Whilst the two operating systems account for 9 in ten of all smartphones, it is the Android platform that is way out ahead, owning just over 70% of the smartphone arena in the fourth quarter of 2012.
During Q4, there were almost 160 million shipments of Android devices, which is a significant increase on the same period in 2011. Then, there were 85 million shipments giving the Google backed OS a 52.9% market share.
Android was consistently setting the pace throughout the whole of 2012, seeing a 68.8% share with a yearly total of almost 500 million units shipped.
Meanwhile iOS held a healthy second position in the market, taking a 21% market share in Q4, with a total of 18.8% for the year. According to IDC, Apple shipped almost 48 million smartphones in the fourth quarter, and 135.9 million for the year.
Ramon Llamas, Research Manager at IDC, said: “The dominance of Android and Apple reached a new watermark in the fourth quarter. Android boasted a braod selection of smartphones, and an equally deep list of smartphone vendor partners. Finding an Android smartphone for nearly any budget, taste, size and price was all but guaranteed during 2012. As a result, Android was rewarded with market beating growth.”
The driving force behind the popularity of Android remains Samsung, with the South Korean manufacturer supplying 42% of all Android devices sold. No other manufacturer supplying Android phones managed to break double figures for the year.
A long way behind iOS came BlackBerry, holding just 3.2% of the smartphone market. And despite shipments of devices running Windows Phone jumping by a massive 150% during Q4, the OS only managed to secure a 2.6% slice of the market.
The total number of smartphones shipped for 2012 passed 722 million, easily beating the 495 million shipped in 2011.