Android and iOS are so far ahead of anyone else, the competition is barely worth mentioning anymore.
Smartphones powered by Google's Android operating system and Apple's iOS accounted for a whopping 85 percent of all smartphones shipped in the second quarter, according to new research from International Data Corp. (IDC). The researcher's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker shows that BlackBerry and Symbian, former superpowers in the space, each saw their market shares fall below 5 percent.
And even the race between Android and iOS isn't that close. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of all shipments last quarter were Android devices (an all-time high); iPhones made up just 17 percent. Of course, there's only one Apple smartphone compared to dozens of Android devices, and Android's huge lead will undoubtedly shrink dramatically when Apple introduces its next-generation iPhone – widely expected to happen next month.Chart: Worldwide Smartphone OS Market Share, 2Q 2012 charts powered by iCharts
"The mobile OS market is now unquestionably a two-horse race due to the dominance of Android and iOS," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "With much of the world's mobile phone user base still operating feature phones, the smartphone OS market share battle is far from over. There is still room for some mobile OS competitors to gain share, although such efforts will become increasingly difficult as smartphone penetration increases."
Samsung has become far and away the biggest Android handset manufacturer, accounting for 44 percent of Android phones shipped last quarter. iOS posted double-digit growth, but not enough to keep up with the overall market. Demand for Apple's flagship smartphone has cooled off now that the device has been available since October, IDC said.
Meantime, Research In Motion's BlackBerry becomes even more vulnerable as the company has delayed the release of new BlackBerry 10 smartphones until 2013. The newest member to the game – Microsoft's Windows Phone – gained on BlackBerry, and seems poised to take over third place. The next-generation Windows devices – Windows 8 – are coming this fall.