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Android, iOS continue to rule global smartphone market, IDC says


International Data Corporation (IDC) has reported that Android and iOS smartphones dominated worldwide smartphone market in 2013, with Android smartphones running into 800 million units shipments.

The top four smartphone operating systems with the highest shipment volumes in 2013 according to IDC are Android (793.6 million units), iOS (153.4 million units), Windows phone (33.4 million units) and Blackberry (19.2 million units).

According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Android and iOS accounted for 95.7% of all smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2013 and for 93.8% of all smartphone shipments for the year.

This marked a 4.5-point increase from the 91.2% share that the two platforms shared in fourth quarter of 2012, and a 6.1-point increase from the 87.7% share they had in 2012, according to the technology market research company.

Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team says that “clearly, there was strong end-user demand for both Android and iOS products during the quarter and the year. What stands out are the different routes Android and Apple took to meet this demand.”

According to Llamas, “Android relied on its long list of OEM partners, a broad and deep collection of devices, and price points that appealed to nearly every market segment. Apple’s iOS, on the other hand, relied on nearly the opposite approach: a limited selection of Apple-only devices, whose prices trended higher than most. Despite these differences, both platforms found a warm reception to their respective user experiences and selection of mobile applications.”

IDC noted that despite the strength of the market growth of smartphone in 2013, the days of double-digit growth are nearly over. Smartphone manufacturers are devising every strategy to take a huge share of the market while the growth lasts. Worldwide smartphone marketing campaigns have focused more on flagship products like the iPhone 5S, Galaxy Note 3 and the HTC One. But research shows that consumers are shifting their purchases to products with lower prices.

Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker says that, “in 2013 we saw the sub-$200 smartphone market grow to 42.6% of global volume, or 430 million units. While the market moves downstream to cheaper products it makes sense for Samsung and others to continue their marketing investments geared toward high-end products. These efforts build crucial brand perception while having less expensive alternatives that closely relate to these top products helps to close the deal. Samsung has done exactly this with the ‘Galaxy’ line. The family name is associated with Samsung’s high-end products, yet there are ‘Galaxy’ variants offered by Samsung at much lower price points than the Note 3 and S4. This has been an important factor in how Samsung has sustained its market lead.”

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Kayode Oladeinde Technology Journalist at Technology Times. Mobile: +234 (0) 7031526929