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August 04, 2014

Smartphone Shipments Reach 295 Million Units, Android Captures 85 Percent Market Share

The smartphone market has seen the introduction of new devices by companies from across the globe. Whether it is Amazon's Fire or Xiomi's fast ascent to the number five position surpassing the likes of Nokia and BlackBerry, the hardware side of the market will see many more players introducing new devices. However, the software side of the market only has four major platforms used by 99.8 percent of the smartphones in the world. The latest research from Strategy Analytics on global smartphone shipments for the second quarter of 2014 has revealed a total of 295 million units were delivered, with Android capturing 85 percent of the market share.

According to Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics, the global smartphone growth in this quarter was the lowest level for five years, which was half of what it was a year ago, dropping from 49 percent to 27 percent today. While mature regions in Europe and North America experienced limited growth, Africa and Asia are booming.

The shipment for Q2 2014 totaled 295.2 million, with Android at 249.6 million, Apple iOS at 35.2 million, Microsoft at 8.0 million, BlackBerry at 1.9 million, and others at 0.5 million.

All other operating systems except Android saw lower numbers during the quarter. BlackBerry's share went from 2 percent to 1 percent in the past year, which was attributed to the lackluster reception of its BB10 devices. Apple lost 1.5 percent, while Microsoft Windows Phone fell from 4 percent to 3 percent in Q2 2014.

Android's increase in the quarter saw it sales increase from 80.2 percent to 84.6 percent. Unlike the other platforms which are trying to address mature markets, the Android operating system is available on devices across a wide range of price points, making it more accessible in developing markets. The competition in this field is currently a one horse race, with Android commanding what seems like an insurmountable lead, but the introduction of an ultra-low-cost smartphone by Firefox could potentially slow the growth it is experiencing.

"Like the PC market, Android is on the verge of turning smartphone platforms into a one-horse race. Its low-cost services and user-friendly software remain wildly attractive to hardware makers, operators and consumers worldwide. Rival OS vendors are going to have to do something revolutionary to overturn Android's huge lead in smartphone shipments," said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics.

Edited by Adam Brandt

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