When it comes to choosing which mobile operating systems to focus on when building your app, the latest worldwide smartphone sales data from analyst firm Gartner Inc. shows there’s two clear choices: Google‘s Android and Apple‘s iOS.
According to the latest data for the third quarter of 2012, Android was the mobile OS loaded onto 72.4 per cent of mobile devices shipped in the quarter, up from 52.5 per cent in the same quarter a year ago. Apple’s iOS was well back in second with 13.9 per cent of the market, off slightly from 15 per cent a year ago. The iPhone 5 launched in the fourth quarter, which should give Apple a boost in the next round of numbers.
The other players could best be described as also-rans. RIM was third with 5.3 per cent, followed by Bada and Symbian. Microsoft was sixth with just 2.4 per cent, but next quarter’s numbers will merit watching to see if the launch of Windows Phone 8 is gaining traction.
When phone shipments are viewed by manufacturer, Samsung moved passed Nokia in the quarter, with 22.9 per cent of the market compared to Nokia’s 19.2 per cent. Apple was third with 5.5 per cent followed by ZTE and LG Electronics. RIM was well back in 8th with 2.1 per cent of the market. These numbers include both smartphone and regular mobile shipments.
Overall, Gartner reported 428 million units shipped in the quarter, down 3.1 per cent from a year ago. Some 39.6 per cent of the shipments were smartphones, an increase of 46.9 per cent over one year ago.
“After two consecutive quarter of decline in mobile phone sales, demand has improved in both mature and emerging markets as sales increased sequentially,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner, in a statement. “In mature markets, we finally saw replacement sales pick up with the launch of new devices in the quarter.”