The latest figures in the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker show the global smartphone market hitting a new record high, with a sharp hike on last year’s figures. According to the data, “vendors shipped a total of 301.3 million smartphones worldwide in 2Q14, up 25.3 percent from the 240.5 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2013” – the first time shipments have risen over 300 million.
This comes from the same research house that a short time ago noted a decline in tablet shipments amid an explosion in the popularity of phablets. Judging from these figures, the trend shows no signs of easing off. And notwithstanding Microsoft’s, Firefox’s and Samsung’s fondest hopes, “the dominant smartphone operating systems (OS), Android and iOS, saw their combined market share swell to 96.4% for the quarter, leaving little space for competitors.” Indeed, at 84.7 percent, “Android reached a new record for market share during 2Q14, nearly doubling its share from just three years ago.” iOS, meanwhile, stands at 11.7 percent, and “may have reached its lowest quarterly volume for the year,” although this is a trend that the anticipated shipment of the bigger-screen iPhones may reverse. Android, however, seems to own the low-to-medium-price end of the market for the forseeable future.
“With many of its OEM partners focusing on the sub-$200 segments, Android has been reaping huge gains within emerging markets,” says Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team, in the official release. “During the second quarter, 58.6% of all Android smartphone shipments worldwide cost less than $200 off contract, making them very attractive compared to other devices. With the recent introduction of Android One, in which Google offers reference designs below $100 to Android OEMs, the proportion of sub-$200 volumes will climb even higher.”