Android and Apple tightened their stranglehold on the smartphone market during Q2, with the Google-owned platform now accounting for more than two thirds of all devices. Meanwhile, the Symbian and BlackBerry operating systems continue to slide towards obscurity, according to figures from IDC.
The market watcher reports that global smartphone shipments rose 42.2 per cent to 154 million during the April-to-June quarter. Some 104.8 million of these were Android devices, a year-on-year volume increase of 106.5 per cent.
The operating system has grown its share of the market from 46.9 to 68.1 per cent during the last year. Second-placed iOS has fallen from 18.8 to 16.9 per cent in the same period, but Apple has still cemented its number-two position thanks to robust second-quarter shipment growth of 27.5 per cent.
Third-placed BlackBerry OS has seen its market share fall from 11.5 to 4.8 per cent in the past 12 months and Q2 shipments plummeted 40.9 per cent to 7.4 million in Q2. Symbian, in fourth, has fallen even further, with shipments down 62.9 per cent to 6.8 million and market share dropping from 16.9 to 4.4 per cent.
Microsoft, in fifth, saw its shipments more than double year on year to 5.4 million, but the software giant still holds only a 3.5 per cent slice of the market. Sixth-placed Linux, with a market share of 2.3 per cent, lost ground in Q2 as some tin vendors migrated to Android platforms.
The leading operating system's success was largely chalked up to Samsung, which shipped 44 per cent of all Android devices in Q2 – more than the rest of the top eight phone makers combined, according to IDC. Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst for the market watcher's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, claimed that rivals have little hope of catching Apple and Google in the short term.
"The mobile OS market is now unquestionably a two-horse race due to the dominance of Android and iOS," he said. "With much of the world's mobile phone user base still operating feature phones, the smartphone OS market share battle is far from over. There is still room for some mobile OS competitors to gain share, although such efforts will become increasingly difficult as smartphone penetration increases."
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