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Strategy Analytics: Android claimed 70 percent of world smartphone share in Q4 2012


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Maybe it's easier being green than we thought. We suspected Android would do well in smartphone market share when Strategy Analytics had Samsung surging ahead in the fourth quarter of 2012, but the firm's newer breakdown of estimated share by OS shows an even larger jump for Google's overall platform -- from 51.3 percent in fall 2011 to 70.1 percent one year later. Apple was knocked down slightly to 22 percent, although it's mostly other platforms that took the bruising. Collectively, BlackBerry, Symbian, Windows Phone and other platforms sank from 25.1 percent of the smartphone space in late 2011 to just 7.9 points as 2012 drew to a close. When just two companies' platforms make up 92 percent of smartphones, it's safe to call the result a duopoly, like Strategy Analytics does -- even if others aren't so content with the idea.

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Strategy Analytics: Android and Apple iOS Capture a Record 92 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q4 2012

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments grew 38 percent annually to reach 217 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012. Android and Apple iOS together accounted for a record 92 percent share of all smartphones shipped worldwide.

Neil Shah, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, "Global smartphone shipments grew 38 percent annually from 157.0 million units in Q4 2011 to 217.0 million in Q4 2012. Global smartphone shipments for the full year reached a record 700.1 million units in 2012, increasing robustly from 490.5 million units in 2011. Global shipment growth slowed from 64 percent in 2011 to 43 percent in 2012 as penetration of smartphones began to mature in developed regions such as North America and Western Europe."

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, "We estimate 152.1 million Android smartphones were shipped globally in Q4 2012, nearly doubling from 80.6 million units in Q4 2011. Android's share of the global smartphone market has surged from 51 percent to 70 percent over the past year, crushing Symbian, Bada and other platforms in its wake. Almost half-a-billion Android smartphones were shipped in total worldwide during 2012. Android is clearly the undisputed volume leader of the smartphone industry at the present time. Android's challenge for 2013 will be to defend its leadership, not only against Apple, but also against an emerging wave of hungry challengers that includes Microsoft, Blackberry, Firefox and Tizen."

Scott Bicheno, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, "Apple grew 29 percent annually and shipped 47.8 million smartphones worldwide for 22 percent marketshare in Q4 2012, dipping slightly from 24 percent a year earlier. Combined together, Apple and Android accounted for a record 92 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally in the fourth quarter of 2012. The worldwide smartphone industry has effectively become a duopoly as consumer demand has polarized around mass-market Android models and premium Apple designs."

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Operating System Shipments and Market Share in Q4 2012 1

Global Smartphone OS Shipments (Millions of Units) Q4 '11 2011 Q4 '12 2012
Android 80.6 238.9 152.1 479.0
Apple iOS 37.0 93.0 47.8 135.8
Others 39.4 158.6 17.1 85.3
Total 157.0 490.5 217.0 700.1
Global Smartphone OS Marketshare %

Q4 '11

2011 Q4 '12 2012
Android 51.3% 48.7% 70.1% 68.4%
Apple iOS 23.6% 19.0% 22.0% 19.4%
Others 25.1% 32.3% 7.9% 12.2%
Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Total Growth Year-over-Year % 55.9% 63.8% 38.2% 42.7%

The full report, Android & Apple iOS Capture a Record 92 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q4 2012, is published by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, details of which can be found here:

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