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Android, Windows Phone grow in smartphone share, while iPhone drops

Matt Hamblen | Nov. 14, 2013
Lack of large-screen phablet hurts Apple share, IDC says

Android grew to 81% of all smartphones shipped globally in the third quarter, while Apple's iPhones slipped to 12.9% compared to 14.4% a year ago, according to IDC.

The latest data from IDC, released Tuesday, also notes that Windows Phone grew to 3.6% market share, an increase from 2% a year ago.

Part of Apple's decline in iPhone share can be attributed to not having a large-display smartphone to sell, while nearly all Android manufacturers have a phablet on sale that has a display larger than 5 inches, IDC said. Android's third-quarter market share of 81% was up from 74.9% a year ago.

Even Nokia, which made up 93.2% of all Windows Phone-powered smartphones shipped in the third quarter, is introducing two new Lumia phones with 6-in. displays. The Lumia 1520 will be sold by AT&T starting Nov. 22, and the Lumia 1320 will be sold outside the U.S. early next year.

Running on phones like the Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphone, the Windows Phone OS is picking up market share.

Phablets, with screens of 5 inches to 7-inches, made up 21% of the smartphone market in the third quarter, IDC said, up from just 3% a year ago.

"We believe the absence of a large-screen device may have contributed to Apple's inability to grow share in the third quarter," said Ryan Reith, an IDC analyst, in a statement.

"It would help for Apple to have a larger phone, since they are popular in some hot markets where Apple wants to be, including North America, Europe and China," said Ramon Llamas, another IDC analyst, in an interview. "When you put all things together, there's an opportunity that Apple's not in right now and that other vendors are offering, like Samsung and now Nokia."

Llamas said he's heard the many rumors that the next iPhone, coming in another year, will have either a 4.7-in. or 5.7-in. display. Apples's latest phones, the iPhone 5S and 5C, have 4-in. displays.

IDC also described the 156% increase in Windows Phone in the third quarter as "amazing" even though Windows Phone still makes up a small portion of the overall smartphone market. What's so impressive is that 3.7 million Windows Phone units shipped in the third quarter of 2012, but that figured jumped to 9.5 million smartphones in the third quarter this year.

Earlier this year, IDC said that Windows Phone would pass the 10% market share threshold by 2017. Whether that happens, however, will come down to how Microsoft addresses the future of Windows Phone and updates of the OS beyond the current Windows Phone 8.

Candidates for the job of Microsoft CEO reportedly include former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who might put a greater emphasis on Windows Phone over other products such as the Bing search engine or the Xbox. Microsoft is in the process of purchasing Nokia.


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