In the fourth quarter of 2012, market share for Google’s (GOOG) Android increased to 69.7%, up sharply from 51.3% in 2011. The two brands ceding to the ever-ubiquitous Android system are Apple (AAPL) and Blackberry (BBRY) . Microsoft (MSFT) , along with Nokia (NOK), has the Windows Phone that gained market share. [More tech lists: Short Covering Suggests These Are 4 Technology Stocks To Watch ] If Android dominated in 2012, it would look as though investors could grow skittish for Apple and Blackberry. Investors are already turning sour on shares of Apple. For the one-year period, Apple shares are down around 8%. Long time shareholders need not be worried or upset: Apple was up as much as 20,000% at its peak in 2012. Apple’s iOS market share declined in Q4 to 20.9%, down from 23.6%. Blackberry’s share dropped from 8.8% to 3.5%, while Microsoft grew from 1.8% to 3%. Analysis Apple’s profit margin will continue to face pressure due to the proliferation of Android devices in the market place. For smartphones, Nexus 4 constraints limited the negative pressure on Apple devices. Analysts and experts expect Apple to release another iPhone with a larger screen, TV devices, and better iPad minis. Some expectations may be realized, but it is clear that investors are looking for ways Apple could maintain its overall profit margin. The drop in Blackberry market share is expected. The company did not release Blackberry 10, based on QNX, until January 30 2013. Microsoft was able to grow market share with its Windows Phone 8 refresh from 7.0/7.8, but Blackberry could regain lost ground.
Android’s market share could keep growing, but it could be held back from old concerns of security and malware. Still, strong demand for Nexus 4 should be expected to continue, and an Nexus 5 launch later this year could solidify the market share gain.Business Section: Investing Ideas Using Compar-O-Matic, a tool available from Kapitall, past quarterly sales may be mapped against market capitalization. LG (LPL) is one beneficiary as Android devices grow. Sony (SNE) also makes Android-based smartphones: Analyze These Ideas: Getting Started: Access a performance overview for all stocks mentioned in this article.
Written by Kapitall Contributor Chris Lau