Forked Android’s market share on the rise: Report

The version of the Android mobile operating system that allows channel partners to customize the software appears to be growing in popularity and could be eating into the market of the stock Android version from Google.

Market research firm ABI Research reports that forked Android or the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) software has grown to 20 per cent in the second quarter of 2014 and that it now accounts for 20 per cent of the total smart phone market.

The Google-certified or Open Handset Alliance (OHA) version of the software still corners 65 per cent of the market and its share grew 13 per cent sequentially. Android AOSP version and OHA version smart phones combined accounted for 278 million smart phones shipped or 86 per cent of the market share for the second quarter of 2014.

Google-certified Android features Google services. The company only allows OHA licensees to make minor changes to the software on their devices for instance original equipment manufacturers cannot customize the user interface.

Device makers using the AOSP version can still use Google’s services but they can also customize their hardware to run third-party software and services.

While OHA Android still maintains a big lead, the numbers show that market share for AOSP is growing indicating greater adoption of offerings from system integrators and channel partners that add customize the software. ABI attributes this development to activity in new growth markets.

“AOSP’s growth is driven by the development of Chinese and Indian handset manufacturers, not only in their domestic markets, but increasingly throughout Asia and beyond,” Nick Spencer, senior practice director for mobile devices at ABI, said in a statement.

He said Chinese and Indian vendors accounted for majority of smart phone shipments in the period taking as much as 51 per cent share.

“While many of these manufacturers are low cost, some are making inroads in the mid-tier, including Xioami and Gionee, hence a growing challenge to Samsung in Particular,” said Spencer.


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Nestor Arellano
Nestor Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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