IDC: Android grabbed 75 percent of smartphone market in Q3

IDC: Android grabbed 75 percent of smartphone market in Q3

Summary: Android continues to gobble up the global smartphone market, based on the latest figures from IDC.


Android continues to top list after list when it comes to the smartphone market share.

According to the IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker quarterly report, Google's mobile operating system accounts for 75 percent of the international smartphone market share.

In plainer terms, that means three out of four smartphones out there run on Android.

IDC analysts made a point of how remarkable this is based on the fact that Android is only four years old. (But then again, the smartphone market itself is only slightly older, arguably really took off with the launch of the iPhone in 2007.)

Nevertheless, it's the sheer pace at which Android has covered this amount of ground that has caught the eye and praise from analysts.

Ramon Llamas, a research manager covering mobile phones at IDC, remarked in the report that Android itself has been one of the reasons the smartphone market has grown the way it has since 2008.

In every year since then, Android has effectively outpaced the market and taken market share from the competition. In addition, the combination of smartphone vendors, mobile operators, and end-users who have embraced Android has driven shipment volumes higher. Even today, more vendors are introducing their first Android-powered smartphones to market.

Getting down to the nitty-gritty, approximately 136 million Android-based smartphone units shipped worldwide during the September quarter. IDC noted that Samsung was the primary leader in this regard, but pointed out that it slipped in comparison to some other OEM partners.

Apple made its way into a very distant second place with 14.9 percent of the market share and 26.9 million units shipped.

There are certainly a few reason why Apple is so far behind on a global (and domestic) level.

For one, there are simply many more Android-based smartphone models with more pricing and contract options worldwide than there are for the iPhone.

Second, it's worth remembering that the iPhone 5 debuted in September, so numbers for Apple could be higher at the end of the fourth quarter -- but don't expect iOS to overtake Android anytime soon.

One extra highlight from the Q3 IDC report is Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile.

Even ahead of the major release earlier this week, this OS saw a 140 percent positive point change on an annual basis, compared to 57.3 percent for iOS and 91.5 percent for Android.

Windows was also the only member of the top five mobile operating systems aside from Android and iOS to see positive market share changes. Both BlackBerry and Symbian, which placed ahead of Windows, dropped by 34.7 percent and 77.3 percent respectively.

Topics: Smartphones, Android, Google, Mobile OS, Mobility

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  • iPhone is turning into the Mac

    The phone market is becoming like the PC market.

    Apple's market share will decline until it is sub-10%, a mirror of where the Mac is.

    Why didn't Steve Jobs see this coming?
    • Agree. I made that point a long time ago

      Android will take the lions share of the tablet market also.

      Jobs was a slow learner in this particular area of his business.
    • Since profit is the only

      metric that actually matters, what, exactly, was your point?
      • To whom?

        To whom is Profit the only metric? Certainly not for me as a consumer. As a consumer I'm glad that Android gives me the ability to buy an excellent device off-contract for $350 allowing me to choose a cheaper carrier that suits my needs.

        It may matter to Apple's shareholders and Apple. And in the short term, Apple may continue to do well. But over the last 3 revisions of the iPhone (4, 4S and 5) have demonstrated, as their innovations decline and they play catch-up to the latest Android devices, there will be fewer and fewer people willing to shell out outrageous prices, leading to carriers less willing to subsidize their phones (already happens in Asia, beginning to happen in Europe and will eventually happen in the US). It was many years before consumers smartened up and realized that Sony was merely sitting on past well-deserved laurels and just charging too much for inferior products. What does that do to Apple when that happens.

        However, there is a big difference between the PC and Macs and iOS and Android. Microsoft Windows was an inferior product in many ways, while the hardware was typically a lot better and cheaper. In Google, on the other hand, Apple is now facing an extremely competent foe and Android is significantly better than iOS in many ways. It's not yet as consistent as iOS, but with 4.0 and 4.1, it's certainly now a better looking UI, more usable, more powerful, more customizable and quite simply notches better.

        Apple still makes less confusing UIs and is well suited for your parents and grand parents, but Android has not only come a long way, it's galloping along in widening the gaps where it's better and narrowing the gaps where it's not.

        You had better believe that profits will take a hit unless Apple is able to stop sliding down.
      • All I can say is - .......

        not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

        Volume and market share matter a great deal in the long run. What is the point of being phenomenally profitable for a few short years and then be reduced to a small niche player because you refused to license and reduce your margins?

        What do you think will happen to developer interest, cost of manufacture etc. if Apple's market share keeps shrinking?

        You can chew on that point if you are able.
      • The size of your userbase matters as well.

        A bigger market share also means that you have a bigger userbase. Which in turn means that your target audience is bigger and that your products will receive more thirdparty support.
        It's not ONLY about profit. There are many more factors that ultimately speak about the success of a product.
  • Windows Phone 8 will change it

    lets wait & sea this holiday season, my next is Windows 8

    my three kids on Android, two Samsung & pne Sony myself Blackberry, my wife Nokia phone
    Khaled Mourad
    • Doubt it

      The open nature of the Android ecosystem will drive the costs/pricing down and the volumes up. This ALWAYS eventually happens. Apple thought it could become the new MS in mobile and MS will never change its ways.

      Ultimately they will both lose out.
      • So why has it not happened to Linux then?

        If it ALWAYS eventually happens?
        • Tiresome

          It HAS happened on the web AND mobile already.

          As far as the desktop goes, I said "eventually" - not a difficult concept. A monopolist called MS at least played SOME part in Linux's failures on the desktop, but MS's relevance is waning. Also, pay attention to Chromebooks. I will buy two.
          • Linux was given at least 10 years to make it happen

            ... and yet it failed. 10 years in the tech field feels like a century, pal. Meanwhile OSX (being proprietary no less) came outta nowhere late to the game to earn more market share than all Linux desktops put together. So how do you spin this?

            And you wanna buy two Chromebooks? Why bother? Just download two copies of Chrome browser and there you have your two chromebooks, for free no less. LOL
          • The nervous idiot LOL

            I dealt with your trivial first paragraph already, but somehow it went over your head.

            Where exactly do you find a 2.5 lbs notebook with a 6+ hour battery life and NO maintenance hassles, no data loss worries and no malware issues? If it meets ALL your needs, it is unbeatable, and there are millions and millions of users out there who would be VERY well served by Chromebooks.

            I know it is your worst nightmare, but it is coming.

            Your arguments are getting pretty tired, but I guess you are unable to come up with anything better.
          • You mean other than

            Apple, Microsoft. Asus, Acer, HP, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, etc.?
          • Your argument is lame at best

            My bike requires little maintenance hassle and no tire change at all so it must be soon sending every car maker outta business. It's coming!!

            You foss fools are hilarious.
          • "Came outta nowhere"???

            The X in OS X means 10. There was an OS 9, 8, 7... The first Apple OS in the family for the Mac started in 1984. It is approaching its 29th birthday, so to criticise Linux because it hasn't done in 10 years what OS 1 to X failed to do in 29 is a bit rich. Linux is a much bigger player in the server market than OS X.
          • Linux has had over 20 years

            From Wikipedia: "The defining component of Linux is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released 5 October 1991 by Linus Torvalds"

            Linux won't catch OSX or Windows specifically because it is free. People have to figure out how to make money selling extras because they can't make money selling Linux
        • Context please!

          If you mean on the desktop, well there are a lot of factors. (You'll notice that Apple is still very low in the desktop numbers as well, even after 28 years with it's Mac OS line.) In nearly every other market, Linux is among the leaders: embedded, mobile, servers, supercomputers, etc.
  • Though I am a strong proponent of Android

    I see a lot iPhone's in the wild. It honestly seems like everyone and their momma's have one. And I mean everyone - old, young, broke, affluent, skinny, fat, etc.

    As much as I hate to admit it, I rarely see any SGS3's, HTC One X's, or Galaxy Note II's throughout the day. When I do, I usually try to give a subtle head nod. I know that stats are accurate, for the most part, but I think they're mostly entry-level phones. That sucks
    • Very true

      I'm in school right now, and when my class takes a test everybody has to put their phones at the front of the room. Last year it was at least 70-80 iphones vs 30 android, 10 feature phones and 1 windows phone (respect for thinking outside the box). This year it has been changing though. It's now only 50-60 iphones, and about 40 galaxy s3's, and a handfull of feature phones and still one windows phone, and somebody picked up a blackberry from somewhere recently.
  • Good!

    I cannot wait for Apple to become completely Irrelevant again!