THE TWO LEADING RIVALS, Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems accounted for a record 92 percent of the smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2012, Strategy Analytics has revealed.
The research firm's latest statistics show that in the fourth quarter of last year Android and iOS boasted 70.1 and 22 percent of the smartphone market, respectively - a total of 92.1 percent of the global smartphone market. This left other smartphone operating systems such as Blackberry, Windows Phone and Nokia's now-defunct Symbian with a mere 7.9 percent of the smartphone market.
Strategy Analytics' numbers also reveal that a record 152 million Android devices and 47.8 million iPhones were sold in the fourth quarter, pushing global smartphone shipments to 217 million for the three month period.
Scott Bicheno, a senior analyst at Strategy Analytics said, "Apple grew 29 percent annually and shipped 47.8 million smartphones worldwide for 22 percent marketshare in Q4 2012, dipping slightly from 24 percent a year earlier. Combined together, Apple and Android accounted for a record 92 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally in the fourth quarter of 2012.
"The worldwide smartphone industry has effectively become a duopoly as consumer demand has polarized around mass-market Android models and premium Apple designs."
While these figures are music to the ears of Apple and Google, the two firms might not continue to monopolise the smartphone operating system market for too much longer.
Microsoft, for example, is starting to see the popularity of its Windows Phone mobile operating system grow, with the platform snatching a 5.9 percent slice of the UK market in 2012 - up from 2.2 percent a year earlier.
In addition, Research in Motion (RIM) will be launching its next generation Blackberry 10 mobile operating system this week. RIM hopes that Blackberry 10's completely redesigned user interface and support for higher-end devices will push it to the number three spot in the smartphone market. µ