IDC: Android, iPhone Running Away with Smartphone Market

The latest data from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker shows what everyone already knows: That Android and iPhone continue to dominate the space. What may be surprising, however, is how thorough that domination is: more than 80 percent of smartphones are one of those two devices.

In Q1 of 2012, Android, at 59 percent, and iPhone, at 23 percent, put even more distance between themselves and the competition. The others either lost share or have such a tiny slice of the market pie as to be insignificant.

Nokia's Symbian OS, for example, crashed more than 60 percent of its share in year-over-year share, and BlackBerry nosedived nearly 30 percent in the same timeframe. Windows Phone, at 2.3 percent of the market, continues to be a blip on the radar.

IDC says that 152.3 million smartphones shipped in the first quarter, compared with 101.6 million in Q1 of 2011, meaning that the smartphone market increased by about 50 percent in the past year. And nearly all of that increase is driven by Android and iPhone.

Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker program, said in the press release that developers are a prime driver in those adoption figures.

"In order for operating system challengers to gain share, their creators and hardware partners need to secure developer loyalty. This is true because developer intentions or enthusiasm for a particular operating system is typically a leading indicator of hardware sales success."

In notes accompanying the statistics, IDC pointed out the new strategies behind some of the challengers, including the new strategies of both Nokia and Microsoft in reconfiguring their businesses around their Windows Phone partnership, which has yet to take hold strongly.

In addition, Research in Motion (RIM) is launching its first true competitor in the market, the BlackBerry 10, later this year. "Although RIM has not officially released BB 10, initial glimpses of the platform have shown improvement," IDC wrote.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.