Android and iOS Destroy Blackberry and Windows Phone

By Jordan Mammo email: , Feb 17, 2013 09:20 AM EST

It's undisputed that Android and iOS-based devices rule the mobile world, but I don't think we really take the time to appreciate (or criticize) just how total their domination is over competitors like Microsoft and Blackberry.

During the holiday quarter of 2012, Android and iOS devices accounted for a whopping 91.1 percent of all smartphone sales worldwide. That's insane.

Just as impressive is that over the entirety of last year, the two operating systems powered 87.6 percent of the 722 million hand sets sold. Believe it or not, that's basically a 20 percent increase over the previous year's 68.1 percent.

The stats come courtesy of analytics firm IDC, whose Research Manager Ramon Llamas stated the obvious when he said, "The dominance of Android and Apple reached a new watermark in the fourth quarter."

Android alone accounted for 68.8 percent of all global sales, while Apple clocked in at number two with 18.8 percent. The disparity seems quite large, but Android's ability to snatch such a large share is due to the fact that it offers a wide variety of phones in numerous price ranges. It competes in so many fields that regardless of an individual's price range, there's always an Android phone that fits in the budget.

Of course, it helps that the world's most popular phone maker, Samsung, is the OS' biggest advocate. The Korean giant accounted for almost half of all Android shipments for the last year.

As for the other competitors, it's up to Microsoft and Blackberry to fight over the leftover market share and try to turn users away from Google and Apple. IDC isn't shy about their chances, but the firm does note that their success shouldn't be ruled out.

"There is no question the road ahead is uphill for both Microsoft and BlackBerry, but history shows us consumers are open to change," said Ryan Reith, IDC's Mobile Device tracking program manager. "Platform diversity is something not only the consumers have asked for, but also the operators."

Windows Phones actually performed better than expected, thanks to the fact that Nokia has given the OS a significant push with its Lumia line-up of phones. In order to stay healthy, though, Microsoft needs to expand beyond Nokia and get other phone makers to give it a chance.

As for Blackberry, its decision to continuously delay the release of the BlackBerry 10 means its mission has become even harder. The company has already fallen behind Microsoft for the first time in six years, and has the added challenge of convincing users who already switched to come back into the fold. Aside from that, it also need to make the case for its phone to those who never owned one in the first pace. The BB10 may or may not succeed, but the prognosis isn't the brightest if first impressions are any indication.

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