sales that were accumulated since 2008 it is likely that the one billion mark will be breached by 2013.
"We expect the Android operating system to become the first to reach the milestone of 1 billion shipments," IHS mobile analyst Daniel Gleeson said in a press release.
"The Androids are taking over the world of smartphones," Mr Gleeson added.
The HIS reported lauded Google for its come-from-behind feat that effectively eclipsed its closest rival, Apple's iOS, which to date has shifted some 237 million of iPhones since the product debuted in 2007.
Much of Android's success is attributed to the affordability of handsets that were manufactured by different vendors that availed of Google's mobile platform that they can configure to their preferences.
From this approach, Google draws profits via mobile advertisements and other related services offered by the Internet giant.
Apple, on the other hand, saw it fit to solely design the path of iPhone and the market that it created, which lead to "a compelling user experience in smartphones."
"What the iPhone did was to embody a mobile-centric product . . . not merely serve as an extension of the traditional PC," HIS senior analyst Wayne Lam observed.
Together, Apple and Google competed and in many ways unwittingly conspired in the emergence of ecosystems that "expand on the idea of the smartphone as a self-contained product . . . that includes unique user experiences, digital media content and additional capabilities via applications," the HIS report said.
Clearly though, Google is enjoying greater success in terms of volume shipments because the mobile phones that were powered by its OS have better ability to connect with more numbers of consumers the world over.
However, it's not because that Apple's iOS and smartphones were inferior but it's more of a question of economics, analysts said.
Even as the two ecosystems enjoy strong support and brisk handset sales, Apple now lags on overall smartphone shipments since its products were normally geared on the high-end market while Android encompasses all market segments, including the late adopters to the smartphone bandwagon.
This is reality is reflected by the latest estimates, HIS said, in which "Apple's iOS will amount to 527 million in cumulative shipments in 2013 and won't reach the 1 billion level until 2015."
Despite Apple's new iPhone 5 roll out, which analysts said should sell around 10 to 50 million units by December 2012, Android will keep its lead over the iOS, according to the HIS report.
That fact is best manifested by the rise this year of Samsung as the largest smartphone maker in the world, besting Apple in three of the last four quarters ending in June 2012 and likely replicating the achievement after the September quarter this year.
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