Google’s Android now controls more than 80% of the global market, with Microsoft’s Windows Phone also experiencing explosive growth during the third quarter of 2013, according to new IDC figures.
The figures show the overall market grew 39.9% to 261.1 million units, up from 186.7 million a year ago.
The clear market leader was Google Android, shipping on 211.6 million devices, more than the total number of smartphones sold for all platforms a year earlier.
The platform now claims an amazing 81% of the worldwide market, and is up 51.3% by volume from 139.9 million units and 74.9% market share a year ago.
The second placed platform is Apple iOS, used on Apple’s iPhone series of smartphones, which saw its market share shrink from 14.4% to just 12.9%, even as its volumes increased to 33.8 million from 26.9 million a year ago.
Far more worrying for the company, however, is that its growth rate has fallen to 25.6%, well below the industry average of 39.9%, meaning its position in the market is eroding rapidly.
The big winner in the latest figures is Microsoft’s Windows Phone, which recorded an extraordinary growth rate of 156%, albeit off a very small base.
Microsoft managed to capture 3.6% of the global market with 9.5 million units, which is significantly higher than its 2% marketshare and 3.7 million unit shipments a year earlier.
“Android and Windows Phone continued to make significant strides in the third quarter. Despite their differences in market share, they both have one important factor behind their success: price,” IDC mobile phone research manager Ramon Llamas says.
Aside from price, IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker program director notes the rise of phablet devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and recently released Nokia devices, represent a growing slice of the market.
“Almost all successful Android vendors have added one or more 5-7-inch phablets to their product portfolios, and Nokia’s recent announcement of the Lumia 1320 and 1520 put them in the category as well.
“In 3Q13, phablet shipments accounted for 21% of the smartphone market, up from just 3% a year ago. We believe the absence of a large-screen device may have contributed to Apple’s inability to grow share in the third quarter.”
The figures also confirm the continuing decline of Blackberry, which saw its shipments drop by 41.6% from 7.7 million to 4.5 million, with its market share dropping from a respectable 4.1% to just 1.7%.