According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) iOS and Android continue to dominate the global smartphone market, accounting for for 95.7% of all smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2013, and for 93.8% of all smartphone shipments for the year. The smartphone market also hit an important milestone in 2013, with worldwide shipments surpassing the 1 billion mark for the first time.
The research firm notes that worldwide smartphone marketing campaigns continue to stay focused on flagship devices like the iPhone 5s, Galaxy Note 3, and the HTC One. However, latest study shows that consumer buying is rapidly shifting toward products with significantly lower price points. “In 2013 we saw the sub-$200 smartphone market grow to 42.6% of global volume, or 430 million units,” said Ryan Reith, a Program Director with IDC.
IDC’s Research Manager Ramon Llamas noted that Google’s Android relied on its long list of OEM partners, a broad and deep collection of devices, and price points that appealed to nearly every market segment. Apple’s iOS, on the other hand, relied on nearly the opposite approach i.e a limited selection of Apple-only devices. In the end, both platforms found “a warm reception to their respective user experiences”.
Operating System Highlights
Android finished the year where it began: as the clear leader in the smartphone operating system race. Samsung led all Android vendors with a commanding 39.5% share of shipments for the year. Worth watching is a crowded list of vendors jockeying for position in 2014, including Huawei, LG, Lenovo, Coolpad, and Sony. Should Lenovo’s bid to acquire Motorola Mobility be realized, the new company will leap ahead of Huawei, which was the number 2 Android vendor in 2013.
iOS posted the lowest positive growth for both the quarter (6.7%) and for the year (12.9%), underperforming the overall market in both instances. Although it remains wildly popular in the smartphone market, Apple has been criticized for not offering a new low-cost iPhone nor a large screen iPhone in 2013 to compete with other OEMs.
Windows Phone posted the largest increase for both the quarter (46.7%) and the year (90.9%)
BlackBerry was the only operating system to realize negative year-over-year change both for the quarter (-77.0%) and for the year (-40.9%).
IDC believes that Apple will release a large-screen iPhone later this year, but will not altogether abandon the smaller 4″ screen version of previous models.