The global smartphone market edged past 300 million units for the first time in history over the second quarter of 2014, the IDC has said.
The Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker found that 301.3 million smartphones were sold internationally over the quarter, 25.3% more than were sold over the same period last year.
Android operating systems were in use on 84.7% of these phones, while Apple’s iOS was on 11.7%. In total, these two giants therefore controlled 96.4% of the market from April to July. Windows Phone managed to scrape a share of just 2.5%, with BlackBerry managing just 0.5% and other operating systems holding the remaining 0.6%.
Windows Phone has not yet been able to attain more than 5% of the market, despite being available since 2010. However, Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Nokia could help it to turn its fortunes around, and Windows Phone seems to have firmly established itself as the world’s third-most popular OS regardless. BlackBerry’s situation looks especially dire; its shipment levels are 78% lower than they were one year ago, with shipments declining in three of the last four quarters. Nonetheless, the firm saw some growth among business users in Western Europe and North America, and expanded somewhat within the Asia/Pacific region.
Although its control has fallen, Samsung helped Android achieve its remarkable success, accounting for 29.3% of all Android OS smartphones. In 2012, it accounted for 40%, with its share declining in the face of competition from firms such as ZTE, Xiaomi, LG, Coolpad, Lenovo and Huawei. Android’s success may also be due to the affordability of its handsets; around 59% of the handsets it sold over the quarter cost less than $200 (£110) off-contract, with these prices helping Google expand its reach into lucrative emerging markets.
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