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In just about four years after the launch, Google Android operating system became the dominant operating system on the market of smartphones. The Android OS was found on three out of every four smartphones shipped during the third quarter of 2012, based on recent data published by International Data Corp. (IDC).

"Android has been one of the primary growth engines of the smartphone market since it was launched in 2008. In every year since then, Android has effectively outpaced the market and taken market share from the competition. In addition, the combination of smartphone vendors, mobile operators, and end-users who have embraced Android has driven shipment volumes higher. Even today, more vendors are introducing their first Android-powered smartphones to market," said Ramon Llamas, research manager of mobile phones at IDC.

Total Google Android smartphone shipments worldwide reached 136.0 million units, accounting for 75.0% of the 181.1 million smartphones shipped in Q3 2012. The 91.5% year-over-year growth was nearly double the overall market growth rate of 46.4%. IDC claims that Samsung once again led all vendors in this space, but saw its market share decline as numerous smaller vendors increased their production.

Apple’s iOS is also growing faster than the market with 57.3% shipments increase year-over-year, but since the platform is supported by only one vendor, it does not have a chance against hundreds of Android partners. The late quarter launch of the iPhone 5 and lower prices on older models prevented total shipment volumes from slipping to Q3 2011 levels.

The fastest growing mobile platform in Q3 2012 was Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone 7 with 140% annual shipments growth. Considering the fact that the operating system remains generally unpopular and only 3.6 million of handsets were shipped during the quarter, it will take quite some time before Microsoft’s mobile platform will have a significant impact on the market. Still, even 3.6 million units is fewer than the total number of Symbian smartphones shipped.

RIM’s BlackBerry's market share continued to sink, falling to just over 4% by the end of the quarter. With the launch of BlackBerry 10 yet to come in 2013, BlackBerry will continue to rely on its aging BlackBerry 7 platform, and equally aging device line-up. Still, demand for BlackBerry and its wildly popular BBM service is strong within multiple key markets worldwide, and the number of subscribers continues to increase.

Nokia’s Symbian posted the largest year-on-year decline of the leading operating systems. Nokia remains the largest vendor still supporting Symbian, along with Japanese vendors Fujitsu, Sharp, and Sony. Each of these vendors is in the midst of transitioning to other operating systems and IDC believes that they will cease shipping Symbian-powered smartphones in 2013. At the same time, the installed base of Symbian users will continue well after the last Symbian smartphone ships.

Linux volume declined for the third straight quarter as did its year-over-year growth. Samsung accounted for the majority of shipments once again, but like most other vendors competing with Linux-powered smartphones, most of its attention went towards Android instead. Still, that has not deterred other vendors from experimenting, or at least considering the open-source operating system, as multiple reports of Firefox, Sailfish, and Tizen plan to release new Linux-based experiences in the future.

"The share decline of smartphone operating systems not named iOS since Android's introduction is not a coincidence. The smartphone operating system is not an isolated product, it is a crucial part of a larger technology ecosystem. Google has a thriving, multi-faceted product portfolio. Many of its competitors, with weaker tie-ins to the mobile OS, do not. This factor and others have led to loss of share for competitors with few exceptions," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC.

Tags: Google, Android, iOS, Apple, Nokia, Symbian, Microsoft, Windows Phone, Linux, Blackberry, RIM


Comments currently: 16
Discussion started: 11/04/12 10:27:46 AM
Latest comment: 11/06/12 12:48:28 AM
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go to hell apple!
4 1 [Posted by: 63jax  | Date: 11/04/12 10:27:46 AM]
- collapse thread

Stewed Apple?
4 2 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 11/05/12 03:13:22 AM]
burned to ashes!!!
1 2 [Posted by: 63jax  | Date: 11/05/12 08:42:20 AM]

Don't forget the Ubuntu smartphones based on Linux.
1 3 [Posted by: mmstick  | Date: 11/04/12 03:17:02 PM]
- collapse thread

Or Mozilla's Boot2Gecko now renamed Firefox OS. The problem with Google, Apple and Microsoft is that they farm your data. Android OS is the most evil when it comes to this practice because they build a profile on you to target advertise (although you can opt out of the target advertising, they still build the profile). Mozilla is guaranteeing freedom from this practice with their OS. Given Ubuntu's link up with Amazon for 12.10, I would be wary of them at this stage.
1 3 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 11/05/12 03:22:29 AM]

Apple makes more than 50% of ALL the smartphone profits so they must be doing something right.
1 3 [Posted by: beck2448  | Date: 11/04/12 05:30:58 PM]
- collapse thread

Courting sheep. Wait a couple years until they launch a 'revolutionary' 4.5-4.7 inch iPhone with Retina Mega Ultra Maxx display. The iPad is a good product but since iPhone 4S, they haven't been able to innovate the same way.
3 3 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 11/04/12 08:28:44 PM]
They need an iPhone feature through which they can communicate with the dead, in order to get some advice from Jobs on what to do next.... maybe something to pick up the electrostatic in the air that's fed into an algorithm connected to the phone's vibration function, in conjuction with a Ouiya board of course. I better patent that.
1 2 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 11/05/12 03:28:47 AM]
Lawsuits don't count as profits. First they exploit cheap foreign labor at Chinese factories, then they sue every Android manufacture out of existence and make sure those who remain have to pay them money for every Android phone sold because Apple is a giant patent troll. Finally, the products they sell are grossly overpriced.
4 2 [Posted by: mmstick  | Date: 11/04/12 09:54:02 PM]
show the post
2 6 [Posted by: 123  | Date: 11/04/12 11:09:31 PM]
What does that have anything to do with what I said? Did you hit your head on a rock that you have to come in here flaming at me because you are angered by my existence? How convenient, the more you detest me, the better.

For your information, Apple's products are not Apple's products. Apple copied the technologies, they didn't make them. It's the same with everything else Apple makes, just a bunch of copying.

The GPU? It isn't Apples, it is simply the latest PowerVR SGX 554, do you see Apple anywhere in that name? I don't think so. So who did make the GPU? Imagination Technologies, they simply make mobile graphics for all mobile applications, be that Apple or Samsung.

The CPU? It is just a custom ARMv7, Apple may have customized it, but they didn't make it.

You do realize the people who designed ARMv7, also designed A-15, which is the latest ARMv7 design from ARM? Put simple, The Cortex-A processors all use ARMv7 ISA. A means they are application processors. Cortex A's are listed in magnitude of their power level. Therefore, A15 is much more powerful than any A before it. Any company can pick up a Cortex A design and customize and build the processor as they see fit. At the same time, you can pick of a mobile graphics design from Imagination Tech or any other company and integrate it into their custom processor. It's like building your own PC, except with huge companies building processors with premade designs, and ordering fabs to produce chips for them.

As far as I know, there isn't a single true Cortex A-15 (the design is a quad core processor) in existence besides a dual core version, the Samsung Exynos 5, which thoroughly trashed the Apple A6X by the way.


Looks like Samsung wins again. The Galaxy S4 will be featuring a quad core variant of the Exynos 5, no doubt.

You are really out of sync with technology, aren't you?
3 3 [Posted by: mmstick  | Date: 11/05/12 01:46:38 AM]
lol, he's out of sync with the entire world, he lives on Pluto.
2 3 [Posted by: 63jax  | Date: 11/05/12 08:43:57 AM]
You're AN IDOIT those are browser benchmarks those are optimized for chrome OS. Exynos 5 IS A POWER HOG Trying comparing GPU performance and NON-BROWSER CPU performance. Apple A6X is better Than Exynos 5 lower power usage and far better GPU. Arm Cortex A-15 has slightly higher IPC than Swift and is clocked at 1.7 versus 1.3.
2 2 [Posted by: 123  | Date: 11/05/12 07:24:34 PM]
The only power hog is you, wasting power to write pitiful comments on xbitlabs.

If something loses in performance you immediately point to power consumption. You can't have it both ways troll. Either your ARM design is really high performance, or it is a pitiful piece of garbage that consumes little power, aka A6X.

Better GPU? You do realize it is using the latest Imagination Tech GPU right?
0 2 [Posted by: mmstick  | Date: 11/05/12 07:57:21 PM]
Oh well, if you compare a top end offer from Imagination Technologies to a low end offer from ARM, ok. I don't consider that a win when the difference is not big.
1 2 [Posted by: Filiprino  | Date: 11/05/12 02:42:30 AM]

It's actually pretty amazing that Windows Phone did as well as it did, given that the announcement of WP8 pretty much killed sales of WP7/7.5 devices for Q3.
0 2 [Posted by: bluvg  | Date: 11/05/12 10:03:19 AM]


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