Android or iOS - it's the modern day equivalent of asking if you favor Star Wars or Star Trek. They're both fantastic products, but one has to win out in the end. While the debate over classic sci-fi franchises can be debated on message boards, the debate over smartphone supremacy is decided via quarterly IDC reports.
IDC released its second quarter report today. There are some interesting things to note with the dominance of Android being the big news. It should be noted, however, that smartphones are the real winner this quarter. IDC noted that Android and iOS made up 85 percent of all smartphone shipments this quarter.
After congratulating all the players, we really do have to give it up to Android. The total number of Android shipments outpaced iOS shipments almost 5-to-1 this quarter with iOS only shipping 26 million units and Android shipping a combined 104.8 million units.
"Android continues to fire on all cylinders," said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Phone Technology and Trends program. "The market was entreated to several flagship models from Android's handset partners, prices were well within reach to meet multiple budgetary needs, and the user experience from both Google and its handset partners boosted Android smartphones' utility far beyond simple telephony."
Once again, it must be pointed out that Apple is still technically the more impressive contender. iOS is restricted to only one smartphone platform, yet it still managed to ship on 26 million iPhones last quarter. That's impressive and Apple is no doubt congratulating themselves on the achievement.
Android manufacturers didn't do as well. Android was able to ship on so many devices only because multiple OEMs shipped Android phones last quarter. There was one OEM, however, who rose above the rest to sell a massive amount of phones. Samsung, no doubt riding on the succes of the Galaxy S III, sold 44 percent of all Android smartphones last quarter. That's still more than Apple's 26 million.
The other smartphone operating systems didn't do so well. BlackBerry was once again down last quarter compared to Q2 2011. In fact, BlackBerry shipments totaled only 7.4 million last quarter. They were at 12.5 million shipments last year. That's a market share decline of 40 percent.
While it's still by no means impressive, Windows Phone actually grew by over 100 percent last quarter. Windows Phone only shipped on 5.4 million units last quarter, but that's up from 2.5 million shipments in Q2 2011. As IDC points out, that's a market share increase of 115 percent.
Check out the graph below to see how Android and iOS stacked up against the rest of the smartphone market over the last five quarters: