By Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesApple's global share of the smartphone market is stuck at ~18%, according to the latest data from Gartner.
Android, meanwhile, is continuing to dominate with 74.4% of the market.
This data reiterates the fact that Apple is just a niche player globally, despite its profits, and despite its overall influence.
For a long time, this wasn't a problem for Apple. Its unit sales grew at a healthy pace despite its tiny share of the market. Its profits, and its revenue followed pace.
It looks like it's finally becoming a problem for Apple.
iPhone units grew by single digits last quarter, and revenue is forecast to be flat (or down) this quarter. EPS was down on a year over year basis last quarter, and it's expected to be down again this quarter.
Apple is expected to introduce a lower-cost iPhone, which will make the iPhone more affordable for more people around the world, which will help gain market share and unit growth.
It also needs to get on more carriers. Bloomberg reports that Apple is missing out on 2.8 billion potential smartphone customers because carriers don't want to agree to its terms for the iPhone.
Apple has added fewer than a dozen new carriers since September of 2011, says Bloomberg.
Until Apple can get more distribution for the iPhone at a lower price, it's going to be stuck as a niche player in the biggest computing market in the world.
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