Gartner: Android and iOS Almost the Whole Smartphone OS Ball of Wax

Carl Weinschenk

Gartner research says that smartphones had a good late 2015. The firm estimates that 403 million smartphone units were sold during the fourth quarter, which means that 1.4 billion devices were sold during the year. The quarterly growth was 9.7 percent and the yearly growth compared to 2014 was 14.4 percent, according to the report on the research at InformationWeek.

At one point, there was healthy competition to be the third player in the smartphone operating system (OS) segment. Apparently, that battle no longer exists and, at least according to Gartner, nobody won:

With quarterly shipments of about 320 million, Google's Android owned 80.7% of the smartphone market during the fourth quarter. Apple's iOS, which shipped on 71.5 million handsets, was a distant second with 17.7% of the market. Together, Android and iOS have a stranglehold, with 98.4% of the market.

The IIoT Will Grow

The Industrial Internet of Things, cousin of the Internet of Things (IoT), is going to be big. Everybody knows that. Analysts are working hard to determine just how big big will be.

Technavio is the latest to take a crack at prognosticating. Datamation says that the firm predicts that the IIoT software and services sector will reach almost $132 billion by 2020. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will be 7 percent.

The firm said that Asia Pacific is the largest IIoT market. North America is ramping up, however. Big names are getting involved:

In North America, efforts like the Industrial Internet Consortium will help popularize IoT among big businesses. Formed by AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM and Intel in 2014, the group has over 200 members. The consortium has attracted many major companies such as 3M, ABB, Accenture, Pitney Bowes, Oracle, Samsung, and Microsoft," stated Technavio. "There is a significant trend of IoT investments, consolidations, and partnerships among these organizations to gain competitive advantages."

Google Gets Two Patents

High technology companies get a lot of patents. In the case of Google, they tend to be things that seem odd and outside-the-box when first brought to light by enterprising reporters. A few years later, they often are things that people use and wear.

ITworld’s Sharon Gaudin reports that Google has been awarded two patents. One is for an advanced version of Google Glass and one for driverless delivery trucks. Gaudin described the Google Glass patent:

The hinged device would enable the display screen, which sits slightly over and above the user's right eye, to be flipped up and out of the way. The display also is being built to be more rugged.

The driverless vehicle – an autonomous delivery platform, to be more precise – includes separate secured compartments for each recipient, the story says. The customer would use a keypad to type in a code and open the container.

Qualcomm Leads in LTE

ABI Research released research this week that found that Qualcomm controlled what the press release calls a “staggering” 65 percent of the LTE market last year.

Commentary in the release points to the chip maker’s strong products and roadmap. It says that shipments grew 22 percent in the last three months of last year compared to the preceding quarter. During that timeframe, ABI found, Qualcomm held 63 percent of the market, with Samsung a distant second at 12 percent.

Huawei and newcomer MediaTech tied for third player at 9 percent each. Thus, the four players represented 95 percent of the market.

Chips for the IoT

One of the key tests of the IoT is how long sensors and other endpoint devices will be able to last between battery changes. Thus, the chipmakers that develop the most energy-efficient platforms will have a significant advantage.

Sequans Communications announced this week the first chip set for LTE Category M, which is aimed at this low-powered IoT use. Computerworld says that the Monarch chip will be ready when Category M networks are ready to go, which will be in late 2016 or early next year.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.

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