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Android Builds On Global Smartphone Dominance

Android Builds On Global Smartphone DominanceThe Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker figures represent an increase from combined iOS and Android shipments of 93.8 per cent in 2013.

Android captured 81.5 per cent of the market in 2014, up from 78.7 per cent year-on-year, and was the star performer in terms of shipment growth, pushing past the one billion mark and outpacing the overall market in posting 32 per cent growth compared to the market average of 27.7 per cent.

iOS, meanwhile, saw its 2014 market share decline to 14.8 per cent, down from 15.1 per cent year-on-year, however posted shipment growth of 25.6 per cent.

iOS finished the year strongly, posting year-on-year shipment growth of 46.1 per cent in the fourth quarter and capturing 19.7 per cent of the market, with Android recording shipment growth of 26.6 per cent and capturing 76.6 per cent of the market.

“Many of the same drivers were in play for Android and iOS to tighten their grip on the market,” Ramon Llamas, IDC mobile phone team research manager, commented. “A combination of strong end-user demand, refreshed product portfolios, and the availability of low-cost devices – particularly for Android – drove volumes higher.”

Llamas added that how the two operating systems fare in 2015 and beyond will “bear close observation”.

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

While Samsung retained the leadership position by a wide margin, shipping more volume than the next five vendors combined, it was vendors including Huawei, Lenovo (including Motorola), LG, Xiaomi and ZTE that fuelled the most Android growth.

Meanwhile, Windows Phone posted year-on-year shipment growth for 2014 of 4.2 per cent, seeing its market share decline from 3.3 per cent to 2.7 per cent.

BlackBerry saw shipment growth decline 69.8 per cent, with its market share declining from 1.9 per cent to 0.4 per cent.

“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,” commented Melissa Chau, IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker senior research manager.  

Chau added that this “isn’t to say that vendors aren’t making moves”, particularly for the growth segments of low-end markets.

“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,” she commented.