Android army bolsters its mobile OS ranks - IDCBy Hanleigh Daniels 8 August 2013 | Categories: news
The latest market research from data analytics company IDC (International Data Corporation) has revealed that Google’s Android as well as Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform managed to grow global mobile OS share during Q2 2013.
According to the IDC’s worldwide quarterly mobile phone tracker service, vendors shipped a total of 236.4 million smartphones in the second quarter, representing a year-on-year increase of 51.3% from Q2 2012’s 156.2 million units. Growth was also experienced on a quarter-on-quarter basis, as shipments increased by 9.3% from Q1 2013’s 216.3 million.
Android’s mobile platform stake is inching ever closer to 80% as it increased from 69.1% in Q2 2012 to 79.3% within Q2 2013. Leading the Android smartphone army from the front is Korean tech giant Samsung and its sells-like-hotcakes Galaxy S4 (review).
IDC added that Samsung’s Korean neighbour LG plus Chinese OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) Huawei, Lenovo, and ZTE are not to be overlooked. When combined, the shipments of all of these Android vendors accounted for 62.5% of all Android-powered smartphone shipments over the course of the quarter.
Redmond has a red hot Q2
Windows Phone smartphone shipments totalled 8.7 million during Q2 2013, giving Redmond a 3.7% mobile platform stake, up from 4.9 million devices shipped and a mobile share of 3.1% within Q2 2012. This amounts to the biggest year-on-year increase among the top five smartphone platforms.
IDC stated that Nokia accounted for the lion’s share (81.6%) of Windows Phone smartphone shipments. The company added that beyond the Espoo-based phone giant, Windows Phone remained a secondary option for all the other vendors, as many of these companies have concentrated on Android as their main mobile platform.
“Last quarter we witnessed Windows Phone shipments surpassing BlackBerry and the trend has continued into the second quarter,” said Ryan Reith, program manager with IDC’s Mobility Tracker Programs.
“Nokia has clearly been the driving force behind the Windows Phone platform, and we expect that to continue. However, as more and more vendors enter the smartphone market using the Android platform, we expect Windows Phone to become a more attractive differentiator in this very competitive market segment,” Reith concluded.
Apple smartphone stake shrinks due to lack of new device
Unlike Redmond and Google, Apple’s share in the worldwide smartphone OS market declined on a year-on-year basis from 16.6% in Q2 2012 to 13.2% during Q2 2013. However, IDC said that even without any new mobile products iOS still finished the quarter as the clear number 2 smartphone OS. The market research firm added that what remains to be seen is the impact that iOS 7 will have for iPhone sales, seeing how much of a departure it is from the current version of iOS.
“The iOS decline in the second quarter aligns with the cyclicality of iPhone,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. “Without a new product launch since the debut of the iPhone 5 [review] nearly a year ago, Apple’s market share was vulnerable to product launches from the competition. But with a new iPhone and revamped iOS coming out later this year, Apple is well-positioned to re-capture market share.”
Writing on the wall for Waterloo?
According to IDC, BlackBerry’s market share contracted during the quarter to reach levels not seen in the history of IDC’s Mobile Phone Tracker service. The Waterloo-based company’s smartphone market share dropped from 4.9% in Q2 2012 to 2.9% in Q2 2013.
IDC did say that BlackBerry has shown steady progress since the launch of its BlackBerry 10 platform, with three models currently available in the Z10 (review), Q10 (review), and Q5 (review). It stressed however that BlackBerry will need time and resources in order to evangelise more end users.
Opening more OS avenues via open-source software
Since very few vendors are supporting the open source platform, Linux, the OS barely scraped together a single percentage point of market share during Q2. IDC stated that most OEMs have transitioned to Android, and those that remain have limited presence within specific markets.
The analytics company counts Linux-branded smartphone shipments (Mozilla’s Firefox OS, Tizen, and SailFish) separately from Android-branded device shipments, even though Android is also based on Linux.
In other market research related news, ABI Research recently revealed that there are some tough times ahead for smartphone vendors, with the balance of power in the mobile industry still residing with Samsung/Android and Apple.
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