Apple and Android continue to chew up the smartphone industry.
The two platforms captured a record 92 percent of worldwide smartphone shipments in the final quarter of 2012, according to data released today by Strategy Analytics.
Android took the lead with 152.1 million shipments last quarter, almost double the 80.6 million shipped in 2011's fourth quarter, Strategy Analytics estimated. The market share for Google's mobile OS jumped to 70 percent from 51 percent in the same time frame, as Android vendors shipped almost half a billion smartphones for 2012 as a whole.
"Android is clearly the undisputed volume leader of the smartphone industry at the present time, "Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston said in a statement. "Android's challenge for 2013 will be to defend its leadership, not only against Apple, but also against an emerging wave of hungry challengers that includes Microsoft, Blackberry, Firefox, and Tizen."
And what of Apple? The iPhone maker shipped 47.8 million smartphones last quarter, grabbing a 22 percent market share. That compares with 37 million smartphones in the year-ago quarter, which translated to 24 percent share.
Overall, the industry shipped 217 million smartphones last quarter, a 38 percent leap from the 157 million shipped in the prior year's quarter. For the year, shipments hit a record 700 million, up from 490.5 million in 2011.
Growth in shipments actually fell to 43 percent this year from 64 percent the prior year as smartphone ownership has begun to saturate developed regions such as North America and Western Europe.
But Apple and Android easily maintained their tight grip of the market.
"The worldwide smartphone industry has effectively become a duopoly as consumer demand has polarized around mass-market Android models and premium Apple designs," Strategy Analytics analyst Scott Bicheno said in a statement.
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