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Microsoft, BlackBerry, Other OS Players Face ‘Incredible Upward Slog’ Against Android, iPhone

By Kelly Teal
August 14, 2014 - News

**Editor's Note: Click here for our list of July’s hottest selling smartphones.**

Well, if it wasn’t already obvious, it’s confirmed: Android and iOS phones are the most popular in the world.

A new report from IDC shows that 96.4 percent of smartphones shipped in the second quarter were built on either the Android and iOS operating systems, leaving rivals in the dust.

"It's been an incredible upward slog for other OS players. Windows Phone has been around since 2010 but has yet to break the 5 percent share mark, while the backing of the world's largest smartphone player, Samsung, has not boosted Tizen into the spotlight," said Melissa Chau, senior research manager for IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "The biggest stumbling block is around getting enough partnerships in play – not just phone manufacturers but also developers, many of which are smaller outfits looking to minimize development efforts by sticking to the two big ecosystems."

To be sure, Android is emerging as the big winner. Just more than 255 million Android-based smartphones shipped in the second quarter, up 33.3 percent year-over-year, and almost double its share from three years ago. That’s due in part to Android’s success in the sub-$200 segment, IDC found.

Meantime, iOS did see a decline in market share, even though it posted 12.7 percent year-over-year shipment growth in the second quarter. All of the other brands posted losses, according to IDC, although analysts did say Windows Phone is “the clear No. 3 smartphone platform." BlackBerry, meanwhile, continues to show declines.

In terms of device makers, Samsung is leading the charge for Android, while Coolpad, Huawei, Lenovo, LG, Xiaomi and ZTE all are jockeying for position behind Samsung, IDC said.

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