Just a year ago, the mobile industry’s giant duo owned roughly half the market. This year, Apple and Android dominate more than 80 percent of it. According to a report released Thursday by International Data Corporation, 59 percent of the 152.3 million smart phones shipped in the calendar quarter ending in March were Android and 23 percent were Apple iOS. That's nearly a 30-percent jump from the two companies’ 54.4 percent share of shipments during the same period in 2011. The remainder of the market is split between Symbian (6.8 percent), RIM Blackberry (6.4 percent), Linux (2.3 percent) and Windows 7/Mobile (2.2 percent).
If the trend continues, consumers loyal to Blackberry, Linux and Windows may have to turn to dealers of used cell phones to stick with their chosen product. That said, there are certainly good reasons to switch over to the user-friendly products that are most popular. From the PCW story:
The popularity of Android and iOS stems from a combination of factors that the competition has struggled to keep up with," Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Phone Technology and Trends program, said in a statement. "Neither Android nor iOS were the first to market with some of these features, but the way they made the smartphone experience intuitive and seamless has quickly earned a massive following," he added.
In addition, both platforms have been able to build robust developer communities, added Kevin Restivo, a senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker program. "In order for operating system challengers to gain share, their creators and hardware partners need to secure developer loyalty," he observed.
"This is true because developer intentions or enthusiasm for a particular operating system is typically a leading indicator of hardware sales success," he added.