New figures released by analyst firm IDC show that 75% of smartphones shipped globally in Q3 of 2012 run the Android operating system. This is a huge chunk of the market and has increased by 91.5% compared to the same period last year. The market share of Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone grew marginally, while the Symbian and BlackBerry markets shares declined.
While the IDC figures show devices shipped as opposed to devices in use, the stats do correlate with figures released by Google which estimate around 1.3 million device activations per day. With the rate at which Android is currently growing, it could have a market share of around 90% by the end of 2013, which is near monopoly status.
With Google’s recent pricing announcements for the new Nexus range, the expansion of Android is likely to continue at the rapid rate that it has experienced over the last few years. While Windows Phone has the quickest year on year growth rate of 140%, its overall market share stands at only 2%. Microsoft will be hoping to capture more market share in 2013, but with Android also growing at a very strong rate and with its prices coming down, it will also need to consider its pricing.
Of course, market share is not necessarily indicative of profit share. Apple’s 14.9% market share provides it with the largest profit share of any one company, but manufacturers such as Samsung are doing very well from Android, as is shown by the record profits that it posted recently. The next few years in the smartphone industry will be very interesting to observe and we can look forward to a great range of handsets at increasingly better prices.