Android maintain stranglehold on smartphone market

187 million Android devices were shipped in the last quarter

Android Jelly Bean passes 50 percent distribution level

Handsets running Android increased market share by a huge 73.5 percent in the last quarter, compared to the same period in 2012, giving handsets running the Google backed OS almost 80 percent of the smartphone market.

Figures in a report from industry analyst IDC show that more than 187 million Android devices were shipped in the last quarter, representing 79.3 percent of all smartphones shipped.

The next most popular platform remains iOS, with 32.1 million devices, giving iOS a share of 13.2 percent. This represents a growth for iOS of more than 20 percent on Q2 2012, and gives Apple a comfortable cushion over its nearest competitor.

The third placed OS is Windows Phone, which saw 8.7 million units shipped, giving a 3.7 percent market share. However, the growth rate for Windows Phone was almost the same as that of Android compared to units delivered from 2012, up an impressive 77.6 percent. Whilst there is a huge disparity in the number of units being moved, Microsoft are sure to be pleased at the growth rate, and with major partner Nokia will be hoping to build on this as they seek to make Windows Phone a viable third option.

BlackBerry continue to suffer, despite the release of BB10. Shipments of BlackBerry devices fell by 11.7 percent on numbers from 2012, giving BlackBerry just a 2.9 percent share of the smartphone arena.

IDC state that whilst big sales from the likes of Samsung and the Galaxy S4 have helped push the figures for Android, the real strength of the platform is in the diversity of manufacturers. LG, Huawei, Lenovo and ZTE all performed well in Q2 2012, all shifting double digits of smartphones.

With such a range of devices from these manufacturers hitting every price point and niche market, it is easy to see why Android is performing so well. This offers a real benchmark by which we can judge the much rumoured budget iPhone when and if it launches later this year. Apple have already shown with the iPhone 4 that a device priced at lower budgets can perform well. If the budget iPhone does materialise, it will be interesting to see just how much of an impact the device will have on Android sales.