Americans still love their iPhones, but globally Android shows little sign of budging from its dominant position in mobile devices. Android represented 83.1 percent of the smartphone market, as of Q3 2014, according to Gartner's Dec. 15 report. IDC estimated Android at 82.1 percent as of Q2 2014.
Like iOS, which moved to 12.7 percent market share thanks to the popular iPhone 6, Android continues to gain market share, according to Gartner. Meanwhile, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and "others" have all slipped. Breaking it down by vendor, Samsung, which has ruled the Android roost in recent years, took a nosedive from 32.1 to 24.4 percent, while Chinese Android vendors Huawei, Lenovo, and fast-growing Xiaomi led the Android-focused competition, with each taking over 5 percent, says Gartner.
Most of smartphone growth has come from budget phones in emerging markets. Here, Android has been quickly pushing feature phones toward the exits, even before Android launched its Android One program in India and elsewhere. Like Google's Nexus, Android One is based on a clean, up-to-date Android 5.0 stack. However, it also defines a hardware reference platform aimed at low- to mid-range devices, and comes with free direct OTA updates.
Android also continues to dominate in the tablet market, which has cooled off in part due to the popularity of phablets and lower cost notebooks, especially Chrome OS models. Apple's iPads will drop to 27.5 percent of global tablet share in 2014, according to IDC. Android will represent 67.7 percent while Windows trails at 4.6 percent.
For a broader perspective on Android in 2014, see the companion article, 2014 Was the Year of Android Everywhere.