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A closer look at the smartphone market in 2013: Android and iOS dominate but Windows Phone surging

MobileFeatures
by Abtin Fanaeian
, 13 Feb 2014Features
A closer look at the smartphone market in 2013: Android and iOS dominate but Windows Phone surging

Global smartphone shipments have passed the one billion mark for the first time with Android and iOS still the dominant operating systems but Windows Phone (WP) experiencing the most growth.

The latest data from the IDC reveals that Apple and Google's mobile platforms combined to account for 93.8 per cent of all smartphone shipments in 2013, an increase of 6.1 per cent compared to 2012.

With its extensive array of devices, Android was the clear leader with a 78.6 per cent market share and more than 793 million total units shipped. Galaxy S4 manufacturer Samsung was the dominant OEM for the OS, accounting for 39.5 per cent of all shipments. 

Related: Samsung Galaxy S4 review

Featured on a much more limited range of smartphones, iOS was the number two mobile OS with a 2013 market share of 15.2 per cent and some 153 million devices shipped.

"What stands out are the different routes Android and Apple took...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," IDC analyst Ramon Llamas explained.

Arguably the most interesting finding, however, was the growth of Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, which posted the largest yearly increase at 90.9 per cent. Shipment volumes of WP devices were still comparatively small , however, amounting to just 33.4 million units.

Only BlackBerry failed to capitalise on the global appetite for smartphones, experiencing negative year-on-year growth of 40.9 per cent. Indeed, the report found that sales of legacy BB7 devices outpaced the firm's newer BB10 phones towards the end of 2013.

The IDC also highlighted the growth of the budget smartphone segment, but noted that product marketing investments were still geared predominantly towards premium devices.

IDC programme director Ryan Reith commented: "In 2013 we saw the sub-$200 smartphone market grow to 42.6 per cent of global volume, or 430 million units. 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."

To read the full report, head over to the IDC website.

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