Android, iOS score 96 percent of smartphone share in Q4 rankings

Android, iOS score 96 percent of smartphone share in Q4 rankings

Summary: Meanwhile, BlackBerry is dead and Windows Phone is trampling on its grave. (Or, for the optimists out there, taking its relay baton.)

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(Image: CNET Asia)

Android's gains are BlackBerry's losses, as the Google-developed platform continues to whip the behind of every other player in the space.

As if there was any doubt anyway.

Research firm IDC's latest fourth-quarter rankings show Android, which already has a 78 percent slice of the worldwide smartphone market share rankings grew by more than 40 percent on the same quarter a year earlier, compared to Apple's modest 6 percent growth during the same period.

Combined, Android and Apple's iOS have more than 95 percent of the global share pie for the fourth quarter. 

The reason, according to IDC's Ramon Llamas, is the vast array of Android devices, and conversely a limited range of iPhone smartphones. "Despite these differences, both platforms found a warm reception to their respective user experiences and selection of mobile applications," he said.

Operating System 4Q13 Shipment Volumes 4Q13 Market Share 4Q12 Shipment Volumes 4Q12 Market Share Year-Over-Year Change
Android 226.1 78.10% 161.1 70.30% 40.30%
iOS 51 17.60% 47.8 20.90% 6.70%
Windows Phone 8.8 3.00% 6 2.60% 46.70%
BlackBerry 1.7 0.60% 7.4 3.20% -77.00%
Others 2 0.70% 6.7 2.90% -70.10%
Total 289.6 100% 229 100% 26.50%

The biggest winner outside the top two leaders is Microsoft with its Windows Phone platform, taking on some of the slack left behind by BlackBerry. While Windows Phone saw a greater fourth quarter year-over-year growth of 46 percent, BlackBerry saw a 77 percent decline, registering a near-zero market share.

More embarrassingly for the Canadian smartphone maker, its legacy BlackBerry 7 phones continue to outpaced its newer BlackBerry 10 devices.

Over the 2013 calendar year, Microsoft saw a near-double increase year-over-year in its Windows Phone market share of 91 percent.

However, as the research firm notes, exactly how Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's phone-making unit will propel higher shipment volumes remains to be seen.

Topics: Smartphones, Mobility

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  • Android, iOS score 96 percent of smartphone share in Q4 rankings

    Its nice to see Microsoft Windows Phone get year over year growth. I know a lot more people are interested in it from my own experiences. Corporations will be looking at it much more seriously and if Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 brings in VPN then that will help solidify it in the corporate environment. Android and iOS better watch out because they have the most to lose.
    • Considering..

      Considering that Microsoft is a old player in the smartphone market, and they are pushed the sales thanks to Nokia, those numbers say : WP is frozen.
    • Well...

      I guess that's one way to see the glass 3% full.

      You make sure to buy a lot of MS phone cake there, LD.

    My last Windows phone, an HTC, ran Windows Mobile in 2007.

    Here are some unique features of this POS:

    * Made calls while in my pocket, even though it was supposed be locked

    * Got the MS famous 30-minutes of battery life; same as my HP Jornada did in 2000 with Win CE

    * Had "Resistive" touch that barely worked at all

    * Call quality was so poor that no one could even make out what I was saying

    * Came with a stylus (can you say "FAIL"?)

    * Came with MS "extras": random reboots, dropped calls, bloat... and of course BSODs

    Lovely experience!
    • What a POS you are!

      Were you sleeping for the past 7 years? This is 2014 and Windows Mobile is retired a while ago. Now it is Windows Phone and it supports Capacitive Touch and touch is fluid. You could learn more about Windows Phone from
      Ram U

        Windows Phone 7x and 8x run the same Win CE core as Windows Mobile 6x did, don't delude yourself. You dont think that Win NT 4.0 is buried underneath Windows 8x, right along with Win 2000, XP, Vista, and Win 7?

        Well it is!

        That's just how MS operates. Windows 8 has also been hit by random reboots... look it up.

        Microsoft writes such horrible software, they can only survive as a monopoly, which is now over, thank goodness.

        When companies like MS have to compete... a mobile computing revolution happens!
        • FUD

          The symptoms you describe are the symptoms that I had with Android. Windows Phone runs like a dream! So stop spreading your FUD!
        • Um, I believe you have a few errors

          WP8 isn't based on the WinCE kernel, it runs the true Windows (NT-based) kernel. WP7 was CE-based.

          I had a Windows Mobile phone from 2002 until WP7 shipped and I don't believe that BSODs ever happened on that platform (it would occasionally reboot (not very often), but never with a "blue screen").

          I had a WP7 phone when they initially shipped, and I upgraded to a WP8 a little more than a year ago. I'm pretty sure I could count the number of reboots I've had in that time on the fingers of one hand (and the number of "freezes" on the fingers of the other hand).

          One of the nice things about WP phones is that just about any "extras" that are included (by the OEM, by the carrier, ...) are uninstallable. The carrier can load the phone up with crapware, but you can easily get rid of it (AT&T, in particular, makes it easy, their apps tend to start with "AT&T"). Then again, I have a Nokia Lumia - I love the software that Nokia's made available for the phone; it's a real "value add" and is pretty much the reason I picked a Lumia over the HTC WP8 phone that was available at the time
        • Who care's what's based off what?

          Yeah, a bit of Windows CE and Windows NT codebase was used to develop a bit of Windows Phone just as a bit of Netscape's code was used in Firefox and Linux 3.13.2 has a bit of code that was based off of Linux 2.2 in it. Android is, of course, a fork of Linux with a different API but it's still got plenty of Linux in it. KitKat is not entirely devoid of Cupcake code. Virtually every OS borrowed a bit from FreeBSD (OSX and iOS borrowed a lot from it). The use of FreeBSD's code for networking is why Windows, OSX, iOS, Android and Linux all have the same host file. Safari and Chrome borrow some code from the original Webkit engine used in KDE.

          Virtually every major software project will use some code from its predecessor. Just because its predecessor was awful doesn't mean it will be awful and, conversely, just because its predecessor was good doesn't mean it will be good. Windows 8, which I feel is lousy, draws from Windows 7 which I like. Windows 7 drew from Vista which I hated. Vista drew from XP which I liked. XP drew from 2000 (liked) which drew froom NT (hated).

          Projects must reuse their old codebase because otherwise development cost and time would be extreme and decent backwards compatibility would be a monumental hurdle.

          Look at how long it took the WINE project, an attempt to implement the Windows API in a way that would allow for Linux and OSX to run WIndows apps, to get to a stage where it was usable. WINE doesn't use any Windows code but it took well over a decade to get it to a stage where most apps would run and there are still several programs that simply don't work.

          It's always easier to clean up old, bad code than to completely rebuild from scratch.
      • I'm going to say he's making it up because he chose poorly, and is upset

        at what he bought.

        I'm thinking he's second guessing his Android or Apple purchase.
  • @orandy

    Nice to see you comparing a 2007 WP to a new WP8 :-( I have a Samsung Ativ S and usually get 3 or 4 DAYS of battery, never crashes (I mean NEVER), NO bluescreens (unless I change the theme to blue :-0), never had any complaints from callers about quality. I had a LG Optimus WP7 before that and the only problem I had with it was a lack of apps.
  • "Whip the behind" indeed

    Disraeli it any way you want ("lies, damn lies, statistics") ... Android sold 65 million more devices year over year; Apple, 3.2 million, MS 2.2 million. That's pretty compelling.

    If I were of a certain fanbois bent, i'd be screaming "Android device sales increased 2,850% more than Windows Phone!!!" Which would be statistically true, but misrepresent the spirit of what actually happened. A little. Not much, mind you..
    • Not quite true

      Comparing operating systems rather than just phones, the figures are significantly different.

      Apple sold just on 80 million iPhones, iPads and iPod touches which works out as 870,000 iOS devices per day, almost 60% of the 1.5 million Android devices Google was activating per day during that period.

      That puts the iOS installed base at around 800 million compared to the 1.2 billion Android devices worldwide.

      Of course, in terms of the metrics that matter though, iOS continues to whip Android's behind capturing 84.7% of the entire smartphone industry's profits, with iOS users generating 1,290% greater advertising ROI according to Nanigans, 500% greater e-commerce revenue according to IBM and Adobe and 2-3x greater web browsing share according to Net Applications, WikiMedia, AT Internet, Boingo, W3Counter.
  • Big mistake for Rim was...

    ...releasing a touchscreen BB10 device first, when the BB keyboard was the sole unique feature BB fans admired.
  • Stranges reads

    On this site Samsung whips the behind of every other player. On another (pro-Apple but quoting credible analysts) Apple's iPhone earned 87.4% of global handset profits last quarter, dwarfing Samsung's 32.2%. Yes the reason these figures add up to more than 100% is because the other players lost money.
    So if you only read this article, Android wins.
  • Forgot to mention profits

    Apple claimed 87.4% of phone earnings before interest and taxes in the fourth quarter.
    “A year ago, Apple accounted for 77.8% of mobile phone industry profits.

    NO ONE is making money but Apple & Samsung. Everyone else is bleeding money.
  • Figures wrong?

    MS increased from 2.6% to 3% of the market. The 46% increase was in shipments - not looking very good, if you consider Android grew 40% over a base that is 25 times bigger!
  • The Smartphone "tax"

    Microsoft doesn't need to sell a single copy of its OS or a single cell phone to profit off of smartphones. As pathetic as it is, they can make plenty of money by suing or threatening to sue vendors of Android devices over patents. Currently, Oracle, Apple and Microsoft have sued/settled with Google, Samsung, LG and HTC over Android and those companies have, in turn counter-sued or sued each other.

    Blackberry's most valuable asset is probably its patent portfolio. If they eventually fail, it wouldn't surprise me if someone purchased their patents at firesale prices just for the sake of going to war with other companies.

    Until we adopt real patent reform, it seems you don't have to innovate or even sell anything in order to profit from smartphones. A logical solution would be to simply amend patent laws to say that no new patents can be issued for pieces of software or for UI design. While individual pieces of software should be protected by copyrights, the way a piece of software works and, that while logos and names might be subject to trademarks the "look and feel" of devices shouldn't be patentable.

    This isn't as radical as it sounds. You can't patent a burger which is why McDonald's can't stop Burger King from selling burgers nor can they keep me from making and selling them. They can patent elements of how their grills work, but the burger itself isn't something that can be considered proprietary.

    As long as they don't imitate the logos, knock-off brand fashion is legal. Ralph Lauren and Gucci can't stop people from making knock-off clothing or purses that imitate the looks of their products as long as the knock-off companies don't put fraudulent logos on their products (this is why high-fashion products often have the designer's name and/or logo plastered very visibly on their products). High-fashion actually sort of benefits from knock-off brands. Rich people buy name brand clothing to stand out. When cheap, knock-off products appear poor people buy them. Since rich people want to stand out, they will then go and buy new products and the cycle will repeat.

    Without the patent impairments, the smartphone industry would progress in the same way. People buy Apple's iPhone 5S because they want the (perceived) best product on the market. As soon as HTC makes a similar but cheaper imitation product, Apple will then release something new and Apple fans will quickly flock to it.
  • Android is definitely where it's at (future is HTML5/CSS/Javascript)

    I have a Windows Phone 8, having had iPhone and Android previously.
    iPhone and WP8 are fine, but I do kind of miss Android.
    The Google ecosystem is the best. Calendar is better, mail is better.
    I haven't really noticed any lack of apps. There are enough in Windows App store.

    Where is the equivalent for Google play watching movies in the Microsoft ecosystem - say on a PC - if you haven't happened to bring an Xbox360 with you?
    Microsoft could host Xbox360s and you could basically stream from them - that would be a quick fix.

    Google play works, without install, on Windows laptops, android phones. As such it's superior to iTunes.

    The Google ecosystem including Apps and content is much more portable and cleaner, however still has disjoints. For example, it would be great to be able to use Android apps in Chrome.

    However the future for most Apps for all platforms might well be HTML5/CSS/Javascript.
    Server side still seems to be dominated by PHP, but Node is looking promising.

    The various pundits are right about the cloud and the multiple screen environment. Apple is probably the least well positioned here (unless you link iphone to google), Microsoft is OK, apart from the terrible lack of ability to watch movies for rental. (you can still use things like Netflix, but this is subscription based, not pay-per-view).
    Google is the best at cloud, and multiscreen (phone, tablet, laptop, TV), but it's still not as smooth as it could be.