Framingham, MA—Google’s Android operating system achieved a milestone during the third quarter of 2013, according to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. With 211.6 million smartphone units shipped during the quarter, Android comprised 81% of all smartphone shipments, IDC noted, marking the first time that the Android OS topped 80%. In total, the smartphone space rose 39.9% year over year in 3Q 2013.
IDC also noted that Microsoft’s Windows Phone reached a milestone, increasing “an amazing 156% year over year.” However, to put this in perspective, volumes started from a base of just 3.7 million units a year ago and its overall market share is less than 5%. But Nokia’s support for the Windows Phone—whose software is used in its latest smartphones, including the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1320, as well as the benchmark Lumia 1020—helped drive the platform into multiple tiers and price points.
“Android and Windows Phone continued to make significant strides in the third quarter. Despite their differences in market share, they both have one important factor behind their success: price,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. “Both platforms have a selection of devices available at prices low enough to be affordable to the mass market, and it is the mass market that is driving the entire market forward.”
Smartphone average selling prices (ASPs), according to IDC, continue to decline as the appetite for more affordable devices grows. ASPs were down -12.5% in 3Q 2013, accounting for an average price of $317. “At the same time,” noted IDC, “the market has seen a large influx of large-screen smartphones (5– to 7-inch screens), also known as phablets. Large-screen devices generally come with a higher selling price than smaller screen devices, due to the need for more powerful and expensive components. Phablet ASPs in 3Q 2013 were notably higher than the market average at $443.” However, the report findings also indicated that the 3Q 2013 ASP was down -22.8% from the $573 phablet ASP in 3Q 2012.
“Almost all successful Android vendors have added one or more 5- to 7-inch phablets to their product portfolios,” said Ryan Reith, program director for IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “And Nokia’s recent announcement of the Lumia 1320 and 1520 put them in the category as well. In 3Q 2013, phablet shipments accounted for 21% of the smartphone market, up from just 3% a year ago. We believe the absence of a large-screen device may have contributed to Apple’s inability to grow share in the third quarter.”
Based on findings from its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, IDC also shared the following data on the four top smartphone operating systems:
“Android pushed past 80% market share for the first time in 3Q13, a testament to its broad and deep list of vendors, including four of the top five vendors worldwide. While Android, as a whole, moved forward, the vast majority of its vendors still struggle to find meaningful market share. Samsung accounted for 39.9% of all Android shipments for the quarter, while the rest of the vendors either saw single-digit market share or, in the case of the majority of vendors, market share of less than 1%.
“iOS, despite seeing its total volumes increase and reaching new record third quarter volumes, saw its market share decline during 3Q 2013, most likely due to soft demand in the weeks leading up to the launch of iOS 7 smartphones. Still, if the 9 million units sold during the last week of September is any indication of future adoption, iOS stands to reap another record quarter in terms of volumes, market share, and year-over-year growth.
“Windows Phone posted the largest year-over-year growth worldwide of any of the leading operating systems, a result primarily driven by the support of Nokia. By itself, Nokia accounted for 93.2% of all the Windows Phone-powered smartphones shipped during the quarter, marking a new milestone in the company’s short history on the Microsoft platform. Participation from other vendors, meanwhile, still seemed a mixed bag with more vendors participating from a year ago, but volumes still far behind Nokia’s own.
“BlackBerry recorded the largest year-over-year decline among the leading operating systems during 3Q 2013. Underpinning its results was softer demand for its new BB10 operating system and continued demand for its older BB7 within emerging markets. Now with a new CEO in place and an infusion of $1 billion, what remains to be seen is how and when the beleaguered operating system will be able to change course in the face of mounting pressure from Android, iOS and Windows Phone.” idc.com
Top Four Operating Systems, Shipments, and Market Share, Q3 2013 (Units in Millions
Operating 3Q13 Shipment 3Q13 3Q12 Shipment 3Q12 Year-Over
System Volumes Market Volumes Market Year Change
Android 211.6 81.0% 139.9 74.9% 51.3%
iOS 33.8 12.9% 26.9 14.4% 25.6%
Windows 9.5 3.6% 3.7 2.0% 156.0%
BlackBerry 4.5 1.7% 7.7 4.1% -41.6%
Others 1.7 0.6% 8.4 4.5% -80.1%
Total 261.1 100.0% 186.7 100.0% 39.9%
Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, November 12, 2013