Global smartphone shipments pass 300m for first time in single quarter

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The latest figures for the global smartphone market – covering the three-month period from April to June – shows Android continuing to increase its market share, while iOS, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry all experienced a fall.

IDC’s data also showed that for the first time, smartphone shipments for a three-month period passed the 300-million mark.

Back to those figures for the operating systems – Android saw its market share for Q2 shipments hit 84.7 percent, up from 79.6 percent a year earlier. Shipment volume grew by 33.3 percent, hitting 255 million units.

Related: The best smartphone OS

While Apple’s iOS share dropped from 13 percent to 11.7 percent, it did at least manage to increase its year-on-year shipment volume by 12.7 percent (35.2 million units up from 31.2 million in Q2 2013). The same couldn’t be said for Windows Phone or BlackBerry.

Windows Phone may have established itself as the third player in the smartphone market, but it’s way behind Android and iOS in terms of shipment volume, and IDC’s data indicates some cause for concern.

Global Q2 shipments for Microsoft’s mobile OS came in at just 2.5 percent, down from 3.4 percent a year earlier. Shipment volume, too, dropped from 8.2 million handsets a year ago to 7.4 million, marking a decline of 9.4 percent. However, IDC noted that compared to Q1, Windows Phone shipments showed a “slight improvement.”

idc smartphone figures q2 2014

IDC research manager Melissa Chau described Windows Phone’s battle to grow as “an incredible upward slog,” adding that the biggest hurdle for struggling platforms “is around getting enough partnerships in play – not just phone manufacturers but also developers, many of which are smaller outfits looking to minimize development efforts by sticking to the two big ecosystems.”

The situation looks even bleaker for BlackBerry, which saw its share of the market for the quarter drop from 2.8 percent a year ago to just 0.5 percent.

Related: Google announces Android One initiative

Commenting on its most recent figures, IDC research manager Ramon Llamas said sub-$200 smartphones in emerging markets had helped Android make “huge gains.”

He elaborated, “During the second quarter, 58.6 percent of all Android smartphone shipments worldwide cost less than $200 off contract, making them very attractive compared to other devices. With the recent introduction of Android One, in which Google offers reference designs below $100 to Android OEMs, the proportion of sub-$200 volumes will climb even higher.”

Samsung is still the top Android vendor, followed by Huawei, Lenovo and LG. However, IDC said the top five vendors’ dominance in the smartphone market is waning in the face of increased competition, with their collective shipment volume falling from 63 percent a year ago to 54.5 percent.

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