Android pulls further ahead according to IDC’s figures for 2014

Android continues to make gains according to IDC’s latest smartphone OS figures for the year of 2014.

Android now has 81.5 per cent of the global market, with over a billion phones shipped – 1.06 billion in fact. The market share for Google’s OS stood at 78.7 per cent in 2013, so it increased by almost a further 3 per cent over the course of 2014.

iOS, on the other hand, slipped very slightly, with a 14.8 per cent market share for 2014, down from 15.1 per cent the previous year. 192 million iOS handsets were shipped, though, which was up 25 per cent year-on-year.

It wasn’t good news for Windows Phone in a distant third place, slipping from 3.3 per cent in 2013, to 2.7 per cent last year. BlackBerry dropped like a stone behind Microsoft, hitting 0.4 per cent from 1.9 per cent in 2013.

In total, 1.3 billion smartphones were shipped last year, which represented a growth of 27.7 per cent compared to 2013.

Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team, commented: "Many of the same drivers were in play for Android and iOS to tighten their grip on the market. A combination of strong end-user demand, refreshed product portfolios, and the availability of low-cost devices – particularly for Android – drove volumes higher.

"What will bear close observation is how the two operating systems fare in 2015 and beyond. Now that Apple has entered the phablet market, there are few new opportunities for the company to address. Meanwhile, Samsung experienced flat growth in 2014, forcing Android to rely more heavily on smaller vendors to drive volumes higher."