Android And iOS Combine To Dominate 96 Percent Of Worldwide Smartphone Sales

Let's face it, we're living in an Android and iOS world and the rest of the mobile platforms are simply witnesses. That's not to say one platform is better than the other, it's just a numbers game, and the numbers show that Android and iOS accounted for 96.3 percent of all smartphone shipments in the world in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).

Even worse for competing platforms like 
Windows Phone and BlackBerry is that the leftover market share is shrinking -- in the same quarter a year ago, Android and iOS combined for a 95.6 percent share of smartphone shipments.

Apple and Android
Image Source: Flickr (Tsahi Leventi-Levi)

"Instead of a battle for the third ecosystem after Android and iOS, 2014 instead yielded skirmishes, with Windows Phone edging out BlackBerry, Firefox, Sailfish and the rest, but without any of these platforms making the kind of gains needed to challenge the top two," said Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

"This isn't to say that vendors aren't making moves, especially for the growth segments – the low-end markets," continued Chau. "With Microsoft bringing ever-cheaper Lumia into play and Tizen finally getting launched to India early this year, there is still a hunger to chip away at Android's dominance."

Smartphone Market Share IDC
Source: IDC

Microsoft might be hungry as Chau suggests, but it's feasting on a smaller portion of the pie chart. In the fourth quarter of 2014, Windows Phone accounted for a measly 2.7 percent of smartphone shipments, down from 3.3 percent a year prior. The good news for Microsoft, however, is that the impending launch of Windows 10 could help the company carve out a larger slice.

Things look even bleaker for BlackBerry, which dropped from 1.9 percent to 0.4 percent in the same time frame.