Android beats iOS 5-to-1 in Q3 smartphone market share

New data shows that Android nabbed 75 percent of the world's smartphone market share, while iOS trailed with 14.9 percent and BlackBerry brought up the rear with just 4 percent.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
Data from IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker for the third quarter of 2012. IDC

Android commanded the worldwide smartphone market share in the third quarter, new data from research firm IDC has revealed.

With a whopping 75 percent of market share and more than 181 million smartphones shipped, Android's operating system is apparently just fine with most phone users. In a distant second place, Apple's iOS grabbed fewer than 15 percent of the world's market share.

"Android has been one of the primary growth engines of the smartphone market since it was launched in 2008," IDC Mobile Phones Research Manager Ramon Llamas said in a statement. "In every year since then, Android has effectively outpaced the market and taken market share from the competition. In addition, the combination of smartphone vendors, mobile operators, and end-users who have embraced Android has driven shipment volumes higher."

With three out of every four shoppers buying a smartphone with Android, the operating system's 91.5 percent year-over-year growth was nearly double the overall market growth rate of 46.4 percent in the third quarter. According to IDC, Samsung devices running Android's OS were the most popular among users.

While iOS trailed far behind Android, IDC believes that its performance was still slightly bumped by the late quarter launch of the iPhone 5 and lowered prices of older models. Ranking even lower was BlackBerry. It ended this quarter with just a 4 percent share of the market.

"The smartphone operating system isn't an isolated product, it's a crucial part of a larger technology ecosystem," IDC Senior Research Analyst Kevin Restivo said in a statement. "Google has a thriving, multifaceted product portfolio. Many of its competitors, with weaker tie-ins to the mobile OS, do not. This factor and others have led to loss of share for competitors, with few exceptions."

Numbers released by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech earlier this week show Android continuing to make market share gains across Europe in the 12 weeks of sales that ended September 30. In that region, Google's mobile OS rose to a 67 percent share, compared with 51 percent for the same stretch a year ago, while iOS edged down slightly, to 16.5 percent. However, it was a different story in the U.S. In Apple's home market, iOS leaped from 21.5 percent a year ago to nearly 38 percent, while Android slipped from just more than 66 percent to 57.5 percent.