iOS and Android completely dominate the global smartphone market

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In the smartphone race there are only two players: iOS and Android. That fact is clear in IDC’s new report for worldwide smartphone shipments for the second quarter.

Combined, iOS and Android account for a whopping 96.4% of global smartphone sales. IDC notes that there’s “little space for competitors,” which is a mild way of saying that every other platform has little to no hope.

“The worldwide smartphone market reached a new milestone in the second quarter of 2014 (2Q14), moving past the 300 million unit mark for the first time in its history,” notes the report. The smartphone market is continuing to grow healthily. Shipments grew 25.3% from 240.5 million units sold this time last year.

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Samsung and the China-based Xiaomi are the two biggest Android vendors right now, and Samsung’s sales are slowing while Xiaomi’s are taking off. “Samsung once again led the charge, accounting for 29.3% of all Android-powered shipments, down from its 40.0% share of two years ago,” notes IDC.

Apple owns the majority of handset profits with Samsung in second, according to another recent research report. iOS accounts for only 11.7% of global smartphone market share, but it’s important to note that Apple only ships a handful of devices at relatively steep prices compared to Android.

  • TeeJay1100

    More like Android is dominating, not Apple. Apple is losing more ground since last year. It won’t be long before other OEM’s infiltrate the market with excellent low end phones.

    • D R

      Except the IDC is making up the numbers for Android. Nobody reports actual sales like Apple does, so IDC just guesses what they sold [for the big companies like Samsung, Nokia, etc], then decides what market share Android should have and then just gives the “Other” suppliers enough sales so the numbers work out to what they have decided.

      Repeatedly, IDC numbers have been out by several orders of magnitude, when actual sales numbers revealed during lawsuits [years later] are compared against the numbers IDC “reports”.

    • http://www.sk1wbw.wordpress.com/ Wayne Williams

      Except that “Android” isn’t a company. People don’t buy “Android” and get a free Samsung phone or a free HTC phone. These marketshare arguments are trivial. It’s like the Windows vs Mac days when people tripped over themselves saying that Windows (an OS) was more popular than the Mac (a computer) when Windows (the OS) was installed on everything.

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    Apple is still dominating in profits although not market share which is worthwhile for Apple because they’re only interested in the higher-end consumer. The bad news is there is simply no room or need for Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS. I’ve heard that there are countries who do have some interest in Windows Phone but those are near poverty-class countries. Microsoft isn’t going to get much out of taking market share in those countries. I don’t know what’s been decided about Tizen OS but that seems as though Samsung has quietly abandoned it.

    • TeeJay1100

      The higher end consumer agenda is going to be the fall of them if they don’t adjust for the lower end. The lower end is advancing and those high end profits you speak of will dwindle away.

      • Jeff Maxwell

        You don’t seem to know much about the impact of commoditization at the low end of the market. Do you know how many computer manufacturers who began in the 1970’s are still in the PC business today? ONE – Apple. The rest of them raced each other to the bottom where there wasn’t enough profit to keep them afloat. The same thing is happening with smartphones now. History has shown again and again across every industry that commoditization kills companies.

        I understand that you WANT Apple to fail, but from a business standpoint, focusing on the premium market is a solid strategy.

      • TeeJay1100

        No one said anything about Apple failing but you. I never mentioned about Apple going away, I was talking about profits. Stop insinuating. You cannot compare pc business with a higher mark up to smartphones. And this isn’t the 1970’s. Totally different economic market.

      • Jeff Maxwell

        Well if you want to talk profits, Apple is totally and completely dominating in that arena. Nobody else is even close. Samsung gave them a run but they’re now in decline in terms of revenue and profit while Apple’s continues to increase.

        So exactly how is their strategy of focusing on the premium end not working?

      • TeeJay1100

        It’s over you know everything.

      • Jeff Maxwell

        Well, if you want to be a baby about it, that’s fine. But I’m honestly interested in your views about why market share matters. It hasn’t translated into profits and it hasn’t impacted the developer and 3rd party markets. I just don’t know what’s left to care about from a practical perspective.

        It seems like if it matters to you that you should be able to articulate why.

  • ianthetechman

    This should surprise nobody really though, Blackberry is all but dead and windows phone is chugging along but not really gaining any real ground.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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