Android and iOS leave little room for rivals

Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS platforms continue to dominate the smartphone market, as worldwide shipments edged past 300 million units.

Android and iOS account for 96.4% of the total smartphone market, according to final data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, leaving little space for competitors.

Android was the primary driver with its vendor partners shipping a total of 255.3 million Android-based smartphones in 2Q14, up 33.3% year over year. Meanwhile, iOS saw its market share decline despite posting 12.7% year-over-year shipment growth.

While Android and iOS both realized gains from a year ago, the rest of the market recorded losses.

The boost in Android popularity was mainly driven by a rise in the sub-$200 smartphone segments, IDC said, noting that 58.6% of all Android shipments worldwide cost less than $200, off-contract.

“It’s been an incredible upward slog for other OS players – Windows Phone has been around since 2010 but has yet to break the 5% share mark, while the backing of the world’s largest smartphone player, Samsung, has not boosted Tizen into the spotlight,” said Melissa Chau, senior research manager with IDC.

“The biggest stumbling block is around getting enough partnerships in play – not just phone manufacturers but also developers, many of which are smaller outfits looking to minimize development efforts by sticking to the two big ecosystems,” she said.

Windows Phone volumes declined from a year ago, but compared to the previous quarter, it showed slight improvement, making it the clear number 3 smartphone platform.

Following three consecutive quarters of sequential decline, BlackBerry volumes have rebounded slightly from the previous quarter, but remain 78.0% lower than shipment levels from a year ago.

Top Five Smartphone Operating Systems (Units in Millions)

OS 2Q13 Shipment Volume 2Q13 Market Share 2Q14 Shipment Volume 2Q14 Market Share 2Q13/2Q14 Growth
Android 191.5 79.6% 255.3 84.7% 33.3%
iOS 31.2 13.0% 35.2 11.7% 12.7%
Windows Phone 8.2 3.4% 7.4 2.5% -9.4%
BlackBerry 6.7 2.8% 1.5 0.5% -78.0%
Others 2.9 1.2% 1.9 0.6% -32.2%
Total 240.5 100.0% 301.3 100.0% 25.3%

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Android and iOS leave little room for rivals