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Android, iOS combine for 91 percent of market

BlackBerry was able to score the third-place spot for smartphone OS ownership, with a paltry 3.2 percent market share.

Android and iOS completely dominate the mobile market, according to new data from research firm IDC.

IDC revealed today that Android owned 70.1 percent of the smartphone OS market in the fourth quarter, on 159.8 million shipments. Last year during the same period, Android owned 52.9 percent of the space, on 85 million shipments.

Android's popularity was similarly strong throughout 2012, as the operating system scored 68.8 percent ownership, on 497.1 million shipments.

Apple's iOS proved to be a distant second during the fourth quarter and throughout 2012. According to IDC, Apple's operating system owned 21 percent of the smartphone market during the fourth quarter and 18.8 percent on an annual basis. Apple shipped 47.8 million smartphones in the fourth quarter and 135.9 million iPhones in 2012. In 2011, Apple fourth-quarter and full-year market share was 23 percent and 18.8 percent, respectively.


"The dominance of Android and Apple reached a new watermark in the fourth quarter," Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team, said today in a statement. "Android boasted a broad selection of smartphones, and an equally deep list of smartphone vendor partners. Finding an Android smartphone for nearly any budget, taste, size, and price was all but guaranteed during 2012. As a result, Android was rewarded with market-beating growth."

During the fourth quarter, it was hard to find too much for competitors to feel good about. BlackBerry OS came in third place with just 3.2 percent market share in the fourth quarter. The company's shipments hit 7.4 million units, down 43.1 percent year-over-year. And though Windows Phone shipments jumped 150 percent during the fourth quarter, the operating system could muster only 2.6 percent market share.

Android's success during 2012 was driven mainly by Samsung. According to IDC, that company accounted for 42 percent of all Android-based smartphone shipments during the period. All other Android vendors had single-digit market share and were followed by "an even longer list of vendors with market share less than 1 percent," IDC said.

All told, the smartphone market had a strong fourth quarter and 2012. During the fourth quarter, 227.8 million smartphones shipped worldwide, up from 160.8 million in the prior year. In 2012, 722.4 million smartphones shipped, easily topping the 494.5 million smartphones that hit store shelves in 2011.