According to the latest IDC report on mobile shipments in Q3 2012, Android now has a commanding lead of the smartphone market. Android’s worldwide smartphone shipments in Q3 reached 136 million, which represents 75% of all devices shipped in the quarter, compared to 57.5% in Q3 2011. Apple shipped 26.9 million iPhones in Q3, up nearly 10 million from Q3 2011 to command a 14.9% share. Windows Phone also saw an increase in market share in Q3 2012, up from 1.2% in Q3 2011 to 2.0% in Q3 2012 on 3.6 million Windows Phone shipments.
BlackBerry and Symbian continued their momentous declines. RIM’s BlackBerry dropped from 9.5% of devices shipped in Q3 2011 to 4.3% in Q3 2012 (7.7 million units shipped), and Symbian dropped from 14.6% to 2.3% on 4.1 million units shipped. Declines were expected for both companies, however; sales of BlackBerry devices are expected to be soft ahead of the release of BlackBerry 10 (set for Q1 2013), and Nokia has all but abandoned Symbian in favor of Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform.
The two major candidates for the position as a viable third alternative to perennial front-runners Android and iOS combined to account for just 6.3% of smartphone shipments last quarter, which signals a potentially uphill battle for RIM and Microsoft. Of course, we’ll likely see an uptick over the next few quarters as handsets running Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10 come to market, but will it be enough to make a dent in the commanding lead held by Android and, to a lesser degree, iOS?