The latest figures by IDC indicate that iOS and Android represent 85% of the over 152 million smartphones sold in the second quarter of 2012 globally. Although iOS sales grew in numbers, it just could not match Android’s growth – the most popular mobile phone operating system worldwide at the moment. The figures show that iOS’s dominance in the market dropped from 18.8% to 16.9% while Android’s grew to 68.1%. With the stiff competition in the smartphone market, it is very unlikely that iOS’s market share will grow beyond what it is now – unless they are working on a magical new iPhone that will steal the hearts of many. iOS has maintained a market share of below 20% for quite some time now but Android has won many users over the last two years to take the Lion’s share of the market.
It is just a matter of time before Android’s market share passes the 70% mark, maybe even 80% by the end of the year if keeps the current growth trend. The trend is expected to grow as the operating system has now been picked up by the many Chinese device manufacturers who prefer it because of its prominence in the global market.
In a sour twist, Windows operating systems for mobile is performing dismally despite the introduction of the Windows phone 7 sometimes back. Windows currently holds only 3.5% of the market – but most of the devices in this number run on older versions of windows mobile. Another operating system that lost its market share is Blackberry which dropped from a two-digit figure of 11.5% in the last quarter to 4.8%. The way things are going at RIM, it is very unlikely that Blackberry will maintain the 4.8% share – unless the rumored RIM-Samsung partnership comes to fruition. But then, this is a long-term plan and it is losing the market to Android so fast, it might be fighting for a 1 to 2% share come 2013.
Symbian OS market share dropped by the widest margin – from 16.9% to 4.4%. Nokia’s prominence seems to have vanished in one quarter – to think that there was a time Nokia dominated the mobile phone market with a market share of as high as 35% in some countries just a year ago. At this rate, Nokia, Microsoft and RIM will be fighting to stay relevant by this time next year unless they do something to change the losing trend.
Meanwhile, as these operating systems lose, Android wins the market share and becomes the market leader OS in the smartphone field.
Smartphone Operating Systems, Shipments and Market Share, Q2 2012 (in Millions)