Almost three out of every four smartphones ran Android, as Google continued its dominance of the operating system market.
According to figures from Gartner for the first quarter of 2013, there were 156.19bn units shipped, up 30.8% on the same period in 2012. The next generation of Microsoft's operating system, Windows Phone 8, also had an encouraging start. Although while its share grew 52.6%, it still has a lowly 2.9% of the market.
Aside from the now forgotten OSs such as Bada and Symbian, it was Apple's iOS and BlackBerry that saw the largest drops in market share. Apple's share declined to 19.1% to 18.2%, with it shipping 38.3m units during the quarter. Despite BlackBerry launching its new BB10 OS, its market share more than halved with it shipping 6.2m devices during the quarter, leaving it with a 3.0% market share.
Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner, said: 'There are two clear leaders in the OS market and Android’s dominance in the OS market is unshakable. With new OSs coming to market such as Tizen, Firefox and Jolla we expect some market share to be eroded but not enough to question Android’s volume leadership.'
He was gloomier about Apple's performance during the next six months. He said: 'Apple is faced with the challenge of being increasingly dependent on the replacement market as its addressable market is capped. The next two quarters will also be challenging, as there are no new products are expected to be coming before the third quarter of 2013.'
Among phone makers, Samsung remained in the top slot, growing 13% on 2012. Its share of smartphones now sits at 30.8%, up 11.6% on last year. It shipped 100.7m mobile phones during the quarter, giving it a 23.6% share, up 11.8%.Overall mobile shipments were 426m, up marginally by 0.7% on last year, which Gartner said was due to a slowdown in all global markets aside from the Asia Pacific region.
Author: Graeme Neill