The Android smartphone OS was found on three out of every four smartphones shipped during the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12).
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, total Android smartphone shipments worldwide reached 136.0 million units, accounting for 75.0% of the 181.1 million smartphones shipped in 3Q12. The 91.5% year-over-year growth was nearly double the overall market growth rate of 46.4%.
“Android has been one of the primary growth engines of the smartphone market since it was launched in 2008,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager, Mobile Phones at IDC.
“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.”
“The share decline of smartphone operating systems not named iOS since Android’s introduction isn’t a coincidence,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
“The smartphone operating system isn’t an isolated product, it’s a crucial part of a larger technology ecosystem. Google has a thriving, multi-faceted product portfolio. Many of its competitors, with weaker tie-ins to the mobile OS, do not. This factor and others have led to loss of share for competitors with few exceptions.”
iOS system, used in iPhones, follows the leader with a market share of 15 percent. Apple’s new iPhone didn’t come out until late in the quarter, while Samsung Electronics Co. and other Android makers had major releases earlier.
As CBS News reports, last year Android operating system had just 58 percent when compared to the iPhone’s 14 percent. Gains came largely at the expense of BlackBerry and Symbian phones, according to Thursday’s report from IDC.
The searching giant won the title as their software is available to phone makers to use in their devices for free.
Thus, the company wins prime placement for its online services, such as search and maps, while the Cupertino based tech company does not license its iOS system to others.
All other mobile operating systems were in the single digits: BlackBerry at 4.3 percent, Symbian at 2.3 percent and Windows at 2 percent.
Research In Motion Ltd. plans to start selling devices using a new version of BlackBerry early next year. Its operating system had 7.7 percent share in the third quarter, compared with 9.5 percent a year earlier.
Mobile versions of Microsoft’s software accounted for 3.6 percent of the smartphone market in the third quarter.
The company launched a new version of its Windows phone software earlier this week, the move which is expected to improve Microsoft’s position in the fast-growing market.
According to researchers, Symbian, which had 14.6 percent share a year ago and a 4.1 percent share in the third quarter, is mostly used by Nokia Corp., which is now focusing on Windows phones.