According to the latest IDC report of the overall Smartphone OS sales volumes in Q1, 2013, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) owned Windows OS stole a fast leap over Research In Motion (NASDAQ: BBRY) owned BlackBerry OS to move to the third position. While Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) owned Android and Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) owned iOS still remain a top grossers commanding a total market share of 92.3% in terms of overall sales, the valley between the two not only remains wide but appears to be widening at an even faster pace. Android devices sales grew by 79.5% YOY for the Quarter ended March 31st, 2013 while iOS managed to record a mere 6.6% growth YOY. What was astonishing however was that Windows Phone OS stole a leap frog over BlackBerry OS by recording a whopping 133.3% increase in sales.
Among Android sales, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (KRX:005930) led the wolf pack by being a clear market leader with 41% of the overall Android sales. The remaining were achieved my other players who recorded a single digit percentage sales. Despite all this, it is interesting to see that the intra-Android competition doesn’t seem to dampen but has been consistently been a driving force in innovations to leave a proprietary mark on the Android Device user experience.
Apple’s iOS recorded the largest first quarter sales since it started selling the devices back in 2007. However, when we take a look at the YOY iOS sales, Apple recorded a drop of more than 25% in the sales. While last year, Apple held a market share of 23%, this year it could retain only 17.3%. However, this should not be astonishing since the sales in Apple devices has been lukewarm right from the start. It is however contemplated and rumored that a complete UX change in iOS 7 is expected and may turn the tide for Apple.
Windows Phone OS managed it’s first ever largest YOY gain among the operating systems that were pitted against one another by more than doubling in the volumes shipped this quarter. A majority of these sales may be attributed to the entry of Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) into the Microsoft partner network. Nokia alone accounted for sales of nearly 20.3 million Windows Phone devices in total. The other sales may be accounted for by other Microsoft Partners. Market Share remained fairly low at just 3.2% but if the figures are anything to go by, Apple has something to be afraid of in the coming years. Windows may pull the ground under its feet and Apple may not even realize it.
BlackBerry once again recorded double digit declines on a YOY sales but that masks the company’s progress in terms of sales of devices running BB10 and BB7. Blackberry’s major revenues still come from the low priced BB7 powered work horses that are well received even today in key areas. As a first, BB10 powered devices managed a over a million devices in terms of sale which is a significant breakthrough for the ailing company.
Nokia powered Symbian and Open Source OS Linux saw another year of decline owing to the fact that most OEMs have either shifted to making and selling Android powered devices or Windows powered devices. Samsung, the biggest supporter of Linux is soon slated to ship Tizen powered devices. Let’s hope to see a positive change in the market share post that.
Top Five Smartphone Operating Systems, Shipments, and Market Share, 1Q 2013 (Units in Millions)
I strongly wish Apple would allow iOS to be installed on devices other than its own. That would definitely become one volatile combination that could shake Android right at its roots.