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Android may have surpassed iOS several years ago in the total number of smartphone users who run the operating system, but that doesn’t mean Apple or iPhones are out of the picture. As growth in Android ownership has slowed and BlackBerry has continued to drop in popularity, Apple has been reaping the benefits, based on eMarketer’s latest forecast of smartphone OS users.
eMarketer estimates there will be 140 million smartphone users in the US by the end of this year, up from 121.4 million last year and set to reach 159.9 million by 2014. Nearly 46% of this year’s users will run Android on their phones, while 38.3% will run iOS.
Those figures represent growth in share as well as absolute numbers for both operating systems, which comes as BlackBerry and other systems besides Windows Mobile have all lost ground. Apple and Google are consolidating their positions as the top two smartphone operating systems in the country by far.
Android, which grew rapidly in popularity soon after its release, fell from triple-digit to double-digit increases in users in 2012—that year its growth rate actually lagged behind iOS. In 2013 and 2014, eMarketer predicts, growth rates for both systems will be almost identical, varying by less than a percentage point. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2011 and 2014 will be slightly higher for iOS than for Android, and in overall reach among the US population, Android will be ahead by just 4 points in 2014.
eMarketer bases our estimates of smartphone OS users on the analysis of survey and traffic data from research firms and regulatory agencies, historical trends, company-specific data, and demographic and socioeconomic factors.
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