Android and iOS accounted for 96.3 percent of all smartphone shipments in Q4 2014, and coincidentally, 96.3 percent for all of last year as well. That means the duopoly grew 0.6 percentage points compared to the same period last year (95.7 percent in Q4 2013) and 2.5 percentage points on an annual basis (93.8 percent in 2013).
Google’s mobile operating system remained the clear leader in 2014 (with over 81% of the market), pushing past the 1 billion unit mark for the first time. This was a significant milestone in itself, but also because it meant that total Android volumes in 2014 beat total smartphone shipments in 2013. Samsung retained the leadership position “by a wide margin,” shipping more than the next five vendors combined, but its total volumes for the year remained essentially flat as Asian vendors (including Huawei, Lenovo and its subsidiary Motorola, LG Electronics, Xiaomi, and ZTE) took up the task of fueling growth for Android.
Apple’s mobile operating system, meanwhile, saw its market share decline slightly (just over 14% of the market) “even as volumes reached a new record and grew at nearly the same pace as the overall smartphone market,” IDC said. Strong demand for Apple’s new and larger iPhones as well as “the reception they had within key markets” kept the company going strong.
The remaining scraps were left to Microsoft and BlackBerry. Remember: There’s only 3.7 percent to fight over.