Android Leads iOS in "Two-Horse Race" for Smartphone Dominance, IDC Says

Paul Lilly

With all due respect to Symbian, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and any other mobile platform not named Android or iOS, you're all just a bunch of also-rans in what's becoming "unquestionably a two-horse race," according to data and analysis by International Data Corporation (IDC). Android and iOS set a new combined smartphone OS record in the second quarter of 2012, with the two platforms feasting on an 85 percent share of the market, leaving just 15 percent in scraps for all others to fight over.

Even though it's a two-horse race, it's not really a close one. According to IDC, Android ended Q2 with a 68.1 percent share of the smartphone OS market, while iOS trailed a distant second at 16.9 percent. After that it's BlackBerry with a 4.8 percent share, followed by Symbian with 4.4 percent, Windows Phone/Mobile with 3.5 percent, Linux (mostly Samsung's Bada platform) with 2.3 percent, and all others combining for a measly 0.1 percent.

"Android continues to fire on all cylinders," said Ramon Llamas , senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Phone Technology and Trends program. "The market was entreated to several flagship models from Android's handset partners, prices were well within reach to meet multiple budgetary needs, and the user experience from both Google and its handset partners boosted Android smartphones' utility far beyond simple telephony."

IDC also gave a large amount of credit to Samsung for Android's success. According to IDC, Samsung accounted for 44 percent of all Android smartphones shipped in Q2, which totaled more than the next seven Android vendors combined.

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