While Android continued to gain market share in the global smartphone market, it saw a significant drop on another key metric: Profits.
Analyst Chetan Sharma estimates that global profits in the Android hardware market for 2014 were down by half from the prior year — the first year that there has been any significant drop.
A lot of that is due to the big drop in profits at Samsung, the largest player in the Android market. China’s Xiaomi gained significant market share, but is only modestly profitable thanks to its slim margins. Meanwhile, other players like Sony and Motorola lost money in their Android-based mobile businesses.
That’s obviously of concern to the hardware companies, but it should also be worrisome for Google.