Android and Apple's iOS mobile operating systems account for more than 91 percent of the smartphone market according to IDC, but there's an open question about whether that domination will continue. Why? BlackBerry and Microsoft will vie for the No. 3 spot in market share.
IDC's stats echo what most tech watchers already know: Android and iOS are a duopoly. Here's a look at the standings:
The big question here is whether Android and iOS dominance are due to an open field. Can Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10 do anything to grab some share. IDC noted in a statement:
The two horse race between Android and iOS has collectively accounted for more than 50% share of the smartphone OS market over the past two years. At the same time both BlackBerry and Microsoft have been working on competing platforms that have recently launched and are poised for competition. Microsoft launched Windows Phone 8 in 4Q12, and BlackBerry more recently released BB10 in January, marking the first time two new platforms have been introduced to the smartphone space in the past several years.
What are the chances BlackBerry and Microsoft can garner any kind of momentum?
IDC noted that Nokia has 76 percent of Windows Phone market share shipments. The problem: Microsoft needs more than Nokia to carry the day. Most vendors have Windows Phone devices and Android ones with an emphasis on the latter. Nevertheless, Windows Phone shipments were up 150 percent in the fourth quarter from a year ago.
On the BlackBerry front, the company unveiled its Z10 and BlackBerry 10 platform but needs to convince its base to stay and trade up to the new OS. BlackBerry also has to recruit new users.
The bottom line here is that Microsoft and BlackBerry only have to get a little traction to make a dent in the Android-iOS duopoly.