A new report from IDC shows that for the fourth quarter of 2012, Android captured a whopping 70.1 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, while iOS had 21.0 percent. The next closest competitor was BlackBerry, which accounted for just 3.2 percent of smartphones sold.
In its press release, IDC wrote, "Android and iOS, the number one and number two ranked smartphone operating systems (OS) worldwide, combined for 91.1% of all smartphone shipments during the fourth quarter of 2012 (4Q12). According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Android smartphone vendors and Apple shipped a total of 207.6 million units worldwide during 4Q12, up 70.2% from the 122.0 million units shipped during 4Q11. For calendar year 2012, Android and iOS combined for 87.6% of the 722.4 million smartphones shipped worldwide, up from 68.1% of the 494.5 million units shipped during calendar year 2011."
PCMag quoted IDC's Ramon Llamas, who said, "The dominance of Android and Apple reached a new watermark in the fourth quarter. Android boasted a broad selection of smartphones, and an equally deep list of smartphone vendor partners. Finding an Android smartphone for nearly any budget, taste, size, and price was all but guaranteed during 2012. As a result, Android was rewarded with market-beating growth."
BGR's Brad Reed noted, "The increased dominance of the top two mobile operating systems came at the expense of BlackBerry, which saw its market share slide from 8% in the fourth quarter of 2011 to just 3% in the Q4 2012. Of course, these numbers came at a low point for BlackBerry since the company hadn’t shipped a new BlackBerry smartphone to the market in more than a year, so it may see its share of smartphone shipments increase in the coming months now that it’s finally released its first BlackBerry 10 smartphone."
The Register's Iain Thomson observed, "Linux meanwhile continues to maintain a toehold in smartphones, albeit under 2 per cent of the market. NEC and Panasonic switched their allegiances to Android this year, but newcomers K-Touch and Haier have brought out their own Linux smartphones."