Android is by far the most popular smartphone platform on the planet, according to data by the IDC.
You can't really call it a smartphone battle royale when the only armies on the battlefield are Android and iOS. Google's open source platform closed out 2012 with a 70.1 percent share of the global smartphone market by way of 159.8 million handset shipments, making it by far the most popular platform. Next in line is iOS (iPhone), a distant second with 47.8 million iPhone sales to claim a 21 percent share of the market. Together, the two platforms accounted for just over 9 out of every 10 smartphones sold last year.
The rest of the field is comprised of also-rans, including BlackBerry (7.4 million shipments, 3.2 percent share), Windows Phone and Windows Mobile (6 million shipments, 2.6 percent share), Linux (3.8 million shipments, 1.7 percent share), and all others (3 million shipments, 1.3 percent share), according to the latest data by International Data Corporation.
"The dominance of Android and Apple reached a new watermark in the fourth quarter," said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team. "Android boasted a broad selection of smartphones, and an equally deep list of smartphone vendor partners. Finding an Android smartphone for nearly any budget, taste, size, and price was all but guaranteed during 2012. As a result, Android was rewarded with market-beating growth.
"Likewise, demand for Apple's iPhone 5 kept iOS out in front and in the hands of many smartphone users," added Llamas. "At the same time, lower prices on the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S brought iOS within reach of more users and sustained volume success of older models. Even with the Apple Maps debacle, iPhone owners were not deterred from purchasing new iPhones."
Will 2013 prove any different? Windows Phone 8 is just now starting to gain some traction, and BlackBerry will look to make a run with its BlackBerry 10 platform. Still, it's hard to imagine the landscape looking decidedly different at the end of the year, given how far out ahead iOS and Android are.