According to a recent report by IDC, in Q4 2012, Android and iOS smartphones accounted for 91.1% of all smartphone shipments. The report shows that Android smartphone vendors and Apple shipped a total of 207.6 million units worldwide during 4Q12, up 70.2% from the 122.0 million units shipped during 4Q11. For calendar year 2012, Android and iOS combined for 87.6% of the 722.4 million smartphones shipped worldwide, up from 68.1% of the 494.5 million units shipped during calendar year 2011.
Commenting on the insights, Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team said,”The dominance of Android and Apple reached a new watermark in the fourth quarter. 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.”
“With the recent introductions of two new smartphone platforms we expect some ground to be made by the new entrants over the coming years,” said Ryan Reith, program manager with IDC’s Mobile Device Trackers. “There is no question the road ahead is uphill for both Microsoft and BlackBerry, but history shows us consumers are open to change. Platform diversity is something not only the consumers have asked for, but also the operators.”
The report revealed that Android continued its overall upward trajectory, reaching triple-digit growth for the year. Samsung was the biggest contributor to Android’s success, amassing 42.0% of all Android smartphone shipments during the year. While iOS posted yet another quarter and year of double-digit growth with strong demand for the iPhone, what also stands out is how iOS’s year-over-year growth has slowed compared to the overall market.
According to the report BlackBerry’s decision to postpone the release of BB10 to 2013 left the platform vulnerable in 2012 and reliant primarily on older smartphones running on BB7. As a result, BlackBerry’s tight grip on enterprise users has loosened and its popularity within emerging markets has been diminished by the competition.
Windows Phone/Windows Mobile made market-beating progress in 4Q12 and 2012. The addition of Nokia’s strong commitment behind the platform was the key driver in Microsoft’s success. At the same time, the relationship has benefited Nokia, which amassed 76.0% of all Windows Phone/Windows Mobile smartphone shipments.
The report also revealed that 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.