Apple’s iOS and Google Android are dominating the mobile world, according to the latest data from IDC.
The research firm estimated that iOS and Android ran on 85 percent of all smartphones shipped in the second quarter of 2012. Android had 68.1 percent of the market, compared to 16.9 percent for iOS—with both of them handily leading BlackBerry OS with 4.8 percent, Symbian with 4.4 percent, and Microsoft’s various smartphone platforms (Windows Mobile and Windows Phone) at 3.5 percent.
In last place was Linux with 2.3 percent, which IDC viewed as “a category largely comprised of Samsung’s Bada shipments” and in decline due to that manufacturer’s increased focus on Android.
“Android’s success in the market can be traced directly to Samsung, which accounted for 44.0 percent of all Android smartphones shipped in 2Q12 and totaled more than the next seven Android vendors’ volumes combined,” read IDC’s note accompanying the data. “Meanwhile, the next seven vendors were a mix of companies re-establishing their strategies or growing volumes in key markets.”
While iOS managed to grow by double digits, IDC sees demand for the flagship iPhone 4S as cooling off “now that the device has been available since October.” On top of that, “rumors around the blogosphere have fueled speculation about a new design and features,” which could be impacting adoption of the current models. “Despite these trends, iOS remained the solid number two operating system behind Android worldwide.”
The research firm viewed Windows Phone as a serious contender for the third spot behind Android and iOS, with year-over-year growth of 115.2 percent. However, Microsoft’s overall share of the smartphone market remains small when compared to that of Google and Apple. “Microsoft will need to generate additional momentum from Windows Phone 8 devices, which will be introduced this fall, if it is to narrow the share gap.”
With the advent of increasingly powerful smartphones and tablets, mobile devices have begun to eclipse traditional desktops and laptops as the center of peoples’ computing lives. Cloud services and apps have facilitated this transition, by giving users access to functions and data anywhere with a connection.