iOS and Android Capture 92% of Smartphone Market in Q4

iOS and Android together accounted for 92 percent of all global smartphone operating system shipments in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to Strategy Analytics.  Android reined supreme with 152.1 million smartphones shipped in the fourth quarter or 70.1 percent of the global market from 51.3 percent a year ago.  Global smartphone shipments over the entire year reached a record 700.1 million units, the group said.

As for iOS, Apple captured 22 percent of the market in the fourth quarter, down from the 24 percent it held in the year-ago quarter, and its share of the smartphone market for the year came in at 19.4 percent, up slightly from 19 percent a year ago, according to Strategy Analytics.

The Android operating system took significant market share from the “others” category, which includes platforms such as BlackBerry, Symbian, Bada and Windows.  Together, the “others” category together only grabbed 7.9 percent of the market in the fourth quarter, tumbling from 25.1 percent a year ago.

While Strategy Analytics didn’t break out the “others” category further, Gartner research reported that RIM held 5.3 percent of the smartphone operating system market in the third quarter of 2012, followed by Bada at 3 percent, Symbian at 2.6 percent and Microsoft at 2.4 percent.  However, Microsoft’s share could be higher as Gartner’s figures didn’t account for Windows Phone 8 because the first devices didn’t become available for sale until early November.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone will battle with RIM for the number three spot in 2013 as more vendors release popular smartphones running on the Windows 8 platform, including the Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC’s Windows 8X.  The Nokia Lumia 920 was reportedly the third best-selling smartphone on AT&T behind only the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S III in November.

RIM is hoping to hold its ground and take a bite out of Android and iOs with release of its BlackBerry 10 smartphone platform on Wednesday.   The company today announced some of its partners for its Blackberry 10 storefront including Disney Studios, Sony Pictures and Universal Music Group.

About the author

— Cassie Slane

Cassie Slane is a technology and consumer products expert and appears as an electronics guest on QVC and Philly's Fox 29 Channel. She has been a producer and writer for major media outlets including Bloomberg News, CNBC, and CNN.

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