ABI Research reports that Android once again dominated the Q4 2013 shipment numbers for smartphone advanced operating systems with 77% market share of over 280 million smartphones shipped in Q4 2013.Nearly one billion smartphones were shipped in 2013, Android accounting for 78% across the year.
Androidâ€™s dominance is not quite as rosy as it seems though, with most of the growth coming from forked Android operating systems (137% year-on-year), mainly in China, India, and adjacent markets. Forked Android or AOSP accounted for 25% market share with 71 million unit shipments, as opposed to certified Androidâ€™s share of 52%, of a total of 77% market share.
â€œThe growth of AOSP is significant for Androidâ€™s owner Google, because AOSP does not offer Googleâ€™s services (due to their unavailability in China), impacting Googleâ€™s ability to monetize the Android ecosystem,â€ comments Nick Spencer, senior practice director, mobile devices.
My answer to the question of whether or not Google is losing control of the Android ecosystem is this: According to data from ABI Research, yes, Google seems to be losing control of the Android ecosystem, especially in China.