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Android, iOS own 96.4% of smartphone market: IDC

Android the primary driver of strong smartphone growth, says IDC

Android, iOS own 96.4% of smartphone market: IDC
While Android and iOS both saw gains over a year ago, the rest of the market recorded losses

The Android and iOS mobile operating systems saw their combined market share swell to 96.4% for the second quarter of 2014, leaving little space for competitors, according to the latest insights from IDC.

Overall, the worldwide smartphone market reached a new milestone in Q2, moving past the 300m unit mark for the first time, IDC said. According to final data from the research house's Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 301.3m smartphones, up 25.3% from the 240.5m units shipped in Q2 2013.

Google's Android was the primary driver of this growth, IDC said, with the operating system's OEMs shipping a total of 255.3m smartphones, up a third from the second quarter last year. Meanwhile, Apple's iOS saw its market share decline, despite posting 12.7% year-over-year shipment growth, IDC said.

"With many of its OEM partners focusing on the sub-$200 segments, Android has been reaping huge gains within emerging markets," says Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team.

"During the second quarter, 58.6% of all Android smartphone shipments worldwide cost less than $200 off contract, making them very attractive compared to other devices. With the recent introduction of Android One, in which Google offers reference designs below $100 to Android OEMs, the proportion of sub-$200 volumes will climb even higher."

While Android and iOS both saw gains over a year ago, the rest of the market recorded losses, the research house noted.

"It's been an incredible upward slog for other OS players - Windows Phone has been around since 2010 but has yet to break the 5% share mark, while the backing of the world's largest smartphone player, Samsung, has not boosted Tizen into the spotlight," said Melissa Chau, senior research manager with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

"The biggest stumbling block is around getting enough partnerships in play - not just phone manufacturers but also developers, many of which are smaller outfits looking to minimise development efforts by sticking to the two big ecosystems."

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