IDC: iOS and ‘Android’ continue to dominate with combined 95.7% worldwide smartphone market share

The smartphone market passed an important milestone in 2013 when worldwide shipments surpassed the 1 billion mark for the first time, driven by continued momentum from Android and iOS. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Android and iOS accounted for 95.7% of all smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2013 (4Q13), and for 93.8% of all smartphone shipments for the year. This marked a 4.5-point increase from the 91.2% share that the two platforms shared in 4Q12, and a 6.1-point increase from the 87.7% share they had in 2012.

“Clearly, there was strong end-user demand for both Android and iOS products during the quarter and the year,” says Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. “What stands out are the different routes Android and Apple took to meet this demand. Android relied on its long list of OEM partners, a broad and deep collection of devices, and price points that appealed to nearly every market segment. Apple’s iOS, on the other hand, relied on nearly the opposite approach: a limited selection of Apple-only devices, whose prices trended higher than most. Despite these differences, both platforms found a warm reception to their respective user experiences and selection of mobile applications.”

MacDailyNews Take: Beside the fact that the vast majority of Android settlers simply do not know what they’re missing, there are some other significant differences between iOS and “Android,” including:

Apple iPhone took 87.4% of mobile phone profits in Q413

In addition, iOS is all Apple’s. Fragmandroid most certainly is not all Google’s. Not even close:

Android’s dominance is not quite as rosy as it seems though, with most of the growth coming from forked Android operating systems (137% year-on-year), mainly in China, India, and adjacent markets. Forked Android or Android Open Source Project (AOSP) accounted for 25% market share with 71 million unit shipments, as opposed to certified Android’s share of 52%, of a total of 77% market share. Read more here.

While smartphone market growth remained strong in 2013, it should be noted that the era of double-digit annual growth has only a few years remaining. In the meantime, handset vendors are doing all they can to capture demand while it is still present. Worldwide smartphone marketing campaigns continue to stay focused on flagship devices like the iPhone 5S, Galaxy Note 3, and the HTC One, yet research shows that consumer buying is rapidly shifting toward products with significantly lower price points.

“In 2013 we saw the sub-$200 smartphone market grow to 42.6% of global volume, or 430 million units,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “While the market moves downstream to cheaper products it makes sense for Samsung and others to continue their marketing investments geared toward high-end products. These efforts build crucial brand perception while having less expensive alternatives that closely relate to these top products helps to close the deal. Samsung has done exactly this with the ‘Galaxy’ line. The family name is associated with Samsung’s high-end products, yet there are ‘Galaxy’ variants offered by Samsung at much lower price points than the Note 3 and S4. This has been an important factor in how Samsung has sustained its market lead.”

Operating System Highlights

Android finished the year where it began: as the clear leader in the smartphone operating system race. Samsung led all Android vendors with a commanding 39.5% share of shipments for the year. Worth watching is a crowded list of vendors jockeying for position in 2014, including Huawei, LG, Lenovo, Coolpad, and Sony. Should Lenovo’s bid to acquire Motorola Mobility be realized, the new company will leap ahead of Huawei, which was the number 2 Android vendor in 2013.

MacDailyNews Take: Also of interest:

IDC data shows two thirds of Android’s 81% smartphone share are cheap junk phones

iOS posted the lowest positive growth for both the quarter (6.7%) and for the year (12.9%), underperforming the overall market in both instances. Although it remains wildly popular in the smartphone market, Apple has been criticized for not offering a new low-cost iPhone nor a large screen iPhone in 2013 to compete with other OEMs. IDC believes the company will release a large-screen version in 2014, but will not altogether abandon the smaller 4″ screen version of previous models.

MacDailyNews Take: Criticized by those who do not understand Apple or how they conduct their business strategy for the last three decades. For further reading:

Newsflash: Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers

Windows Phone posted the largest increase for both the quarter (46.7%) and the year (90.9%), with each nearly doubling the growth of the overall market. Nokia easily led all vendors with 89.3% market share, a testament to its expanding portfolio that addressed entry-level all the way up to large-screen smartphones. What remains to be seen in 2014 is how Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s smart devices will propel volumes higher.

MacDailyNews Take: Pfft.

BlackBerry was the only operating system to realize negative year-over-year change both for the quarter (-77.0%) and for the year (-40.9%). Moreover, its legacy BB7 outpaced BB10 towards the end of the year, definitely not the results that the company had hoped for when it released BB10 in January. With new leadership, management, and a tighter focus on the enterprise market, BlackBerry may in a better position, but still finds itself having to evangelize the new platform to its user base.

MacDailyNews Take: DCW.

Top Five Smartphone Operating Systems, Shipments, and Market Share, 4Q 2013 (Units in Millions)
IDC: Top Five Smartphone Operating Systems, Shipments, and Market Share, 4Q 2013 (Units in Millions)
Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, February 12, 2014

[protected-iframe id=”882dc9dd51e80b7317359fc253e6af77-17146794-18685410″ info=”” ]

Top Five Smartphone Operating Systems, Shipments, and Market Share, 2013 (Units in Millions)
IDC: Top Five Smartphone Operating Systems, Shipments, and Market Share, 2013 (Units in Millions)
Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, February 12, 2014

Source: International Data Corporation

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, the “Android” assemblers are very adept at attracting the customers that Apple, does not want.

Related article:
Apple iPhone hits 41.8% share of U.S. smartphones, Samsung at 26.1%; Android losing U.S. share as iOS gains – February 4, 2014
Google’s Android platform is unraveling – January 30, 2014
CIRP: Apple iOS overtakes Android in U.S. mobile phone operating systems – January 30, 2014
Is Google losing control of the Android ecosystem? – January 30, 2014
Google sells beleaguered Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion – January 29, 2014
Christmas 2013 proved Google’s guilty secret: Android basically used as dumbphones – January 2, 2014
Test proves Apple iPhone users are smarter than those who settle for other handsets – January 2, 2014
Apple’s iOS is clearly winning the battle for mobile consumers’ time and money – December 10, 2013
Apple’s iPads won Black Friday 2013 – December 3, 2013
Roughly 40% of Black Friday Apple iPads purchased by Android phone users – November 30, 2013
Black Friday: Shoppers snap up deals and Apple iPads – November 29, 2013
Apple iOS developers earn five times the revenue per download of Android developers – November 29, 2013
Are Apple users are savvier shoppers? iOS devices account for disproportionate number of Black Friday searches – November 29, 2013
Android users poorer, shorter, unhealthier, less educated, far less charitable than Apple iPhone users – November 13, 2013
What we mean by ‘Hee Haw demographic’ – November 13, 2013
IDC data shows two thirds of Android’s 81% smartphone share are cheap junk phones – November 13, 2013
IDC: Android worldwide smartphone market share passes 80% – November 12, 2013
Apple Maps makes killer comeback as Google Maps loses access to world’s most desirable mobile customers – November 12, 2013
Android phones 3 times more likely than Apple iPhones to have been bought at discount store – August 22, 2013
CIRP: Apple iPhone users are younger, richer, and better educated than those who settle for Samsung knockoff phones – August 19, 2013
Twitter heat map shows iPhone use by the affluent, Android by the poor – June 20, 2013
Apple’s iPhone generates more in carrier fees than rival smartphones – January 30, 2013
Unsurprisingly, survey says Apple’s iOS is highest priority among mobile developers – January 23, 2013
People buy more Android phone units and do less with them vs. Apple’s revolutionary iPhone – November 14, 2012
Study: iPad users more likely to buy – and buy more – online than traditional PC users – September 29, 2011
iPhone users smarter, richer than Android phone users – August 16, 2011
Yankee Group: Apple iPhone owners shop more, buy more, remain more loyal vs. other device users – July 20, 2010
iPhone owners more likely to pay for digital content – November 26, 2009
Study: Apple iPhone users richer, younger, more productive than other so-called ‘smartphone’ users – June 12, 2009
Apple iPhone users buy many more apps, surf the Web much more than other ‘smartphone’ users – March 27, 2009


            1. My point is rather than lump tablets in there which doesn’t give any insight as to how well the iPhone is doing relative to Android, I would rather that Apple goes after market share a little more aggressively by selling the iPhone 5C as a discounted model which would be preferable to selling it as a mid market model but not move as many units.

              The main thrust of the exercise being to embrace more users into the Apple ecosystem.

            2. I’m not trying to downplay the numbers presented in this article. I am just saying I am curious as to how well iOS and Android are doing compared to each other in all of the product categories these operating system are implemented in. That’s all. Nothing more to it.

              Regarding the iPhone 5C, I think Apple could in the future:

              * Make an iPhone 6C in darker colors (not the pastel easter egg colors they are in now). Perhaps also add translucency like they did with the original CRT iMacs.

              * Give the iPhone 6C all of the capabilities as the current iPhone 5S

              * Make the iPhone 5C the entry-level iPhone with the only colors offered being white and black. I agree that it should be discounted by $100 so that the tier levels make sense.

              I personally believe this would help embrace more users.

            3. So why compare a thing (iPhone) to an OS?

              I think “correctu” is saying compare OSes (Android vs iOS) or iPhone to some Android handset. Maybe these analysts are already excluding Android tablets from their comparison of Android smartphones to iOS smartphones, but they aren’t making the distinction clear to Joe Consumer.

            4. correctu, sorry I was replying to jt016. I get the point you’re making and no, I don’t feel that you’re sabotaging the article. In fact you’re adding your voice to it. All views, no matter how diverse, are welcome. That’s how we increase our store of knowledge. Thank you for commenting.

  1. Apple just walked away with 87.4% of the profits in the space…who gives a damn how many zero-profit, POS Androids phones are sold? Market share for the sake of market share is not a sustainable business model…to hell with this low-cost iPhone chatter…

    1. I got an iPhone. Then I got a Mac. Then I got an iPad. Then I got another Mac. Then I got an iPod touch. Then I got an iPod nano. Then I got an AirPort Express. Then I got an Apple TV.

      If I hadn’t started out with the iPhone, I might be still on Windows today. There is value in extending & embracing. And if it takes a cheaper iPhone to do it, it’ll repay itself ten times over.

      1. Apple used to make the bulk of its profits on premium hardware that was clearly a step ahead of the competition. Thanks to Cook’s “genius” in supply chain management, many of Apple’s current competitors were former (and/or current) Apple suppliers. So the gap in quality has shrunk. Objective reviewers give Samsung and LG and others high marks – often higher than Apple in many areas. Moreover, those companies do a great job rapidly filling market niches while Apple seems to have slowed its product updates and new product introductions. We can all name a half dozen Apple products that can best be described as “stale”. And despite MDN’s undying faith in Cook’s slowness, it’s been over a year since bigger screens became fashionable amongst those people who need it for legibility or better web browsing with their one and only device, but the evidence clearly shows that Apple’s pace of growth is NOT keeping up.

        What disappoints me is that, as slow as Cook is on getting more diverse iPhone models out the door, he seems to be completely out to lunch on the Mac platform. Fumbled introductions seem the new norm there. These days when Apple does get around to wowing the world, it’s not with Steve Jobs saying “…and you can buy it today!”, Cook talks for year about great things in the pipeline, then unveils stuff like the Mac Pro can: announced 2+ years after professionals started asking for updates, surprises people not with performance but by forcing users to accept specs and configuration that are not as versatile or user-configurable as workstation customers were accustomed to, with a dearth of 3rd party Thunderbolt products available, with Apple officially selling the first units well past what most people would consider the optimal selling season, and now shipping delayed yet again. That’s crappy execution. To make matters worse, Apple touched OS X with the iOS ugly stick, so now everything on a huge bright flat screen display is gray and boring.

        Lucky for Tim, the relatively weak Apple performance in hardware growth are hidden by the massive success of Jobs’ app store. That seems to be okay with Cook, but it’s totally disappointing to die-hard Mac users who expect more consistent innovation or at least keep the MacRumors BG from being mostly red all the time..

      2. That’s a ringing testimonial if there ever was one from a former Windows user, and a persuasive argument that Apple can lure even more customers from the badlands with cost reductions, more than making up for reduced initial profits through subsequent buy-in to the ecosystem via the halo effect. The formula is almost poetic.

  2. “A large portion of Android phones are ‘junk'” is mentioned so many times.. I suppose that is true from the point of view of people who have better phones and would not be caught dead with one of the ‘junk’ phones.. However the fact remains that those phones continue to be sold and presumably at least liked by those who bought them for them to keep the devices because they do what they were purchased to do.. From that perspective they are a far cry from ‘junk’.

    I understand Apple will start producing the iPhone4 again to sell in India.. For those that still have the iPhone4 and tried upgrading to the latest iOS, how was your experience? Do you think the people in India will like it? Maybe the internals will be updated to handle the OS, or this may be one case where iOS will need to be (oh horrors) fragmented by using a prior iOS version to keep the UX nice and responsive. The bright side of this may be that those that still have the iPhone4 and are no longer using it will still be able to sell it at a nice price since there will possibly a demand if Apple decides to not make any more iPhone4 and simply refurbish and sell the trade-ins and old stock.

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