In the past year, Android handsets and Apple iPhones (iOS) have outshone the once-dominant BlackBerry smartphones. Research from the International Data Corporation (IDC) reveals that the first quarter of 2012 saw a more than 25% increase of Android and iOS platforms among total smartphones shipped globally over first quarter of 2011.
Smartphones using Android, Google’s operating system, accounted for 59% of all phones shipped in early 2012, or nearly 90 million units, while Apple iPhones accounted for 23%, or over 35 million units shipped.
Overall, Android is dominating the global smartphone market thanks to its continuous development and range of new products, which have helped it register an outstanding year-over-year growth of 145%.
Meanwhile, the popularity of the iOS platform has also increased exponentially at a rate of just under 89% year-over-year, with Apple’s focus on innovation going strong.
Other Smartphone Platforms Struggling
According to IDC figures, other smartphone platforms took the rest of the market share, with none coming in at more than 7%.
BlackBerry’s share amounts to just over 6%, with 9.7 million devices shipped; this is a decrease of roughly 7% from the first quarter of 2011. Nokia’s outdated Symbian platform, with an over 60.5% year-after-year decline, bested BlackBerry ever-so-slightly.
Linux’s share of the market grew to over 2%, or 3.5 million devices shipped, and Microsoft’s platforms held steady at 2.2% or over 3 million devices.
IDC data showed that last year’s smartphone market share was more evenly distributed among BlackBerry, iOS, Symbian and Android, with figures ranging from a 15% to 40% share.
The market for smartphones has risen by 50% in the past year, yet only Apple and Google are emerging as clear winners. In the end, intensive marketing and production set these platforms ahead, and the other platforms have much work to do to catch up in the following year.
As Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC, explains: “The popularity of Android and iOS stems from a combination of factors that the competition has struggled to keep up with. Neither Android nor iOS were the first to market with some of these features, but the way they made the smartphone experience intuitive and seamless has quickly earned a massive following.”
Key Statistics – Global smartphone market share first quarter 2012 vs first quarter 2011 (Source: IDC)
- Android – 145% increase, with approximately 90 million units shipped and 59% share
- iOS (iPhone) – Nearly 89% increase, with over 35 million units shipped and 23% share
- Symbian – Decline of over 60.5%, with slightly more than 10 million units shipped and 6.8% share
- BlackBerry – decline of around 30%, with less than 10 million units shipped and 6.4% share with 9.7 million units shipped (down from nearly 14 million units shipped first quarter of 2011)
- Linux – almost 9.5% growth, with 3.5 million units shipped and 2.3% share
- Windows Phone/Mobile – Around 27% growth, with 3.3 million units shipped and 2.2% share