Nov 02 AT 10:48 AM Nick Gray 40 Comments

IDC: Android hits new record, accounts for 75% of all smartphones shipped in Q3


Four years after the launch of the world’s first Android powered phone (the T-Mobile G1), there’s no denying that Android is the dominant player within the smartphone market sector. According to the latest numbers from the IDC, a total of 136 million smartphones powered by Android accounted for 75% of all smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2012. The remaining 25% of the smartphone market share was made up by iOS (14.9%), BlackBerry (4.3%), Symbian (2.3%), Windows phone (2%) and Linux (1.5%).

While Apple’s iOS did show a 57.3% year-over-year increase in units shipped, those numbers appear minuscule when compared to Android 91.5% increase. One number which we’ll be paying close attention to over the next few quarters is Microsoft’s smartphone market share. In the past year, Microsoft somehow managed to nearly double its market share from 1.2% to 2%. With the launch of Windows Phone 8 and a fairly impressive lineup of devices from Nokia, Samsung and HTC, we have a feeling Microsoft’s market share could reach double digits.

Did any of you expect Android’s market share to grow so much in the same quarter that Apple launched its highly-anticipated iPhone 5?

Source: IDC

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. Nick joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • uzunoff

    I guess the only way for windows phone to expand is too steal Android users that paid 50$ for a cheap phone. Windows phone is also cheap, but with somewhat of a better quality. There is no way a serious Android user with mid to high end phone will buy a windows phone.
    Unfortunately Apple has reached their creative Max, and some borderline tech Iphone users might find windows phone attractive.

    • shadhussain

      apple’s actually made some interestingly odd changes at the top over the last few days. johnny ives (apple’s hardware design guru), is taking over the software experience. so *something* will change i suspect over the next year in terms of their dated UI and overall look.

      now this move can fail miserably, since apple fans only like incremental changes. also, ives doesn’t really have any software acumen, does he? fun times ahead, regardless.

      duarte vs ives? i’ve got my money on duarte!

      • w00x

        There’s no reason not to have your money on Duarte.

      • NeedName

        I don’t think apple’s management changes really matter. It’s their policies that kill their growth. The reality is, the majority of the population just don’t want to live in apple’s walled-in garden.

    • µµµµµ

      Im tired of Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney! *cries*

  • koorsr

    It’s interesting to see that most of the Symbian and Blackberry share seems to have gone almost exclusively to Android besides in Q4 last year. This definitely shows that while the iPhone does well for a quarter or so it’s momentum slows down a lot as the year goes on. I guess that’s one of the nice things about choices.

    • masterpfa

      I think iPhone sales are almost seasonal, Christmas and release date.

      • inviolable

        That and I feel it’s logical to look at the majority of their sales coming from the same people just re-upping.

  • Jim Rogers

    If only Google could require the phone makers to get the software out quicker. It’s a shame to own the Samsung S 3 and be 2 versions behind already. Sort of like haveing Clint Eastwoods most powerful gun in the world but no bullets.

    • masterpfa

      If manufacturers made stock phones such as HTC did with the G2 , these would get updates quicker.

      It amazes me that a phone like the SGSIII can be released in the UK with Jelly Bean on the LTE version but the GSM version is still awaiting updates from certain carriers (Yes I’m talking about you T-Mobile UK)

  • droilfade

    All right Android, you green little B****rd. Taking over the world, are we? Yeah you go, piss on that apple through a window. You cute little green droid.

    • alexmaco

      :)) I laughed so hard when i read your comment.

  • shadhussain

    as a tech-lover and android-enthusiast, i never liked the comparison of these market share stats and they don’t ever reflect how good or bad an OS actually is. corporations of course love this stuff and they all tend to put their own marketing spins on them to make themselves look good.

    i guess the main attraction here is for developers. android’s momentum in the smartphone industry was proven a couple years back. harping on about it kinda covers up the more important stats on android tablet adoption. obviously, developers aren’t convinced there.

  • Lu5N

    i dont wonder about that… android has always been the most free mobile OS so samsung, htc, sony and a lot of other manufacturers can use this to create “their own OS” for their devices.

    • bitch plz

      OS != UI

  • Ardrid

    Google is absolutely killing it! Maybe developers will start sitting up and taking notice instead of making exclusive apps for the iPhone.

    • An Android app developer

      I am a huge fan of Android and my job is create apps for it and absolutely love it, but I face three challenges to this on daily basis:

      1. Lack of richer APIs, I work mainly on video apps and while iOS has AVFoundation, is far behind from it
      2. Fragmentation caused by manufacturers,you can get you camera activity to work great on vanilla Android (Nexus), but then try it on a top Samsung, HTC, LG or whatever device pretty sure won’t work properly in most of them, now think about supporting 1700 different devices, users will one-star you because of a crash on their Pantechsonic Lumica GT-3000-54 ExciteBrightSuperDuperLowRangeDevice

      3.Lack of interest by startups product people, I work in San Francisco, I know I know there is a bubble there, most of people have iOS devices from investors to designers and of course passing over CEOs,CTOs, PMs, WTFs, etc. all of them apple fanboys so it is quite hard to excite them about the opportunity in Android it is a little battle for even getting assets or mocks from your design team.

      I really hope that the Nexus initiative fixes this soon so far it is getting better every year

      • masterpfa

        I PSML at “Pantechsonic Lumica GT-3000-54 ExciteBrightSuperDuperLowRangeDevice”

        I guess customers should be aware of contacting the Dev first and only down vote if no resolve is seen after a reasonable length of time or at least a response from the DEV.

        Another reason why I personally love Nexus devices, Pure Android the way it was meant to be.

        (Note: Manufacturers UI’s are responsible for the greater up take of Android IMO after all HTC and Sense got me first interested in Android)

  • RogueC99

    I find this surprising considering that the iPhone sold out almost instantly, but Android’s just so much better it was definitely an inevitability! :)

  • iPad evangelist

    Most of these android phones are trash phones that dont generate profits. Look at htc, they are almost dead in the water. I rather sell a few million phones less, but make $billions (Apple). Look at Windows vs OSX, Microsoft was dominan,t but Apple is the overall winner, they could buy MS if they want to.

    Android is the new Windows…

    • shadhussain

      finally the iPad (?) evangelist has come as our savior, oh blind android fans!

      the message is clear: we, the consumer, must support corporate profiteering and greed at all costs! we must spend our hard-earned cash on marked-up products irrespective of their value such that we can make companies ‘winners’.

      huh? wait. what?

    • SGB101

      It’s the trash phones that make the profit, Samsung make the most of the likes of the ace, that sell 10x the sgs3. The margined may be tighter but it scales very well.

  • MyMilan

    This is no surprise at all. The iPhone has a fixed price and is linked to contracts. Android phones are very inexpensive and can be purchased unlocked for much less and with NO contract attached. It is not rocket science why more people buy android.

    • Joel

      Agreed. Ah the power of choice.

  • Steve Nutt

    My guess for how this will end:
    Android 75-80%
    iOS ~15%
    W8 ~5%
    Then the rest.

    Standard 3 play race, the manufacture’s race (i.e. within Android), is a bit more interesting,
    Samsung – obviously dominate, but then it’s these four, Sony, HTC, LG, Asus…

  • radu

    “we have a feeling Microsoft’s market share could reach double digits.”

    you are funny!

  • duffguy123

    While this is great news to hear, the picture is what really brought me to read this article haha. NEW WALLPAPER FOR MY EVO!

  • Joel

    That has got to be the best graph i’ve ever seen….(So far ;-)

  • Romney a$$hole (hates 47% of all americans!)

    75% is very impressive, i only hate 47%….but nonetheless
    i will be your master and commander in a few days!
    And then YOU HAVE TO DO WHAT I WANT !!!!

  • veracu

    i think the point here is that android is still in its infancy, being only four years old. the iphone is 5 years old but from a company that’s been making computers since the 80′s, or even earlier. android will keep improving, google will continue to grow (how cool is it that they own motorola now!) and apple will continue to be a stiff competitor. but this kind of competition is why i love a free market society. go android!

  • roofuskit

    Just an FYI the sales numbers for the iPhone 5 are not included on there. Q3 ends at the end of September, the iPhone 5 was released September 21st.

    • Joel

      Just FYI the sales numbers for the Galaxy Note 2 are not included on there. Q3 ends at the end of September, the Galaxy Note 2 was released September 26th.

  • inviolable

    But the iPhone was supposed to show its dominance once it went to carriers other than at&t…..

  • Nathan D.

    Everyone or most know that the iPhone 5 isn’t kw tech and is just an attempt by apple to catch up to Android.

  • cb2000a

    Feel the force Luke!

  • white man

    Android is for poor bums, i have the iPhone 5

    • bob

      Iphone is for ignorant idiots, old people, retards, technical morons and little girls who don’t know any better. They don’t even have an HD screen yet. Little 4″ phone with crappy apple maps and a bunch of icons all over the screen lmfgdao!

      • Michael

        iPhone is actually pretty awesome. BUT Android is cool too! No reason to be mean. Most people enjoy both and technically minded people realize the pros that both platforms have to offer.

  • Michael

    I think these numbers tell the wrong story. I’d like see a breakdown of these percentages per price segment. Something tells me that the droid doesn’t do so well in the over $500 category.

  • sachin_goral