Android dominates on smartphones

Google‘s Android operating system is now on three of every four smartphones shipped in the third quarter, according to an International Data Corporation (IDC) report.

The IDC’s report found that Android smartphone shipments worldwide reached 136.0 million units, accounting for 75.0% of the 181.1 million smartphones shipped in 3Q12.

The 91.5% year-over-year growth was nearly double the overall market growth rate of 46.4%.

“Android has been one of the primary growth engines of the smartphone market since it was launched in 2008,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager, mobile phones at IDC.

“In every year since then, Android has effectively outpaced the market and taken market share from the competition. In addition, the combination of smartphone vendors, mobile operators, and end-users who have embraced Android has driven shipment volumes higher.”

“Even today, more vendors are introducing their first Android-powered smartphones to market,” he said.

To-date, Android has an overall market share of 68.2%, having shipped on 333.6 million smartphones since its launch in 2008.

Android Smartphone Shipments and Market Share, 2008 – 2012 YTD (Units in Millions)

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 YTD
Android Total Unit Shipments 0.7 7.0 71.1 243.4 333.6
Android Market Share 0.5% 4.0% 23.3% 49.2% 68.2%

Mobile operating systems

In the overall mobile operating system market space, BlackBerry OS, Symbian and Linux saw a decline in market share, year-on-year, for the third quarter 2012, while Android, Apple‘s iOS and Microsoft‘s Windows Phone saw growth.

Samsung was the leading vendor driving Android, but also saw its marketshare decline as smaller vendors increased their production of Android devices.

Apple’s iOS trailed behind Android with a 14.9% marketshare. Q3 sales were driven largely by the launch of iPhone 5 and the lowering of prices of older devices.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 more than doubled its market share year-on-year, but currently poses no threat to Apple or Google’s dominant positions. Q4 may reflect otherwise with the launch of Windows 8, the IDC said.

BlackBerry’s market share continued to sink ahead of the incoming BlackBerry 10 operating system in 2013, while Linux continued to lose out to Android.

Symbian saw the bigest loss in market share (-77.3%) as its biggest supporter, Nokia, transitioned to the Windows Phone platform. The IDC believes that Symbian-powered smartphones will stop shipping in 2013; however, the installed base of Symbian users will continue well after that.

Top Six Smartphone Mobile Operating Systems, Shipments, and Market Share, Q3 2012(Units in Millions)

Operating System
3Q12 Shipment Volumes 3Q12 Market Share 3Q11 Shipment Volumes 3Q11 Market Share Year-Over-Year Change
Android 136.0 75.0% 71.0 57.5% 91.5%
iOS 26.9 14.9% 17.1 13.8% 57.3%
BlackBerry 7.7 4.3% 11.8 9.5% -34.7%
Symbian 4.1 2.3% 18.1 14.6% -77.3%
Windows Phone 7/ Windows Mobile 3.6 2.0% 1.5 1.2% 140.0%
Linux 2.8 1.5% 4.1 3.3% -31.7%
Others 0.0 0.0% 0.1 0.1% -100.0%
Totals 181.1 100.0% 123.7 100.0% 46.4%

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Android dominates on smartphones