Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest mobile OS of them all? You don’t need any kind of magical powers to answer that, but only some common sense and/or access to reports and forecasts from specialized research firms.

According to the latest such report conducted by ABI Research, the ruler of the modern mobile technology world is going to ascertain its dominance over the “competition” by the end of 2013. More precisely, out of the 1.4 billion smartphones that are allegedly going to be in use by December, 798 million will use Android.

That leaves a small, but still pretty juicy piece of the pie for Apple’s iPhones and just minuscule slices for Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10. Namely, we should be seeing 294 million iPhones around us, as well as 45 million WP devices and 20 million BB10 phones give or take.

Put differently, Android is set to hold a dominant 57% market share, iOS is going to be a distant second with 21%, while Microsoft and RIM Blackberry’s operating systems will battle it out for bronze, with 3.2 and 1.4% shares respectively.

Everything’s good for us Android geeks and it all sounds legit, right? Well, not quite. Because, if these numbers prove accurate, our favorite mobile OS could actually go into a free fall during 2013. Recent Canalys estimates pinned down Android’s market share at 69.2%, so will that slip to 57% in just 12 months?


We highly doubt it, which is why we think someone messed up ABI Research’s projections. After all, if we add the supposed year end shares of Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BB 10 together, we’re going to get a total of a little over 82%. Which would leave 18% to, what, Symbian and old BlackBerries? We think not.

Assuming ABI’s numbers are after all correct and we’re missing something in that above equation, the little green robot still doesn’t have serious cause of concern. Nearly 800 million devices in actual use is a number we can be proud of, especially when thinking that the 1 billion mark for all active smartphones was only crossed a few months ago. And now we can start dreaming at seeing 1 billion Android devices as soon as 2014. Mind = blown.

As you can imagine, the status quo isn’t quite as rosy when it comes to the tablet market, although it’s clear things are picking up for Android there as well. There will be 268 million active tabs at the end of 2013, out of which 63% (over 168 million) will run iOS, while 28% (75 million) will come with Android on board.

In other words, the gold is still snatched comfortably by Apple’s iPads, but gone are the days when iOS held 85% of the market share, while Android struggled to reach 10%. And if the leap from 10 to 28% has been so smooth, why couldn’t we hope to see the bar raised to over 50% soon?