Google's Android and Apple's iOS mobile platforms collectively accounted for 85 percent of all smartphone unit sales during the second quarter of 2012, according to a new report from IDC. Android led the field with a commanding 68.1 percent global market share, with Apple's iOS a distant second at 16.9 percent.
Android sales were driven by stellar shipments by Samsung, which accounted for 44 percent of all Android phones sold during the quarter. Moreover, Google's mobile platform received an additional boost as handset vendors began delivering more models running Android 4.0 -- also known as Ice Cream Sandwich.
Apple continued to post double-digit smartphone growth in the second quarter, but it wasn't enough to keep pace with Google's mobile operating system. With carriers and consumers widely anticipating the launch of Apple's next-generation model, demand for the iPhone 4S has softened, industry observers said.
Research In Motion's unit shipments fell 40.9 percent year-over-year. IDC pegs the BlackBerry platform's global market share at a mere 4.8 percent -- down from 11.5 percent in the year-earlier period.
According to IDC Senior Research Analyst Kevin Restivo, however, the smartphone market's current two-horse race is far from over.
"There is still room for some mobile OS competitors to gain share, although such efforts will become increasingly difficult as smartphone penetration increases," Restivo said.
An Uptick for Microsoft
Perhaps the second quarter's biggest surprise was Microsoft's 115.3 percent unit shipment growth for its combined Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile platforms. Microsoft's year-over-year shipment boost even exceeded the robust 106.5 percent growth posted by Google's Android platform.
"For the year, we're projecting Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile to account for 5.2 percent of all smartphones shipped globally," Restivo told us . "That's up from 1.8 percent globally last year."
Restivo attributed the projected share gains to the Windows Phone 8 devices slated to be launched during this year's fourth quarter. IDC anticipates the next-generation mobile OS will help Microsoft and its hardware partners achieve "high triple-digit growth in the peak holiday season," Restivo said.
Nokia is widely expected to unveil its first Windows Phone 8 handsets at the Nokia World conference in Helsinki in early September. Though some industry observers believe Apple's iPhone 5 announcement could come as early as September 12, others believe the unveiling will come later -- potentially giving Nokia a window of opportunity to highlight its next-generation WP8 devices without having to compete with the roar of iPhone media buzz. (continued...)
Posted: 2012-08-08 @ 9:41pm PT
You people are aware that Nokia announced it isn't planning to actually release any new Windows Phone devices until Spring 2013, right? It considers a store makeover a major announcement.