Android and Apple iOS Capture a Record 92 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q4 2012

Tools

January 28, 2013

According to the latest research from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, global smartphone shipments grew 38 percent annually to reach 217 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012. Android and Apple iOS together accounted for a record 92 percent share of all smartphones shipped worldwide.<

Global smartphone shipments grew 38 percent annually from 157.0 million units in Q4 2011 to 217.0 million in Q4 2012. Global smartphone shipments for the full year reached a record 700.1 million units in 2012, increasing robustly from 490.5 million units in 2011. Global shipment growth slowed from 64 percent in 2011 to 43 percent in 2012 as penetration of smartphones began to mature in developed regions such as North America and Western Europe.

We estimate 152.1 million Android smartphones were shipped globally in Q4 2012, nearly doubling from 80.6 million units in Q4 2011. Android's share of the global smartphone market has surged from 51 percent to 70 percent over the past year, crushing Symbian, Bada and other platforms in its wake. Almost half-a-billion Android smartphones were shipped in total worldwide during 2012. Android is clearly the undisputed volume leader of the smartphone industry at the present time. Android's challenge for 2013 will be to defend its leadership, not only against Apple, but also against an emerging wave of hungry challengers that includes Microsoft, Blackberry, Firefox and Tizen.

Apple grew 29 percent annually and shipped 47.8 million smartphones worldwide for 22 percent marketshare in Q4 2012, dipping slightly from 24 percent a year earlier. Combined together, Apple and Android accounted for a record 92 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally in the fourth quarter of 2012. The worldwide smartphone industry has effectively become a duopoly as consumer demand has polarized around mass-market Android models and premium Apple designs.

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Operating System Shipments and Market Share in Q4 2012 [1]

 

Global Smartphone OS Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q4 '11

2011

Q4 '12

2012

Android

80.6

238.9

152.1

479.0

Apple iOS

37.0

93.0

47.8

135.8

Others

39.4

158.6

17.1

85.3

Total

157.0

490.5

217.0

700.1

 

 

 

 

 

Global Smartphone OS Marketshare  %

Q4 '11

2011

Q4 '12

2012

Android

51.3%

48.7%

70.1%

68.4%

Apple iOS

23.6%

19.0%

22.0%

19.4%

Others

25.1%

32.3%

7.9%

12.2%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

 

 

Total Growth Year-over-Year %

55.9%

63.8%

38.2%

42.7%

 

 


[1]  Numbers are rounded.