Android 80 Percent Of Global Smartphone Market
November 13, 2013

Android Exceeds 80 Percent Of Worldwide Phone Market

Enid Burns for - Your Universe Online

The Android platform continues to grow its market share for handsets, and now accounts for 81 percent of all smartphone shipments worldwide. Research firm IDC released a new report, Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report this week detailing the market share for smartphone operating systems.

In the third quarter IDC recorded a total base of 211.6 million smartphone units shipped. In year-over-year numbers, the smartphone space grew 39.9 percent worldwide despite high saturation in mature markets.

By platform, the report outlines interesting changes in the worldwide smartphone market. Android exceeded 80 percent of market shipments for the first time this past quarter, "a testament to its broad and deep list of vendors, including four of the top five vendors worldwide," the report read.

Android may be increasing in market share, but some of the vendors producing devices for the platform are battling to stay ahead. Samsung accounted for a whopping 39.9 percent of all Android shipments for the quarter. Yet many other vendors producing Android phones maintained only single-digit market shares, or held a market share of less than one percent.

Microsoft's Windows Phone gained ground with 156 percent year-over-year growth. A year ago, the Windows Phone was just getting started and held a base of only 3.7 million units. Even with 156 percent growth, Windows Phone still accounts for less than five percent of the overall market. Nokia accounted for 93.2 percent of all Windows Phone smartphone shipments. A number of other vendors produce for the platform, but saw much lower demand.

"Android and Windows Phone continued to make significant strides in the third quarter. Despite their differences in market share, they both have one important factor behind their success: price," said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team, in a corporate statement about the report. "Both platforms have a selection of devices available at prices low enough to be affordable to the mass market, and it is the mass market that is driving the entire market forward."

Apple's iOS experienced volume increases and a record third quarter, yet its market share declined during Q3 2013. Anticipation of the release of iOS 7 and new handset models are likely the cause of the slowdown. A late quarter boost occurred when 9 million units sold during the last week of September. IDC is expecting a record Q4 for the platform based on sales during the close of Q3.

While the fate of BlackBerry still hangs in the balance, the company held 4.5 percent of the market in Q3 2013. The company recorded the largest year-over-year decline among competing operating systems, during the quarter.

Smartphones are growing, not just in market size but also screensize.

"Almost all successful Android vendors have added one or more 5-7-inch phablets to their product portfolios," said Ryan Reith, program director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

"And Nokia's recent announcement of the Lumia 1320 and 1520 put them in the category as well. In Q313, phablet shipments accounted for 21 percent of the smartphone market, up from just 3 percent a year ago. We believe the absence of a large-screen device may have contributed to Apple's inability to grow share in the third quarter."