Google's Android OS has grown a lot since its humble beginnings in 2008. Some may have thought that it couldn't beat iOS, but its spread across multiple devices from multiple OEMs has insured its success. That success can be plainly seen in smartphone shipments during the third quarter.
The latest report from IDC has found that Android was on three out of every four smartphone shipped during the third quarter. In actual numbers, that comes out to 136 million Android phones shipped over last few months. There were only 181.1 million smartphones shipped in the third quarter which puts Android on 75 percent of all smartphone shipments.
"Android has been one of the primary growth engines of the smartphone market since it was launched in 2008," said Ramon Llamas, research manager, Mobile Phones at IDC. "In every year since then, Android has effectively outpaced the market and taken market share from the competition. In addition, the combination of smartphone vendors, mobile operators, and end-users who have embraced Android has driven shipment volumes higher. Even today, more vendors are introducing their first Android-powered smartphones to market."
So we know that Android is doing incredibly well, but what about the rest? IDC found that Apple shipped 26.9 million iPhones during the quarter which accounted for 14.9 percent of the entire smartphone market. IDC says that the iPhone 5 and lower prices on older models helped Apple reach 57.3 percent growth over third quarter iOS shipments last year.
BlackBerry and Symbian both saw losses across the board with both operating systems only accounting for 7.7 million and 4.1 million smartphone shipments respectively. IDC notes that Symbian in particular may no longer be in the running in 2013 as Symbian smartphone manufacturers are moving to other operating systems like Windows Phone 8 and Android.
Speaking of Windows Phone, Microsoft's mobile operating system saw the largest growth over the same quarter last year. Windows Phone was on 3.6 million devices sold during the third quarter compared to 1.5 million devices sold during the same time last year. That's a growth rate of 140 percent. It may be growing, but Windows Phone still only makes up two percent of the entire market share for smartphones.
Regardless of your allegiance, the smartphone is the real winner today. IDC notes that smartphone shipments have increased 46.4 percent over the same time last year. The continued proliferation of the smartphone and other mobile devices may just help put more computers in the hands of those who need them most.