Android Marks 4th Anniversary Since Launch with 75.0% Market Share in 3rd Quarter, According to IDCC
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    Android Marks 4th Anniversary Since Launch with 75.0% Market Share in 3rd Quarter, According to IDCC

    FRAMINGHAM, Mass. November 1, 2012 – The Android smartphone operating system was found on three out of every four smartphones shipped during the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12). According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, total Android smartphone shipments worldwide reached 136.0 million units, accounting for 75.0% of the 181.1 million smartphones shipped in 3Q12. The 91.5% year-over-year growth was nearly double the overall market growth rate of 46.4%.

    "Android has been one of the primary growth engines of the smartphone market since it was launched in 2008," said Ramon Llamas, research manager, Mobile Phones at IDC. "In every year since then, Android has effectively outpaced the market and taken market share from the competition. In addition, the combination of smartphone vendors, mobile operators, and end-users who have embraced Android has driven shipment volumes higher. Even today, more vendors are introducing their first Android-powered smartphones to market."

    "The share decline of smartphone operating systems not named iOS since Android's introduction isn't a coincidence," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "The smartphone operating system isn't an isolated product, it's a crucial part of a larger technology ecosystem. Google has a thriving, multi-faceted product portfolio. Many of its competitors, with weaker tie-ins to the mobile OS, do not. This factor and others have led to loss of share for competitors with few exceptions."

    Mobile Operating System Highlights

    Android, having topped the 100 million unit mark last quarter, reached a new record level in a single quarter. By comparison, Android's total volumes for the quarter were greater than the total number of smartphones shipped in 2007, the year that Android was officially announced. Samsung once again led all vendors in this space, but saw its market share decline as numerous smaller vendors increased their production.

    iOS was a distant second place to Android, but was the only other mobile operating system to amass double-digit market share for the quarter. The late quarter launch of the iPhone 5 and lower prices on older models prevented total shipment volumes from slipping to 3Q11 levels. But without a splashy new OS-driven feature like Siri in 2011 and FaceTime in 2010, the iPhone 5 relied on its larger, but not wider, screen and LTE connectivity to drive growth.

    BlackBerry's market share continued to sink, falling to just over 4% by the end of the quarter. With the launch of BlackBerry 10 yet to come in 2013, BlackBerry will continue to rely on its aging BlackBerry 7 platform, and equally aging device line-up. Still, demand for BlackBerry and its wildly popular BBM service is strong within multiple key markets worldwide, and the number of subscribers continues to increase.

    Symbian posted the largest year-on-year decline of the leading operating systems. Nokia remains the largest vendor still supporting Symbian, along with Japanese vendors Fujitsu, Sharp, and Sony. Each of these vendors is in the midst of transitioning to other operating systems and IDC believes that they will cease shipping Symbian-powered smartphones in 2013. At the same time, the installed base of Symbian users will continue well after the last Symbian smartphone ships.

    Windows Phone marked its second anniversary with a total of just 3.6 million units shipped worldwide, fewer than the total number of Symbian units shipped. Even with the backing of multiple smartphone market leaders, Windows Phone has yet to make a significant dent into Android's and iOS's collective market share. That could change in 4Q12, when multiple Windows Phone 8 smartphones will reach the market.

    Linux volume declined for the third straight quarter as did its year-over-year growth. Samsung accounted for the majority of shipments once again, but like most other vendors competing with Linux-powered smartphones, most of its attention went towards Android instead. Still, that has not deterred other vendors from experimenting, or at least considering the open-source operating system, as multiple reports of Firefox, Sailfish, and Tizen plan to release new Linux-based experiences in the future.





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    That's crazy the growth amount. However, we need to remember that Android does not make their own hardware. Except for the google phones that have been made, which don't sell as well. This has enabled Android to spread easily. BlackBerry and Apple all make their own hardware exclusively.

    It's def going to be interesting how BlackBerry 10 affects the Android market. iPhone users I don't think it will change much. But for Android, the numbers will be affected. Not only because that is were many BlackBerry users went in the past. Plus, BlackBerry 10 will be an Android app running machine. Sideloading apps will be huge for the power user.

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    Don't forget Joe, it won't be long before Google will be concentrating their efforts on making their OS primo for THEIR Motorola handsets. It will be interesting to see how anxious Google will be to help their Samsung sell someone a phone instead of their own.

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    I don't think Google will make Motorola into some kind of more powerful Android machine. It would defeat the purpose of having Android be so "open." I think that we will continue to see samsung, htc, and motorola all have their own footing. Google profits more that way. And losing the others would be more devastating than making their own in house device be dominant.

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    I gotta disagree with you Joe. I can't imagine any scenario where Google pays twelve and a half BILLION dollars for a company just to settle for having handset sales that are mediocre at best. Yes I know, Motorola has more divisions than just cellular phones, but let's be real. Google didn't buy them so they could get in to the walkie talkie radio market.

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    I think we will see both a little bit of both happen. Google will probably make their own devices at one point, and have something similar to the way Apple does things. However at this time its not their main focus.

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    Anissiar Joane

    What's up, I check your blogs like every week. Your story-telling style is awesome, keep up the good work!

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