Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Nokia’s device division is already paying dividends, pushing the software makers Windows Phone platform to record phenomenal growth in operating system’s market-share worldwide.
According to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report for the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13), Windows Phone posted the largest year-over-year growth worldwide of any of the leading operating systems, a result primarily driven by the support of Nokia.
“By itself, Nokia accounted for 93.2 per cent of all the Windows Phone-powered smartphones shipped during the quarter, marking a new milestone in the company’s short history on the Microsoft platform. Participation from other vendors, meanwhile, still seemed a mixed bag with more vendors participating from a year ago, but volumes still far behind Nokia’s own,” states the IDC report released on November 12, 2013.
Apart from Nokia, other device vendors that have adopted the Windows Phone OS are Huawei and HTC.
Windows Phone grew by 156 per cent Year-on-Year, with volumes starting from a small base of 3.7 million units a year ago and even though overall market share is still less than 5 per cent.
In the same period, Google’s Android operating system pushed past 80 per cent market share for the first time, a testament to its broad and deep list of vendors, including four of the top five vendors worldwide. However, notes the report, while Android, as a whole, moved forward, the vast majority of its vendors still struggle to find meaningful market share as Samsung accounted for 39.9 per cent of all Android shipments for the quarter, while the rest of the vendors either saw single-digit market share or, in the case of the majority of vendors, market share of less than 1 per cent.
Apple’s iOS, despite seeing its total volumes increase and reaching new record third quarter volumes, saw its market share decline during the third quarter, most likely due to soft demand in the weeks leading up to the launch of iOS 7 smartphones. Still, if the 9 million units sold during the last week of September is any indication of future adoption, iOS stands to reap another record quarter in terms of volumes, market share, and year-over-year growth.
On the other hand, BlackBerry recorded the largest year-over-year decline among the leading operating systems during the quarter under review. Underpinning its results was softer demand for its new BB10 operating system and continued demand for its older BB7 within emerging markets.
“Now with a new CEO in place and an infusion of US $ 1 billion, what remains to be seen is how and when the beleaguered operating system will be able to change course in the face of mounting pressure from Android, iOS, and Windows Phone,” states the IDC report.
Overall with a total base of 211.6 million smartphone units shipped during the quarter, Android accounted for 81 per cent of all smartphone shipments, marking the first time that Android topped 80 per cent in its short history. Despite high saturation rates in a number of mature markets, the overall smartphone space grew 39.9 per cent Year-on-Year in the third quarter.
“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.”