Android claims 70% smartphone market share

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Strategy Analytics confirms that Google's wildly popular mobile operating system claimed approximately 70.1% of the lucrative smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2012.

22% of smartphone shipments were Apple iPhones; meaning the two mobile platforms accounted for an impressive 92.1% of shipments. 

That leaves just a paltry 7.9% for all other operating systems, such as Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Tizen, and future platforms like FireFox OS and Canonical Linux.

"Combined together, Apple and Android accounted for a record 92 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally in the fourth quarter of 2012," Scott Bicheno, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, explained in a recent industry note

"The worldwide smartphone industry has effectively become a duopoly as consumer demand has polarized around mass-market Android models and premium Apple designs."

Interestingly, Apple's market share declined slightly, from 24 percent a year ago to 22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 - even though Cupertino's actual sales increased 29% year over year.

Meanwhile, Google's Android almost doubled its shipments from 80.6 million units at the end of 2011 to 152.1 million in the holiday quarter of 2012 - prompting Android's global market share to increase from an estimated 51 percent of shipments to 70% at the end of 2012.

In total, approximately a half-billion Android phones are reported to have shipped in calendar 2012. In comparison, Apple shipped 135.8 million iPhones in the same span.

"Android is clearly the undisputed volume leader of the smartphone industry at the present time," said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics.

"Android’s challenge for 2013 will be to defend its leadership, not only against Apple, but also against an emerging wave of hungry challengers that includes Microsoft, Blackberry, Firefox and Tizen."