IDC: Android, iOS shatter 90% worldwide smartphone share in Q4
Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS combined to power 91.1 percent of all 227.8 million smartphones shipped during the fourth quarter of 2012, market intelligence firm IDC reports.
Google's Android smartphone manufacturing partners and Apple shipped a cumulative 207.6 million units worldwide during the final three months of 2012, up 70.2 percent from 122 million units shipped during the fourth quarter of 2011. Looking at the 2012 calendar year as a whole, Android and iOS combined for 87.6 percent of all 722.4 million smartphones shipped worldwide, up from 68.1 percent of the 494.5 million units shipped the previous year.
Android ended 2012 with an international smartphone market share of 68.8 percent, surging from 49.2 percent. IDC notes that Samsung Electronics dramatically outpaced rival Android vendors in 2012, manufacturing 42 percent of all 497.1 Android smartphones shipped last year. Apple shipped 135.9 million iPhones in 2012, translating to a market share of 18.8 percent, identical to 2011.
"The dominance of Android and Apple reached a new watermark in the fourth quarter," said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team. "Android boasted a broad selection of smartphones and an equally deep list of smartphone vendor partners. Finding an Android smartphone for nearly any budget, taste, size and price was all but guaranteed during 2012. As a result, Android was rewarded with market-beating growth. Likewise, demand for Apple's iPhone 5 kept iOS out in front and in the hands of many smartphone users. At the same time, lower prices on the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S brought iOS within reach of more users and sustained volume success of older models. Even with the Apple Maps debacle, iPhone owners were not deterred from purchasing new iPhones."
BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) shipped 7.4 million smartphones during the fourth quarter of 2012, down from 13 million a year earlier. The BlackBerry OS powered 32.5 million smartphones shipped last year, corresponding to a market share of 4.5 percent, down from 10.3 percent in 2011. IDC chalked up BlackBerry's slide to its decision to postpone the release of the new BlackBerry 10 update to early 2013, loosening its grip on the enterprise and eroding its foothold in the emerging markets segment. IDC adds BlackBerry must now battle to migrate current BlackBerry users to BB10 and persuading users on rival smartphone platforms--including former BlackBerry owners--to switch.
Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone follows with fourth-quarter 2012 unit shipments of 6 million, surging from 2.4 million in the final quarter of 2011. In all, 17.9 million Windows Phone devices shipped in 2012, roughly doubling from 9 million a year earlier, and the platform increased its smartphone market share from 1.8 percent to 2.5 percent. "The addition of Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) strong commitment behind the platform was the key driver in Microsoft's success," IDC said. "At the same time, the relationship has benefited Nokia, which amassed 76 percent of all Windows Phone/Windows Mobile smartphone shipments."
Linux unit shipments fell from 16.3 million in 2011 to 15.1 million in 2012, translating to a market share decline from 3.3 percent to 2.1 percent. "Linux has remained essentially flat from the previous year, with longtime supporters NEC and Panasonic moving to Android and newcomers K-Touch and Haier making up the difference," IDC noted. "Linux will bear close observation in 2013 as new smartphones from SailFish, Tizen, and Ubuntu are all scheduled to launch this year. Still, these new Linux-powered operating systems will require time and investment to gain momentum in the market, making for a slowly growing trajectory."
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