Today we bring you a guest article on Mobile OS Market share in Ireland by Rob from






Rob is the editor of the blog at, the online tech superstore. Expansys loves tech. All of it, from smartphones and tablets to laptops and accessories like the humble cable, and the blog brings the latest news and reviews from the site.

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What is the real OS breakdown of the Irish smarpthone market?


It would be pretty easy to think that Android is starting to dominate the smartphone market, rapidly gaining market share in all territories. For example in August last year stats showed that 56% of new devices that quarter were Android, double the number of iOS purchases.

And in December Andy Rubin revealed that there are now over 700,000 new Android activations every day. So, we should be seeing Android become the biggest OS name in mobile internet traffic, right?

Well, not exactly. According to Stat Counter over the last 12 months in Ireland we’ve seen a convergence in the amount of traffic from the two rival systems, with Android catching a little but iOS is still way out in front.


And after months of big price cuts, service outages and management changes, it’s all bad news for BlackBerry, and apparently a corresponding lack of sales. Yet, BlackBerry news and reviews here on Irish Tech News remain steadfastly popular.

So what’s the truth behind these seemingly contradictory reports? Part of the answer is the fact that iOS users use their phone for web browsing much more than their Android counterparts, and the iPad2 dominates the tablet market where much mobile browsing is done, but we looked at our sales figures at to dig a little deeper into the real state of the Irish smartphone market.

In 2011 Android did truly dominate the SIM-free market, with the all-conquering Samsung Galaxy S II the most popular phone across all categories. In fact Android sales more than doubled year on year from 2010 to 2011, and made up just over 60% of all smartphone sold on, offering proof that, in the SIM-free market at least, it has become the dominant player. Sales of iPhones by comparison remained much more constant, with high prices and only a gradual evolution in the iPhone 4S (compared to the rush for the iPhone 4).

Of course part of this is no doubt helped by the range of Android handsets available, from the premium Galaxy Nexus to more wallet friendly HTC Explorer and ZTE phones, with something for every budget between. Android users might not be as data-hungry or socially-addicted as Apple fans, but with more people using entry-level Android handsets as general phones on cheaper contracts rather than multimedia powerhouses this perhaps is understandable.

When it comes to BlackBerry the picture is a little less clear – sales were up by over 70% year on year, but market share in our SIM-free sales dropped, reflecting that despite the poor press RIM have received

BlackBerry fans in many cases remain very loyal to the brand. Time will tell if this year’s models and the release of BlackBerry 10 will continue this trend, and even make up some lost ground. RIM will have to act fast, as business users are moving away from BlackBerry as it’s traditional enterprise strengths are being matched by the competition.

The other note in the story is Windows Phone. Only released at the tail-end of 2010 a year on year increase of sales of over 1,200% is perhaps not surprising, but still good news for Microsoft. With the household name of Nokia behind it, and another improvement to the software due later this year it will be interesting to see if Windows Phone can keep the momentum.

What this quick look at the smartphone market shows is that simple sales or activation figures only show part of the story. SIM-free sales are good indicators of the market’s state, but can’t tell you how different operating systems are used, such as the case of iOS users generally spending more time online with their phone.

But what we can deduce is that many of the stories of Android’s growth are true, and while it will take some more time to match the overall sales of Apple phones and tablets, it certainly seems to be heading there.



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