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IDC: Android, iOS again dominate smartphone OS market

IDC: Android, iOS again dominate smartphone OS market

Blackberry was the only smartphone vendor to lose market share in 2014

Android and iOS increased their combined share of the global mobile OS market in 2014, running on 96.3 per cent of all smartphones.

That's up from their 93.8 per cent share in 2013, according to IDC. Android increased its share of the smartphone OS market to 81.5 per cent in 2014 from 78.7 per cent, while iOS' share shrunk to 14.8 percent from 15.1 percent.

Despite the slip, shipments of iOS devices grew 25.6 per cent thanks to the release of the iPhone 6, according to IDC. Apple shipped 192.7 million smartphones in 2014, up from 153.4 million in 2013. With the iPhone 6, Apple responded to the market's demand for an Apple phone with a larger screen, so IDC questions whether momentum for the company's smartphones can be maintained.

More than 1 billion Android phones shipped last year, topping 2013's figure of 802 million. Samsung retained its title as the top Android phone manufacturer, shipping more units than the next five vendors combined. However, Samsung's total volume remained flat for 2014, according to IDC. Most of the platform's growth came from Huawei, LG, ZTE and Xiamoi.

At 34.9 million units, Microsoft shipped slightly more Windows Phones in 2014 than in 2013, when it shipped 33.5 million units. Microsoft focused on the lower end of the smartphone market in 2014, selling entry-level phones it acquired after purchasing Nokia and letting partners HTC and Samsung handle the high-end market, IDC said. But with the launch of Windows 10 this year, Microsoft will likely turn its attention again to the high-end segment of the market, according to IDC.

Blackberry was the only mobile OS to lose market share last year, decreasing to 0.4 per cent in 2014 from 1.9 per cent.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

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