Android and iOS, the number one and number two ranked smartphone operating systems (OS) worldwide, combined for 92.3 per cent of all smartphone shipments during the first quarter of 2013 as Windows Phone crept past BlackBerry for third place.
Android smartphone vendors and Apple shipped a total of 199.5 million units worldwide during the quarter, up 59.1 per cent year-over-year from 125.4 million units, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).
Android remains the leader in the smartphone operating system market, increasing its market share despite the seasonality working against the entire smartphone market in the quarter. Samsung was once again the clear leader among all Android smartphone vendors, commanding 41.1 per cent market share.
Apple iOS marked its largest ever first quarter volume on the strength of its iPhone shipment volumes, yet the operating system posted a year-over-year decline in market share and lower year-over-year shipment growth than the overall market.
Although demand remains strong worldwide, the iOS experience has remained largely the same since the first iPhone debuted in 2007. That appears ready to change as online rumours and speculation predict a massive overhaul of the user interface when iOS 7 debuts.
Windows Phone posted the largest year-over-year gain among the leading operating systems, more than doubling its size from a year ago. Nokia was largely responsible for driving these volumes higher, accounting for 79 per cent of all Windows Phone shipments during the quarter.
BlackBerry realised double-digit declines from a year ago, but this masks the progress that the company had made since then. In its first quarter of availability, BlackBerry formally introduced and shipped more than a million units running on its new BB10 platform, a significant breakthrough for the company.
Linux saw continued decline in shipment volumes to start off the year,
reaching levels not seen since the first quarter of 2010. The lower volumes were not completely unexpected, as most vendors have switched to Android and Samsung.Symbian recorded the largest year-over-year decline compared to any other operating system. The decline for Symbian-powered smartphones was expected as its primary OEM supporter Nokia has transitioned to Windows Phone and Japanese vendors have moved to Android. Although shipments continue to decline, IDC believes that Symbian shipments could continue into 2014, but in drastically lower volumes.