Remember when BlackBerry and Palm dominated the fledgling smartphone market? Things have changed a lot in the past decade. Research firm IDC reports that a billion smartphones were shipped in 2013, and 80 percent of them were running Google’s Android operating system.
Apple’s iPhones come in second at just over 15 percent, and everyone else is just fighting for scraps.
Take those figures with a grain of salt: IDC and other research firms are basically making educated guesses since not every device maker opens the books. And the number of phones shipped isn’t quite the same as the number sold. It’s a lot easier to make an estimate of the number of devices manufactured and delivered to retail outlets than it is to calculate how many consumers actually bought the devices.
That said, IDC figures that more than a billion smartphones shipped in 2013, with Android and iOS models accounting for 93.8 percent. That percentage was even higher in the 4th quarter of the year, at 95.7 percent.
Meanwhile Windows Phone took just 3.3 percent of the market in 2013, BlackBerry came in 4th place at 1.9 percent, and everything else took just 1 percent.
This could be the year we start to see some new challengers including Firefox OS, Ubuntu Phone OS, Tizen, and Sailfish start to take hold. But with Android and iOS so thoroughly dominating the smartphone space, it’ll be hard for the new kids to make a dent.
On the other hand, it was just a few years ago that you could have said the same thing about Apple and Google. As late as 2009, BlackBerry was still by far the dominant force in the smartphone space.