Android extends worldwide smartphones dominance

A report from research firm IDC says there were four Android phones for every iPhone shipped in the second quarter of 2012. (AP)

A report from research firm IDC says there were four Android phones for every iPhone shipped in the second quarter of 2012. (AP)

Got an iPhone? You're in the minority. 

There were four Android phones for every iPhone shipped in the second quarter, research firm IDC said Wednesday. That's up from a ratio of 2.5 to 1 in the same period last year. 

The success of Samsung's Android phones helped Google's operating system extend its dominance in the smartphone market. Samsung Electronics and other phone makers shipped nearly 105-million Android smartphones in the April-June quarter, giving Android 68% of the worldwide market, up from 47% last year.

The gains came largely at the expense of BlackBerry phones made by Research in Motion and Symbian phones made largely by Nokia.
Each saw its market share drop below 5%. Nokia is now making phones that use Microsoft's Windows system.

The market share for Apple iPhone, powered by its iOS software, fell slightly to 17%, from 19%. But the company shipped more iPhones than a year ago.

Apple is the No. 2 smartphone maker, behind Samsung, and is likely to get a boost when it releases its new iPhone model as expected this fall. Samsung's Galaxy S III phone received good reviews when it was released late in the second quarter.

It also benefits from the company's strategy of making various devices that target a range of consumers. By contrast, Apple targets only the high-end market with its iPhone.

According to IDC, Samsung accounted for 44% of all Android phones in the second quarter and shipped more Android phones than the next seven Android phone makers combined.

HTC and Motorola Mobility, which Google now owns, are among the other Android makers. IDC estimates that Samsung shipped 50.2-million smartphones in the quarter, though that includes a few million phones running the Bada system based on Linux.

Apple shipped 26-million iPhones. Worldwide smartphone shipments grew 42% to 154-million in the second quarter. Combined, Android and Apple had 85% of the market, up from 66% a year ago.

"The mobile OS market is now unquestionably a two-horse race due to the dominance of Android and iOS," said Kevin Restivo, a senior research analyst at IDC. But it's still possible for rivals to gain share since smartphones represent fewer than 40% of all cellphones shipped in the quarter.

But, Restivo said in a statement "such efforts will become increasingly difficult as smartphone penetration increases". Microsoft and RIM are both coming out with new versions of their operating systems - Windows in October and BlackBerry early next year.

The share of Windows phone grew to 3.5%, from 2.3%, in the latest quarter, largely because of its adoption by Nokia. Windows was the fifth-largest phone operating system but was gaining on No. 3 BlackBerry and No. 4 Symbian. – Sapa-AP

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