New platforms embroiled in “skirmishes” as Android and iOS cement smartphone lead – Mobile World Live

New platforms embroiled in “skirmishes” as Android and iOS cement smartphone lead

25 FEB 2015

Android and iOS “inched closer to total domination” in the global smartphone market during 2014, with “skirmishes” instead of battles among the rest of the runners, according to numbers from IDC.

Between them, the Google and Apple platforms accounted for 96.3 per cent of unit volumes in 2014, up from 93.8 per cent in 2013.

“Instead of a battle for the third ecosystem after Android and iOS, 2014 instead yielded skirmishes, with Windows Phone edging out BlackBerry, Firefox, Sailfish and the rest, but without any of these platforms making the kind of gains needed to challenge the top two,” said Melissa Chau, senior research manager for IDC’s quarterly mobile phone tracker.

However, she also noted that vendors are still making moves in the area of the market where growth is strongest – at the low end.

“With Microsoft bringing ever-cheaper Lumia into play and Tizen finally getting launched to India early this year, there is still a hunger to chip away at Android’s dominance,” Chau continued.

Regarding the big two platforms, Android outpaced the overall smartphone market in terms of shipment growth during the year, while iOS saw a strong end to the year. Indeed, Android passed the 1 billion annual shipment mark during the year, beating total smartphone volumes for all platforms combined in 2013.

Despite its well-documented struggles, Samsung retained first place in the market “by a wide margin”, shipping more than the next five vendors combined. But its volume for the year was flat, which rivals such as Huawei, Lenovo/Motorola, LG, Xiaomi and ZTE fuelled growth for the Google platform.

Market share for iOS declined slightly, even as volumes reached a new record. The company saw strong demand for its new and larger iPhones, although IDC noted that with larger screens being “among the last gaps” in Apple’s armour, it remains to be seen how it will maintain demand.

“Now that Apple has entered the phablet market, there are few new opportunities for the company to address. Meanwhile, Samsung experienced flat growth in 2014, forcing Android to rely more heavily on smaller vendors to drive volumes higher,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager with the company.

Operating System

2014 Unit Volumes

2014 Market Share

2013 Unit Volumes

2013 Market Share

Year-Over-Year Change

Android

1,059.3

81.5%

802.2

78.7%

32.0%

iOS

192.7

14.8%

153.4

15.1%

25.6%

Windows Phone

34.9

2.7%

33.5

3.3%

4.2%

BlackBerry

5.8

0.4%

19.2

1.9%

-69.8%

Others

7.7

0.6%

2.3

0.2%

234.8%

Total

1,300.4

100.0%

1,018.7

100.0%

27.7%

 

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