HTC and Samsung have both clocked in with lower than expected sales of their Android devices, leaving investors disappointed and raising the very real question of whether the Android platform has peaked as no other Android vendors are picking up the slack in sales. This comes just days after security experts revealed that a longtime vulnerability in the Android system software makes nearly all Android phones and tablets sitting ducks for malicious takeover by hackers. Android’s no good very bad week just keeps finding a way to get worse.
Samsung is by far the most popular Android vendor in the United States and several other nations, with HTC ranking a distant enough second that it’s been struggling financially. But while HTC has warned that the sales of its moderately popular One phone aren’t enough to keep its financials from sinking even further, Samsung is also warning that its Galaxy S4 is also selling far below expectations. Stabley Times first reported in May that first month Galaxy S4 sales were troublingly weak once Samsung’s marketing speak was properly translated. Wall Street analysts have since warned that S4 sales have dropped even further. And now CNN is reporting that Android momentum has come to a “screeching halt.”
Adding insult to injury, Android’s growing reputation for being too “open” for its own good and therefore vulnerable to security and stability issues was thrust into the forefront by hackers who revealed that despite their fragmentation and intra-platform incompatibility, nearly all Android devices do have one thing in common: they can all be taken down by a skilled hacker with just a few keystrokes.
As Android’s bad week concludes, there are positive items on the horizon for the platform. Google is set to release the Android 4.3 system software soon-ish, adding new features. But it’ll need at least one Android vendor to step up and push lead the sales charge, as Samsung and HTC are showing they’re increasingly not up to carrying the load.