So it’s now official: the smartphone market is actually a duopoly dominated by both Android and iOS who accounted for 91.1 percent of fourth quarter sales in 2012.
According to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) latest figures the two platforms accounted for 87.6 percent of all sales in 2012. However the main chunk of the pie belongs to Android, which pulled in 69 percent of all smartphone sales globally, while Apple devices took 19 percent of the market share. Apple’s sales proved to be highest in Western markets mostly because of lower priced iPhone 4 and 4S resulting from the introduction of the iPhone 5.
IDC put Android’s market-beating growth down to the fact that 2012 saw an explosion of Android smartphones matching nearly “any budget, taste, size and price.”
In comparison, Blackberry mobile sales fell by more than 36 percent last year and it now only holds 3.2 percent of the market share. Microsoft on the other hand managed to increase its share from 1.5 percent in 2011 to 2.5 percent last year, however the firm is still at the bottom of the smartphone platform rung.
Programme manager for IDC’s Mobile Device Trackers, Ryan Reith claimed that despite the low figures it was not all doom and gloom for Blackberry and Microsoft. “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,” he said.
IDC noted that Linux-based smartphones could be more of a factor in 2013 with the launch of devices from SailFish, Tizen and Ubuntu. However, the analyst firm warned that these platforms will need time and investment to gain momentum in the market.
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