Unsurprisingly, it’s still a two platform world in the smartphone arena, as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms combined to power 96.3% of all smartphones shipped in 2014.
Apple took 14.8 percent of the market — a slight year-over-year drop — compared to 81.5 percent for Google, according to market research firm IDC. Formerly dominant players Microsoft and BlackBerry accounted for just 2.7 percent and 0.4 percent of shipments last year, respectively.
“Many of the same drivers were in play for Android and iOS to tighten their grip on the market,” said Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. “A combination of strong end-user demand, refreshed product portfolios, and the availability of low-cost devices – particularly for Android – drove volumes higher.
“What will bear close observation is how the two operating systems fare in 2015 and beyond,” added Llamas. “Now that Apple has entered the phablet market, there are few new opportunities for the company to address. Meanwhile, Samsung experienced flat growth in 2014, forcing Android to rely more heavily on smaller vendors to drive volumes higher.”
Although Apple’s market share dropped slightly, the company set a new record for device shipments, shipping 192.7 million iPhones during 2014 on the back of their new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets. Android device shipments surpassed the 1 billion mark for the year.