IDC has reported that 75 percent of all smartphones shipped in the third quarter while Apple held onto 15 percent. While most people would see this number as a clear indicator of which OS is superior, it really only reflects two things—the first of which is the fact that these numbers only mention sales in the third quarter of this year and second, you have to consider that Android devices severely outnumber iPhones.
In other words, Apple has been able to retain a 15 percent share of the market all on its own while Android devices are counted as one, even though there are some 20+ devices currently on the market. So while Apple is doing well, it must be noted that they still had room to grow from last year considering that other devices such as Blackberry and Symbian were losing marketshare. One year ago, Apple had 14 percent marketshare while Android had 58 percent. Yet, it was Android that appeared to take over where others have lost.
What does all this mean? Well nothing exactly except that it seems Apple has somewhat plateaued while Android has been thriving. Many people had thought that one of Android’s weaknesses was that there were too many choices out there—so much so that many consumers would be scared away by all the confusion. But the numbers speak for themselves…Android is growing!
As a former iOS user and now Android fan, this is exciting. Despite my biases, I am a believer of competition and I don’t seek an all out war between iOS and Android which would put one in the grave. However, it’s nice to see that the almighty iPhone isn’t the only great phone out there and people are really starting to pay attention to this.
But enough of my opinion! Let’s look at the numbers directly from IDC:
Last updated: November 09, 2012
— Android (Google Inc.) — 136 million units, 75 percent share (57.5 percent a year earlier)
— iOS (Apple Inc.’s iPhone) — 26.9 million units, 14.9 percent share (13.8 percent a year earlier)
— BlackBerry (Research in Motion Ltd.) — 7.7 million units, 4.3 percent share (9.5 percent a year earlier)
— Symbian (mostly used by Nokia Corp.) — 4.1 million units, 2.3 percent share (14.6 percent a year earlier)
— Windows (Microsoft Corp.) — 3.6 million units, 2 percent share (1.2 percent a year earlier)
— Linux — 2.8 million units, 1.5 percent share (3.3 percent a year earlier)