iOS and Android unsurprisingly dominate smartphone OS market

Fred O'Connor
25 February, 2015
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iPhone-6-iPhone-6-Plus-speed-macworld-australia1Android and iOS increased their combined share of the global mobile OS market in 2014, running on 96.3 percent of all smartphones.

That’s up from their 93.8 percent share in 2013, IDC said this week. Android increased its share of the smartphone OS market to 81.5 percent in 2014 from 78.7 percent, while iOS’ share shrunk to 14.8 percent from 15.1 percent.

Despite the slip, shipments of iOS devices grew 25.6 percent thanks to the release of the iPhone 6, according to IDC. Apple shipped 192.7 million smartphones in 2014, up from 153.4 million in 2013. With the iPhone 6, Apple responded to the market’s demand for an Apple phone with a larger screen, so IDC questions whether momentum for the company’s smartphones can be maintained.

More than one billion Android phones shipped last year, topping 2013’s figure of 802 million. Samsung retained its title as the top Android phone manufacturer, shipping more units than the next five vendors combined. However, Samsung’s total volume remained flat for 2014, according to IDC. Most of the platform’s growth came from Huawei, LG, ZTE and Xiamoi.

At 34.9 million units, Microsoft shipped slightly more Windows Phones in 2014 than in 2013, when it shipped 33.5 million units. Microsoft focused on the lower end of the smartphone market in 2014, selling entry-level phones it acquired after purchasing Nokia and letting partners HTC and Samsung handle the high-end market, IDC said. But with the launch of Windows 10 this year, Microsoft will likely turn its attention again to the high-end segment of the market, according to IDC.

Blackberry was the only mobile OS to lose market share last year, decreasing to 0.4 percent in 2014 from 1.9 percent.

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