Data & Research

Smartphone sandwich: iOS risks being squashed by Android and Windows Phone

Apple sees smartphone share dip

Smartphone sandwich: iOS risks being squashed by Android and Windows Phone

The continued rise of Android and Windows Phone risks squashing iOS in the middle, with Apple's mobile market share continuing to slip during the most recent quarter.

That's according to the latest statistics released by IDC, which claim both Google and Microsoft's operating systems have seen impressive growth in recent months.

Apple could only watch as its market share dropped to 12.9 percent in Q3 2013, down from 14.4 percent during the same period in 2012. Android, on the other hand has seen its share rise from 74.9 percent to 81 percent in the same time frame.

Microsoft, meanwhile, continues to gain momentum in the global smartphone market, with its share hitting 3.6 percent, up from 2 percent in 2012.

Price point

IDC has labelled this achievement as a "major milestone" for Windows Phone, with shipments jumping an impressive 156 percent year-on-year.

The US giant has a lot to thank Nokia for, however, as the Finnish firm was responsible for 93.2 percent of all Windows Phones shipped in the quarter.

Nokia's low-price Lumia 520 is making the difference

According to IDC analysts, the reasons behind Windows Phone and Android's respective successes can be whittled down to one crucial factor: price.

"Android and Windows Phone continued to make significant strides in the third quarter. Despite their differences in market share, they both have one important factor behind their success: price," said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team.

"Both platforms have a selection of devices available at prices low enough to be affordable to the mass market, and it is the mass market that is driving the entire market forward."

Round two

IDC also notes that the lack of a large-screen device in Apple's range may have "contributed to Apple's inability to grow share in the third quarter."

Despite Apple's market share decline, its safe to say that the California firm will be coming back stronger after the recent launch of iOS 7.

Indeed, if we take the 9 million units Apple sold during the last week of September as an indication of future adoption, then iOS will undoubtedly see another record quarter in terms of market share, and year-over-year growth.

IDC believes Apple needs a large-screen iPhone in its range

Unfortunately, one company that continues to slowly slip into oblivion is BlackBerry. The company continued its decline as its market share has dropped from 4.1 percent to just 1.7 percent in the past 12 months.

With shipment volumes also in decline, and the launch of the BB10 smartphones failing to steady the ship, BlackBerry's future is looking decidedly bleak.

[source: IDC]

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