SINGAPORE/JAKARTA: Android devices are gaining in Asia, according to several new reports highlighting the dominance of Samsung and Apple across the region.
Latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech show the share of Android devices in China in the three months to the end of January 2014 up 8.2 points year on year to 80.9%. Apple's iOS had dropped back 4.7 points to a share of 17.4% over the same period.
The picture was less clear in Australia, where both operating systems lost share marginally, by 0.2 points to 57.7% for Android and by 0.9 points to 35.1% for iOS. In Japan, traditionally an Apple stronghold, iOS gained 2.6 points to 68.7% while Android fell 1.7 points to 30.5%.
The Blackberry and Windows operating systems barely mustered a 1% combined share in China and had dropped to zero in Japan, according to Kantar Worldpanel. In Australia, Blackberry had a 0.3% share, while Windows had gained 1.8 points to 5.1%.
Further evidence for Android's growth came from mobile advertising platform Millennial Media. In its review of 2013, it said that impressions from Android devices were twelve percentage points higher in the APAC region than its global average, and now accounted for two thirds of total impressions in the region.
Meanwhile, a report in The Australian cited IDC figures showing Android's share of the Indonesian market had climbed to 81% while that of rival Blackberry had fallen to 14%.
Blackberry has partnered with Chinese manufacturer Foxconn and is expected to launch a new phone aimed specifically at the Indonesian market, but Jakarta retailers told The Australian that they were struggling to shift existing models as consumers preferred Android devices because of the number of games and apps available and their cheaper price points.
Kantar further observed that the phablet trend was continuing to "power ahead" in China. Almost one third (31%) of smartphones sold in the three months to the end of January had screen sizes of more than five inches, while 9% had screens larger than 5.5 inches.
Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said that phablet ownership in China was skewed heavily to women, unlike Europe and the US where young, male early adopters were the main trend drivers.
Sunnebo added that manufacturers targeting the Chinese market should take note of the fact that in Europe, where the wave of phablet owners was now coming to upgrade their devices, "over 40% are down-sizing to [something] smaller".
Data sourced from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Millennial Media, The Australian; additional content by Warc staff