Android and iOS are taking over the smartphone world, 1 percent at time. Google and Apple’s respective mobile operating systems continued to dominate the market while gaining share throughout all of 2014, according to the latest data from IDC.
Together, Android and iOS now consist of 96.3 percent of the smartphone OS market, up 2.5 percent from the previous year. Android saw the largest growth, taking 81.5 percent of the market while also growing shipment volumes by 32 percent. IOS continued to grow shipment volumes to 192.7 million, up 25 percent from 153.4 million in 2013, but lost some overall market share for the entire year.
That occurred despite a record holiday quarter for Apple, which brought in $18 billion in profit on $74.6 billion in revenue, driven largely by the 74.5 million iPhones sold in its fourth quarter, according to company filings.
"What will bear close observation is how the two operating systems fare in 2015 and beyond," Ramon Llamas, IDC mobile phone team research manager, said in a press release. "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."
Beyond iOS and Android, the search continues for a third contending mobile operating system. But for most of the other vendors, mobile OS share continues to fall.
Blackberry shipment volume continued to decline, falling 69.8 percent to 5.8 million in 2014, down from 19.2 million in the previous year. And Microsoft’s Windows Phone saw tiny gains, growing shipments to 34.9 million in 2014, up 4.2 percent from 33.5 million in 2013. Despite increased volume, overall Windows Phone share declined to 2.7 percent.