When it comes to the worldwide smartphone operating system (OS) market, Android and iOS are together, but not the same. Google and Apple’s mobile operating systems are, to no one’s surprise, completely dominating the world, shipping on a combined 96.3 percent of smartphone units in 2014, according to a new report from International Data Corporation (IDC).
Android powered 1.1 billion shipped smartphone units in the calendar year 2014, up 32.0 percent from the 802.2 million units shipping with Google’s mobile OS in 2013. This gave Android 81.5 percent of the global market, up from 78.7 percent last year.
IDC notes that Samsung remained the top original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of Android-powered phones, shipping more units than the next five vendors combined. “At the same time, Samsung’s total volumes for the year remained essentially flat while Asian vendors including Huawei, Lenovo (including Motorola), LG Electronics, Xiaomi, and ZTE fueled the most growth for Google’s platform,” according to the report.
Apple’s iOS powered 192.7 million shipped smartphone units in 2014, up 25.6 percent from the 153.4 million units shipped in 2013. This gave iOS a 14.8 percent market share, down slightly from its 15.1 percent share in 2013.
“Many of the same drivers were in play for Android and iOS to tighten their grip on the market,” said Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s mobile phone team. “A combination of strong end-user demand, refreshed product portfolios, and the availability of low-cost devices — particularly for Android — drove volumes higher.”
Microsoft’s Windows Phone mobile OS finished 2014 with a 2.7 percent market share, down from 3.3 percent in 2013. Meanwhile, BlackBerry (the only OS to see a year-over-year decline in units shipped) claimed 0.4 percent of the worldwide smartphone OS market, down from 1.9 percent in the prior year.
Earlier this year, Strategy Analytics reported that more than 1 billion smartphones running Android were shipped in 2014, corroborating IDC’s data.