Boosted by the continued popularity of the iPhone, along with Samsung’s sales muscle, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS have increased their lead in the market, laying claim to a combined 85 percent stake of smartphone shipments.
For Android this means an increase to 68.1 percent share with Apple accounting for 16.9 percent.
Such dominance in the market is to be expected. Apple is still holding onto its position in the smartphone market that it opened up with the first iPhone, though it is losing ground to Android, which Google has been keen to get running on almost every non-Apple brand.
The fact that one Android manufacturer happens to be the seemingly unstoppable sales machine that is Samsung has not hurt the operating system’s position. The Korean ODM accounted for 44 percent of all Android sales, mostly through the sales of its Galaxy S2 and S3 handsets.
The chasm between the other players is grim viewing for the likes of Microsoft, Nokia, and RIM.
While Android and Apple take home most of the pie, the rest are left fighting for crumbs: both Blackberry and Symbian saw their share decrease from the previous year, dropping to 4.8 and 4.4 percent respectively. The difference being that Symbian is a dying platform, and RIM still intends to push a flagship product.
For Windows Phone 7 the picture is less clear. On one hand, the OS saw the largest increase in market share, by 115.3 percent, largely on the back of Nokia’s Lumia. The next iteration of Windows Phone will be on the horizon, too, as Microsoft attempts to firmly plant its roots in the ‘post-PC’ era.
Nokia makes good hardware but has suffered from significant brand damage, so for Microsoft to turn around Windows Phone using Nokia for its flagship products is possible, but no easy feat. For now, Windows Phone has just 3.5 percent of the market.
Microsoft’s OS may soon leapfrog into second place, but as IDC analyst Kevin Restivo points out, the mobile OS market is now “unquestionably a two-horse race”, with Android and iOS leaving the rest behind.