Android surges to 75% smartphone market share in Q3
Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android mobile operating system powered three out of every four smartphones shipped worldwide during the third quarter of 2012, according to new data from market intelligence firm IDC.
Android device shipments reached a record-high 136 million units during the third quarter, representing 75 percent of all 181.1 million smartphones shipped during the period. IDC notes that Android's 91.5 percent year-over-year growth nearly doubled overall market increases of 46.4 percent.
"Android has been one of the primary growth engines of the smartphone market since it was launched in 2008," said Ramon Llamas, IDC research manager, mobile phones. "In every year since then, Android has effectively outpaced the market and taken market share from the competition. In addition, the combination of smartphone vendors, mobile operators and end-users who have embraced Android has driven shipment volumes higher. Even today, more vendors are introducing their first Android-powered smartphones to market."
Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS trails far behind Android with third-quarter shipments of 26.9 million, a year-over-year jump of 57.3 percent. IDC notes iOS was the only other mobile operating system to amass double-digit market share during the period at 14.9 percent. IDC credits the late-quarter launch of the iPhone 5 and lower prices on older iPhone models for iOS's gains, noting that without a splashy new software enhancement like Siri or FaceTime, the iPhone 5 relied on a larger touchscreen and LTE connectivity to fuel consumer interest.
Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry continues to fade into irrelevance, sliding to third-quarter market share of just 4.3 percent, down from 11.8 percent a year earlier. RIM shipped 7.7 million BlackBerry smartphones during the quarter, off from 11.8 million year-over-year. Symbian--once the worldwide leader in smartphone sales--also suffered steep declines, with shipments dropping to 4.1 million from 18.1 million a year ago. Symbian's second quarter market share tumbled to 2.3 percent, compared to 14.6 percent a year ago.
Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone trails behind both BlackBerry and Symbian with third-quarter shipments of just 3.6 million, corresponding to market share of 2 percent. That's still a 140 percent year-over-year increase from third-quarter 2011 shipment volumes of 1.5 million. Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8 earlier this week, trumpeting carrier commitments from the likes of Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA--an indication the operating system's fortunes could turn during the lucrative holiday shopping season ahead.
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