Android and iOS Continue to Dominate Smartphone Market as Windows Phone Shows Signs of Life

Following up on its April report breaking down mobile phone shipments by manufacturer for the first quarter of 2013, research firm IDC today issued a new report looking at shipments from an operating system perspective. The report unsurprisingly shows that Android and iOS continue to dominate the smartphone market with over 92% of shipments during the quarter, with Android's broad availability driving it to represent 75% of all shipments.

Apple iOS marked its largest ever first quarter volume on the strength of its iPhone shipment volumes, yet the operating system posted a year-over-year decline in market share and lower year-over-year shipment growth than the overall market. Although demand remains strong worldwide, the iOS experience has remained largely the same since the first iPhone debuted in 2007. That appears ready to change as online rumors and speculation predict a massive overhaul of the user interface when iOS 7 debuts.

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Worldwide Smartphone Shipments in 1Q13 in Millions of Units (Source: IDC)

The gains by Android and iOS over the last several years have come at the expense of every other operating system, but IDC's numbers reveal that Windows Phone is beginning to see signs of life with shipments more than doubling year over year, although its share of the market remains low at 3.2%.

Still, Windows Phone was the only minor competitor to gain share over the previous year, with BlackBerry continuing its slide in falling to 2.9%, although IDC suggests the launch of BB10 may bolster BlackBerry's numbers going forward. Linux and Symbian also saw significant share losses as their former supporters have shifted focus to Android and Windows Phone.

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Top Rated Comments

ElTorro Avatar
145 months ago
The way I see this chart,it's Android that's dominating...
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AEMV Avatar
145 months ago
iOS and Android dominating the market? I would say more like Android dominates the market, and apple only has 17%... not much domination by any standard.

With iOS' 6.8% year over year growth and Androids 79.5%, I find hard to agree that iOS is "dominating" the market.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThatsMeRight Avatar
145 months ago
I still remember when the iPhone 'only sold 4-6 million units' in a quarter. And now, Windows Phone sales are considered disappointing with 'only 7 million sold units' in one single quarter.

I think they are doing great - and I believe that it is unreasonable to expect that a company goes from selling 3 million units to 30 million units a quarter. Going from 3 million to 7 million, like Windows Phone, year-over-year is a great accomplishment. :)
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pgiguere1 Avatar
145 months ago
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sora Avatar
145 months ago
What most people don't realize is that there is only 1 manufacturer of iOS devices - Apple.

There are hundreds of manufacturers of Android capable devices.

You can't compare the output of 1 manufacturer to the output of combining 100's of manufacturers. Doesn't lend itself to a even comparison.

That said I'm very impressed with where Apple is from a manufacturing stand point. Year over year they have demonstrated that they can continue to ship more units (through more efficient manufacturing methods or strategic retail alignments). Impressive.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
145 months ago
The market share difference between MS and Apple shrunk by 7% Y/Y... If both companies repeat their performance for the next two years, MS will overtake Apple.

Of course, Android is still crushing all.

Seems odd... Whenever I look around myself it seems Apple is at 70-90% and Android is everything else (so 30-10%.)

Evidently my view of the world is narrow, as the numbers are reverse that.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)