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IDC: Android Controls 59% of the World’s Smartphone Market Share, iOS at a Distant 23%

 

In the race for top smartphone operating system in the world, there is no competition – Android is king. According to the IDC, from Q1 2011 to Q1 2012, our favorite mobile OS went from owning 36% of the world’s share to 59%. In that same span, iOS jumped from 18% to 23%, and the rest of the field tumbled. Blackberry dropped from 13% to 6%, Symbian from 26% to 7%, and so on. The IDC estimates that 89.9 million Android units shipped in Q1 of this year – Samsung accounted for roughly 45% of them. You can call it a race between two players, but truthfully, this is a one man show with a solid 2nd place competitor.

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Android- and iOS-Powered Smartphones Expand Their Share of the Market in the First Quarter, According to IDC

24 May 2012

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. May 24, 2012 – Smartphones powered by the Android and iOS mobile operating systems accounted for more than eight out of ten smartphones shipped in the first quarter of 2012 (1Q12). According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, the mobile operating systems held shares of 59.0% and 23.0% respectively of the 152.3 million smartphones shipped in 1Q12. During the first quarter of 2011, the two operating systems held a combined share of 54.4%. The share gains mean that Android and iOS have successfully distanced themselves from previous market leaders Symbian and BlackBerry, as well as Linux and Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile.

“The popularity of Android and iOS stems from a combination of factors that the competition has struggled to keep up with,” said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Phone Technology and Trends program. “Neither Android nor iOS were the first to market with some of these features, but the way they made the smartphone experience intuitive and seamless has quickly earned a massive following.”

“In order for operating system challengers to gain share, their creators and hardware partners need to secure developer loyalty,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker program. “This is true because developer intentions or enthusiasm for a particular operating system is typically a leading indicator of hardware sales success.”

Operating System Highlights

Android finished the quarter as the overall leader among the mobile operating systems, accounting for more than half of all smartphone shipments. In addition, Android boasted the longest list of smartphone vendor partners. Samsung was the largest contributor to Android’s success, accounting for 45.4% of all Android-based smartphone shipments. But beyond Samsung was a mix of companies retrenching themselves or slowly growing their volumes.

iOS recorded strong year-over-year growth with sustained demand for the iPhone 4S following the holiday quarter and the addition of numerous mobile operators offering the iPhone for the first time. Although end-user demand remains high, the iPhone’s popularity brings additional operational pressures for mobile operators through subsidy and data revenue sharing policies.

Symbian posted the largest year-over-year decline, a result driven by Nokia’s transition to Windows Phone. But even as Symbian volumes have decreased, there continues to be demand for the OS from the most ardent of users. In addition, Nokia continues to support Symbian, as evidenced by the PureView initiative on the Nokia 808. Still, as Nokia emphasizes Windows Phone, IDC expects further declines for Symbian for the rest of this year.

BlackBerry continued on its downward trajectory as demand for older BlackBerry devices decreased and the market awaits the official release of BB 10 smartphones later this year. In addition, many companies now permit users to bring their own smartphones, allowing competitor operating systems to take away from BlackBerry’s market share. Although RIM has not officially released BB 10, initial glimpses of the platform have shown improvement.

Linux maintained its small presence in the worldwide smartphone market, thanks in large part to Samsung’s continued emphasis on bada. By the end of the quarter, Samsung accounted for 81.6% of all Linux-powered smartphones, a 3.6% share gain versus the prior-year period. Other vendors, meanwhile, have been experimenting with Android to drive volume. Still, Linux’s fortunes are closely tied to Samsung’s strategy, which already encompasses Android, Windows Phone, and later this year, Tizen.

Windows Mobile/Windows Phone has yet to make significant inroads in the worldwide smartphone market, but 2012 should be considered a ramp-up year for Nokia and Microsoft to boost volumes. Until Nokia speeds the cadence of its smartphone releases or more vendors launch their own Windows Phone-powered smartphones, IDC anticipates slow growth for the operating system.

Via:  IDC | Engadget

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Hawj/714501567 Chris Hawj

    hmmm… i believe the last time i read an article about this, iOS makes more money than all of android combined.

    considering how there are a bagillion low end android devices also, its not surprising to see android taking up more market share.

    • http://profiles.google.com/k3gman Keg Man

      how does apple making a bagillion dollars help you though? Thats like saying “my dad is better than your dad because he makes lots of money.” If anything I’d be saying, I helped make you a filthy stinking loaded company that none can rival, how bout you pass some of your profit margin onto me the consumer? NO? ok, i’ll just over pay some more than, thank you

  • iNfAMOUS70702

    marketshare is one thing but how about customer satisfaction and updates?…since iOS 5 has came out it has seen iOS 5.0, 5.0.1, 5.1,and 5.1.1 ….that is something android cant say…timely updates are a must IMO

  • Guest

    News flash: there are many more toyotas on the road than bmws. Toyotas must be better. Wrong

    • jta43

      Too bad that doesn’t translate to smartphone comparisons… but nt.

      • Guest

        Not really. How many times do you see iphones buy one get one or $100 after a month? Or free on prepaid wireless. The market has been saturated with low end junk. Think of the $10 shovelware games that got crapped out daily for the nintendo wii, this led to the wii having huge software sales early on. Was the wii better thaan xbox 360? Hardly. Any of these comparisons work. Mind you, I love android…but this “us against the world”, inferiority complex journalism is embarrassing.

    • TheOiulkj

      Lmfao, you must have never owned a bmw.

    • Marvin

      That’s not a fair comparison though. There are less BMWs than Toyotas because BMWs are much more expensive. iPhones aren’t being sold as a higher end alternative to Android devices and aren’t more expensive than Android devices. They cost the same in US ($199) if you’re getting a new contract.

  • jeff3yan

    Wonder how the market is like in the enterprise sector? At least in my company, the iPad is used extensively at the management/executive level where almost all the board portal and management apps are iOS only.

    Even the in-house apps that we develop are iOS only and are deployed using Apple Configuator.

  • scrub175

    what would the numbers look like if we compared the number of handsets running the latest and greatest android OS to iOS’s latest and greatest handset count… Sure android has a wide margin but how many android devices are still on older android OS’s and can never run ICS or any newer updates going forward?

    • http://www.facebook.com/Introducing.TJB TJ Biddle

      Pretty easy to do the math:

      ~5% of all active Android devices are currently running ICS ( http://developer.android.com/resources/dashboard/platform-versions.html )

      0.05 * 59.00 = 2.95%

      Pretty much every phone that is ~12 months old at the latest should probably be getting ICS from what I’ve been seeing with release schedules from manufacturers. All depends when though – and Android 5.0 will be coming out Q4 2012 I believe, so then those will be outdated.

      • michael

        Not if verizon has anything to say about it, seriously they don’t have anything to say about it, won’t tell you anything whatsoever. I think verizon’s definition of update means to compartmentalize every option for your phone and charge you out the ass for it.

  • MrEnglish

    Easy to do when you have 5 million devices running an OS, but it makes for good weekend fodder.

    • Droidzilla

      Tell that to WP7.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Buck/100003482949493 Joe Buck

    apple is the largest company in the world, I doubt they worry about android very much

    • Greyhame

      Yeah, that’s totally evident in their lack of litigations against android et al. Oh, wait…

    • http://twitter.com/starnovsky Stan Tarnovsky

      No, Apple is not a largest company by far. They not even a largest software or computer hardware company.
      Apple stock valuation is high, true. But stock valuation is simply the reflection of what traders are expecting from the company in the future.

  • yellowcanary73

    At least iOS works and is update when theres a problem where as still waiting for my ICS 4.04 update so my phone works as promised.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Buck/100003482949493 Joe Buck

      when ever out update does get here, there is one thing for certain, it will be the last update this pos ever sees

      • Greyhame

        The Nexus S has something to say to that. The Galaxy Nexus will see Jelly Bean.

      • will bartlett

        you cry too much.

  • cooksta32676

    Run this stat a few months after the next iphone launch, it will tighten up a lot. They haven’t had a launch in 9 months.

    • Greyhame

      It’s a year-over-year growth comparison. Your point would be valid were this comparing quarterly growth.

    • http://twitter.com/starnovsky Stan Tarnovsky

      It will most likely be a temporary hike, like in Q4 2011. iPhone, like any other Apple product, is destined to be a niche device.

  • nexdroid

    I personally think this statistic means nothing as far as which operating system is “better” or more preferred. Because you have to realize that ios accomplishes those numbers with 1 phone release a year, compared to androids.. i dont know.. lets say 20 phones a year. Iphone is outselling each individual phone by a wide margin. Im not an ios fan or anything, im actually quite bi partisan on the subject. Im just sayin.. because i see these stats all over the internet along with android fanboys crazy “android is destroying the iphone” comments

    • Nelly547

      Do you think they take the sales of the 3g and 4 into account? If so, it is not just one phone. You could pick up an iphone 4 for cheap once the 4s was available.

      • nexdroid

        ok then 2 or 3 phones.. people are still using old android phones too.. so lets bump the android phones number up to 100. my point is apple is the only manufacturer making big money off of this smart phone business. these manufacturers need to step up there game in the hardware department so they can actually make any meaningful profit on their devices and really gain some ground on apple. as opposed to shelling out a handful plastic handsets every couple of months. every 4 months samsung releases a new device that is supposed to be the next “iphone killer” (galaxy s 2&3) but then it’s quickly forgotten 2 weeks later. maybe if these phone manufacturers would stop ruining the android os with their skins and focused more on the quality of there devices, instead of quantity, this wouldn’t be a problem. the only devices that come close to accomplishing that are the nexus devices.

        • http://twitter.com/starnovsky Stan Tarnovsky

          I think Samsung is doing just fine. Don’t be confused, Android OEMs and Apple have a different business model. Apple has exclusivity on iOS devices and they want to minimize the number of models and maximize profit margins on every single device. Samsung on the other hand doesn’t have exclusivity on android, so it have to actually, you know, compete. So they releasing a multitude of Android devices for every country, carrier, budget and taste. This is the way how they making money, like or not. And I think Samsung is quite profitable. Samsung doesn’t need to be Apple even if Apple is making more money. Samsung simply can’t follow Apple’s business model.

        • Droidzilla

          My RAZR begs to differ. I’ve made iPhone toting friends jealous with this device; smooth, fast, and a fantastic build quality.

          • iKing_5

            Dude that Droid Razr is one of the weirdest looking, ugliest phones in the market…..that thing is downright hideous

          • Tyler Chappell

            oh watch out, we got an iTroll over here that cares more about how pretty his phone looks than what it is capable of. The iPhone and iOS is poorly designed, it’s just that simple. Having one button isn’t intuitive, it’s intrusive.

          • iKing_5

            U must have a Razr too….don’t get mad at me that u got an ugly duckling. If you’re gonna use a pretend iPhone, at least use one that looks better than that ugly thing

          • Tyler Chappell

            Sorry, guess again, no RAZR for me, Typical iPhone user to make woefully inaccurate assumptions. My phone looks and functions far beyond any iphone.

          • iKing_5

            Well whatever version of pretend iPhone you prefer really doesn’t matter, nor does all of the nerd specs that you geeks have orgasms over…keep your big plastic oversized malware cesspools…I wouldn’t be caught dead with one of those things

          • Tyler Chappell

            Malware simply isnt a problem on Android any more than it is iOS. You’re just a troll isheep that clearly knows nothing about technology and are unwilling to admit how crippled your cheap little device is.

          • iKing_5

            “iOS is Far Safer than Google’s Malware-Laden Android”
            http://www.mactrast.com/2011/12/mcafee-ios-is-far-safer-than-android-which-attracts-malware-like-a-pig-attracts-flies/

            Yet another delusional, head-in-the-sand clueless fandroid unwilling to accept what the rest of the world has known for quite some time….how pathetic

          • Tyler Chappell

            Nah, Android is perfectly safe. Unlike all those 600,000+ Macs that got horribly infected. ;] Nice try though, but feel free to go back to your bridge at any time.

    • http://twitter.com/starnovsky Stan Tarnovsky

      iPhone is outselling a single Android phone models because of one simple reason: there is only one (current) iPhone model and hundreds of Android phone models. This is it. There is no competition between iOS devices. None, zero, Apple doesn’t license iOS.
      If Apple would ever license iOS then two things would happen quickly:
      – Apple profit margins to drop significantly to Android OEM levels (because Huawei would be able to sell iPhones for $300 unlocked, instead of Apple’s $600).
      - Apple’s iPhone would become one of many iOS devices and hence would stop outselling any single phone model
      So Apple would never do this. They like monopoly, exclusivity.

      • nexdroid

        that’s sort of my point. because if apple were to license there os then the statistics would even out significantly. and if these android phone manufacturers would follow apples business model of only releasing one really solid and attractive phone a year as opposed to a handful of mediocre phones every couple of months with there crap skin put over the os they might be much better off. you would think, that with all of the competition in the android market, that manufacturers would be putting out some amazing hardware right now and just blow apple away. but they are taking the path of the rabbit and not the tortoise, which makes it look like they are ahead, but in terms of hardware sales and profit, the are not

        • http://twitter.com/starnovsky Stan Tarnovsky

          I don’t think Andoid OEMs can afford to release one phone model per yer, like Apple does. They would be eaten alive by competition. Apple doesn’t have a competition in iOS devices, so they can their sweet time to design and test one single phone model for a whole year.

          • gumnam

            Its more about price points. In country like India you can’t expect people to buy( yes we buy mobiles! ) $900 iPhones.

          • gumnam

            Its more about price points. In country like India you can’t expect people to buy( yes we buy mobiles! ) $900 iPhones.

          • gumnam

            Its more about price points. In country like India you can’t expect people to buy( yes we buy mobiles! ) $900 iPhones.

        • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

          I would like to make a counterpoint to this statement. In all areas of hardware design, Android manufacturers have seriously stepped up their game, as evidenced by the HTC One series (even many die-hard iPhone users will admit that the One X is a gorgeous device) and the Samsung Galaxy S3 (using polycarbonate for the body rather than standard plastics). They have realized that good enough is not good enough. Even their skins have undergone major overhauls, and the results have been well received by many reviewers and the public alike.
          Android is blowing people away, and quickly gaining momentum. Apple has no real choice but to bring something really new and exciting, or continue to watch its sales and market share drop.

          • richlizard24

            Posting error

          • richlizard24

            Posting error

          • richlizard24

            Posting error

          • richlizard24

            Apple’s sales have achieved record highs and its iOS market share just went up 5%.

          • iKing_5

            Thank you for refuting yet another ignorant fandroid comment….

          • iNfAMOUS70702

            how exactly are apples sales dropping?…apple set a Q1 record with 46 BILLION in revenue

    • http://twitter.com/belogical2 Be Logical

      History is repeating itself. This is the exact same stance that Apple took on it’s OS with Windows. They were the only one to make the hardware, and no one else. The same is happening with Android and iOS. Apple has again excluded themselves from every other hardware manufacturer with iOS devices. Android is taking the Microsoft stance and allowing anyone to make hardware for Android. This story has already been written before, we are just reliving it all over again with Apple vs Android instead of Apple vs Microsoft. Then end result will always be the same. More hardware manufactures = greater competition = lower prices. Lower price always wins in the end. Apple will always end up being a niche group of folks just like it has always been. You will see iOS shrink to around 5-10% or less and Android to around 85-90%, just like the previous OS war. Windows 85-90%, the rest around 10%.

      • nexdroid

        very true. let’s hope that android doesn’t turn out exactly like windows though haha

      • jeff3yan

        Well for now at least it looks like the iPad is turning out more like the iPod rather than the iPhone.

        There were plenty of competitors to the iPod, which didn’t really seem to make much difference.

      • iNfAMOUS70702

        when you have an iphone available for a penny…another for 99 bucks…and then the 199,299 and 399 models you really cant say that iphones are that much more expensive seeing that androids range anywhere from .01-299 also…23% marketshare is pretty damn good seeing that apple does just ONE phone release a year

      • http://profiles.google.com/k3gman Keg Man

        lol the ppl that voted negative to this comment dont like history.

    • Tyler Chappell

      I’m always amused that the people that make these comments seem to fail to take into consideration the obvious: More choices = a greater split of the number of people with any one particular device. Sales for a single device isn’t the issue here, it’s the fact that ultimately when it comes down to iOS vs Android, not iPhones vs a particular Android phone, Android is winning, substantially. It’s iOS vs Android, not iOS vs Android vs Android vs Android vs Android.

      • CIFchamp24

        Was anyone ever under the impression that an open source operating system wouldn’t be bigger across the world than a closed source? We’re not comparing apples to apples here people.

        • Droidzilla

          It’s not a foregone conclusion that an open OS will dominate. Check Linux stats if you need convincing.

        • vitriolix

          Yes, pretty much every single tech journolist and blogger discounted Android for the first few years. How short your memory is.

      • iKing_5

        “Android is winning, substantially.”

        Uh, winning what, exactly?? Despite their marketshare “win”, Apple is the runaway leader in profits, browser share, number of apps, and developer interest….so please explain to me what Android is “winning”…..

        • gumnam

          Why should i as a user care about Apple profits?

          • iKing_5

            This is why you should care, fandroid: profits = sustainability. When a company is profitable, it assures that their products will continue to be available for the foreseeable future. Marketshare means NOTHING. Just ask Hewlett-Packard. Tops in PC marketshare, but until late last year was seriously considering shutting down their PC division altogether. Just the other day, they announced that they were cutting 27,000 jobs. You can have all the marketshare u want. Without profits, most of your pretend iPhone makers will be out of the pretend iPhone business within a few years…..get a clue

        • vitriolix

          You are changing the subject. If he said “Google is beating Apple” that would be dumb. But as a developer and user I just care about the ecosystems and platforms… and Android is undeniably the new king.

          • iKing_5

            “Developer Interest in Android is Waning”
            http://www.gomonews.com/appcelerator-says-developers-interest-in-android-is-waning/

            Your house of cards argument is so easily refuted its laughable. Developers are running from your malware-infested, flea market, poor man’s App Store. Besides “marketshare” (due to hundreds of cheap junk models flooding the market) there is not one positive category that Android leads Apple in. Profits? Nope. Apps? Nope. Developer interest? Nope. Browser share? Nope. App store payout to developers? Nope. I seriously suggest that you get a clue….

  • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

    Doing some calculations and you will find that Samsung’s Android phones alone tops Apple in market share. If Samsung can concentrate more on the Galaxy S3 (I can deal with a S3+ 6 months later, but please no more than that) we might see the first Android phone that beats the iPhone by next year.

    • CIFchamp24

      Please don’t tell me you truly believe that

      • JMonkeYJ

        It’s well established at this point that Samsung ships more smartphones than Apple. Of course, Samsung has many different models whereas Apple only has 3, so you might say it’s not a fair comparison (altho I wouldn’t say that :).

        • http://profiles.google.com/k3gman Keg Man

          you are comparing one company to another so it is completely fair. Comparing Android to Apple isn’t exactly fair but thats arguable. Its not Samsung’s fault apple chooses not to make more models to make it available to more people, when you think about it, its silly.

  • http://twitter.com/starnovsky Stan Tarnovsky

    Will be interesting to see a Android vs iOS vs Windows share spread on all devices, not only smartphones.

    • richlizard24

      Agreed. Once tablets are factored in, iOS probably closes the gap if not surpasses Android.

  • jak_341

    Shipped is a meaningless statistic. How many were sold?

    • http://twitter.com/starnovsky Stan Tarnovsky

      Difference between shipped and sold can’t be dramatic. Otherwise retailers were quickly out of business.

      • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

        Exactly.

  • AndroidMan

    Them guys over at iPhoneLife are probably saying well if its not a negative then it must be a plus

    • http://twitter.com/QSMinSD Q

      Theyll point out that Apple is raking in all the cash though… they do have a point.

      • iseenolight

        for now, but having only 25% market share will catch up sooner or later with their app and ad revenue sources. Thy will keep making $ on hardware though.

      • http://twitter.com/belogical2 Be Logical

        And remember, Apple is raking in the cash, not the user. That argument has never made sense to me. Market share is way more important to us as users. Everyone caters to the highest market share, not the company with the most money.

        • Neomastermind

          Tell that to the all the apps that iOS gets first.

      • qqq

        So Apple rips their customers off more then other manufactures then.

        • CIFchamp24

          I’m an android guy but I’m not sure how you figure that makes sense. I paid $300 for my Gnex just like someone would for their 32GB iphone. I have an Ipad that I paid $500 dollars for. Are there any good comparable android tablets that are a lot better deal? Now I must say that their computers are a bit pricey. However, we all know that’s not really what they’re making their cash on.

          • MrEnglish

            I’d spend my money on my macbook pro, iMac and iPad2/new again in a heartbeat. Priced high, yea, they are, but they also work better than their counterparts. I’m still on android for smartphone though. All my windows pc/notebooks are either sold or thrown away and I don’t miss them one single bit.

          • Guest_Person

            Solution: build your own PCs

          • Guest_Person

            Solution: build your own PCs

          • MrEnglish

            I would, but I am currently not in need of a paper weight. ;)

          • Droidzilla

            You seem like a reasonable fellow: what is it you like about the iPad over an Android tab? I’ve used both and prefer the Android (if it’s a decent one, like the TF or GTab).

          • MrEnglish

            Actually, I love the android OS, it’s the fanclub I can do without. In terms of daily use, I use my iPad for reports, meetings, and quite a bit of handwriting. I find the android offerings simply dismal when it comes to both apps and hardware capability in terms of handwriting. I hated the file system hindrances of the iOS at first, but that’s pretty much a non issue at this point (dropbox). In a side by side comparison, the iPad is snappier, more robust, and caters to MY needs on a daily basis as a business user. I have not, and will never, use it as a gaming device so I can’t comment there. I also have found no discernable difference in social media. So for me, it boils down to what I consider to be better quality hardware, better made apps, and a better business user experience. I am not blind, however, to the fact that it’s purely subjective. I also would not hesitate to switch upon finding a better fare.

          • Droidzilla

            Thanks for the reply; makes sense to me.

          • Droidzilla

            GNex has significantly better hardware than the iPhone 4S (mainly the screen and LTE modem; not to mention a more advanced UI) for the same money. The New iPad is $499 for a 16GB model; you can get an ASUS TFP with 16GB and an expandable memory slot for $349 or less. iOS products are anything but a good bargain.

          • MrEnglish

            Owning both, I have to disagree on the “significantly better” hardware referring to the screen. My iOS devices blow my Gnex away on screen quality, clarity and brightness. I wish my Gnex had a screen like my iPod touch or Iphone, then I likely would never own another phone! The rest of your comment is taken with respect, as it is always subjective to the poster, so I can’t in good conscience argue there.

          • Droidzilla

            I do suppose screen preference is a big deal; I can’t go back to LCD having used AMOLED, but some love LCD. I know people who raved about the Rezound screen over the RAZR’s, but I couldn’t stand the Rezound’s screen next to my RAZR. I guess subjectivity will remain subjective.

          • MrEnglish

            I’m not as happy with my Gnex screen as my iPod Touch/iPhone but for Android phone du jour, it’s the best looking to my eyes. My buddy just got a RAZRMaxx and I felt bad about how I reacted when I saw his screen next to mine. I guess you’re right, there’s probably subjectivity even on visual aspects but sometimes it hard discussing with people that don’t see the obvious superiority that an iPad (for instance) has over similar devices. At the end of the day, unless you’re talking to some cheese eating high school punk, both sides will agree that it’s user choice, and clearly, that’s why there are SO many devices out there.

  • 1MPR0BUS

    Man those Lumias really made a dent ….

    • http://twitter.com/starnovsky Stan Tarnovsky

      Well, at least WP7 is growing. Unlike Blackberry OS.