In 2012, the two horse race between Android and iOS reached to peak in smartphone segment, despite Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform showed off tremendous year-over-year (Y/Y) growth. This time, Microsoft and BlackBerry have finally planned to step up their games against Apple and Google’s mobile OS. According to IDC’s latest report, the world’s two largest smartphone platforms–Android and iOS–together accounted for more than 91% of overall smartphone market share in the fourth quarter of 2012. However, Android devices alone accounted for a whopping 70.1% of all smartphones shipped during the quarter (Q4 2012), while iOS devices grabbed 21% of shares.
Interestingly, both Android and iOS have collectively been accounting for more than 50% share of the smartphone OS market over the past two years. But this time, we could also expect some wonders from Microsoft and Blackberry’s side with Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10 OSes respectively.
However, BlackBerry has been paying for increasing dominance of Android and iOS in mobile segment since the last couple of years. The company’s (BlackBerry’s) smartphone market share dropped to 3% in Q4 2012, from 8% a year ago. The main reason for the BlackBerry’s market share decline throughout the year was that the company didn’t launch any competitive smartphone against Apple and Samsung. Despite, the company could expect surge in its smartphone market share with robust sales of BlackBerry 10 devices this year, which is expected to hit 20 million figure by the end of 2013.
For the calender year 2012, Android and iOS (combine) accounted for 87.6% of overall smartphone market share. More importantly, 207.6 million Android and iOS-powered smartphones were shipped during Q4 2012, up from 122.0 million units shipped during the same quarter of the prior year. For the entire 2012, Android and iOS together scored 722.4 million smartphones, up from 494.5 million units a year before.
The strong demand of Apple’s iPhone 5 during the last quarter boosted the company’s overall smartphone shipments figure, reached to 47.5 million. Meanwhile, lower-priced iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S also performed outstandingly, and reached to a significant number of users worldwide.
Android continued its upward trajectory with triple-digit growth for the year–thanks to Samsung’s Galaxy lineups that boosted to the OS’ market share in 2012. Breaking out to the facts, Samsung accounted for 42.0% of all Android smartphone shipments during the last year.
However, iOS also accounted double-digit growth in 2012, but it’s market share declined to 21% in Q4 2012, from 23% in the same quarter of the last year. Apple’s mobile OS’ growth slowed down in 2012 due to poor shipments of iPhones during Q2 and Q3 of the last year. At present, speculations say that the company could launch an inexpensive iPhone later this year to entice more number of consumers in emerging markets like India and China.
On the other side, in 2012, Blackberry also had to pay off due to its decision to postpone the release date of BlackBerry 10 OS to January 30. Apparently, the devices based on BB7 were vulnerable compared to Apple and Samsung’s smartphones. As a result, BlackBerry’s grip on enterprise users dwindled throughout the last year.
Furthermore, due to Nokia’s commitment towards Windows Phone platform, the OS showed off an impressive 150% Y/Y growth in Q4 2012 in terms of sales . In simple words, Nokia–accounting for 76% of Windows Phone/Windows Mobile sales–was the key driver of Microsoft mobile OS market share during the last year.