Android breaks 80% milestone in OS market share

Google platform tops 210m units in Q3; Apple loses share despite record volumes: IDC

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Android breaks 80% milestone in OS market share Android-based smartphones accounted for 81% of all unit shipments in the third quarter of this year. (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  November 13, 2013

Google’s Android OS accounted for 81% of all smartphone shipments in the third quarter of this year, with a total base of 211.6m units shipped, marking the first time that Android topped 80% in its short history, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Despite high saturation rates in a number of mature markets, the overall smartphone space grew 39.9%, year on year, in Q3.

Also reaching a milestone was Microsoft's Windows Phone, which grew an amazing 156.0% year on year. IDC did point out that Windows Phone volumes started from a small base of 3.7m units a year ago and overall market share remains less than five percent, but a massive push from Microsoft and its partner Nokia, whose devices unit will soon be in Microsoft’s hands, helped drive the platform into multiple tiers and price points.

“Android and Windows Phone continued to make significant strides in the third quarter,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team.

“Despite their differences in market share, they both have one important factor behind their success: price. 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.”

Smartphone average selling prices (ASPs) have continued to decline as the appetite for more affordable devices grows. ASPs were down 12.5% in Q3, with an average price of $317. At the same time, the market has seen a large influx of large-screen smartphones (5- to 6.9-inch screens), also known as phablets. Large-screen devices generally come with a higher selling price than smaller screen devices, due to the need for more powerful and expensive components. Phablet ASPs in Q3 were notably higher than the market average at $443, but the Q3 ASP was down 22.8% from the $573 phablet ASP in Q3.

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