Six years on from the release of the original iPhone, the smartphone market is maturing. Apple is still at the top of the heap, and Samsung is quickly consolidating the Android portion of the market. What's unclear is exactly which company will take the third spot in the battle for smartphone market share, but new numbers out today suggest that question may soon be answered.
Market research firm ABI Research this week released a report showing that total smartphone shipments during the third quarter of 2013 reached 244 million units - over 55% of all mobile phones shipped during the quarter. Samsung, with its many smartphones at all price levels lead the industry with 35% of all shipments during the third quarter. Apple is maintaining its solid 14% share of the market with its iPhones.
The big surprise of the quarter is that Windows phone devices are now a full 4% of the smartphone market, having risen 165% year-over-year. Nokia is, of course, the major source of those shipments, with 95% of windows smartphone shipments during the quarter coming from the recently-acquired company.
Much of Windows' smartphone success over the past year can be directly attributed to the failure of BlackBerry. Chinese manufacturers are also seeing their shipments rise at a fast pace, raising the Android platform's market dominance to 81% of all smartphones shipped during the third quarter.
“The race for the third ecosystem is clearly favoring Windows Phone with 4% market share, over BlackBerry’s 1.5%, but there remains little opportunity for new market entrants to make a significant impact on Android’s dominance,” said Michael Morgan, senior analyst at ABI.