Google and Apple have established a new combined high for their mobile operating systems in the smartphone market, with Android and iOS powering 85% of all smartphones shipped in the second quarter of 2012, according to an industry analyst.
Android hit the market with several flagship models from manufacturing partners last quarter, offering prices well within reach to meet multiple budgetary needs, according to Ramon Llamas, a senior research analyst at International Data Corporation (IDC). Android's success in 2Q12 can be linked to Samsung, which accounted for 44% of all Android smartphones shipped in 2Q12 and totaled more than the next seven Android vendors' volumes combined, an achievement that is mostly in part to the U.S. launch of Sammy's Galaxy S III.
While iOS posted double-digit growth, Apple was not able to keep up with the overall market, with demand for the iPhone 4S dwindling since its October release. With reports promising a Sept. 21 release of Apple's next generation smartphone, which is rumored to sport a larger design among other new features, consumers are likely holding off from purchasing the current model, despite certain enticements from some carriers. Even with a cool off from clamoring customers, iOS remained the solid number two operating system behind Android worldwide.
Android topped the smartphone market shipments for Q2 2012 with 104.8 million units shipped, accounting for 68.1% of the market share. Apple ranked second, shipping 26 million units and holding 16.9% of the market. Meanwhile, BlackBerry and Symbian, two former leaders of the smartphone market, both saw their market shares fall below five percent, with the companies reaching just 4.8% and 4.4%, respectively.
A former pioneer of the global smartphone market, RIM may experience a surge in future smartphone shipments if the company decides to license its upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform to manufacturers. However, it remains to be seen if such a move would even begin to regain market traction for BlackBerry.
Unquestionably a two-horse race now, the mobile operating system market is currently dominated by Android and iOS, though it will be interesting to see if Apple can narrow the gap between the two platforms with the highly-speculated release of the iPhone 5 this fall.
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