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Half-a-billion Android smartphones shipped in 2012

Mar 9, 2013 — by Rick Lehrbaum 184 views

According to the latest smartphone market study from Strategy Analytics, Android powered nearly 70 percent of all smartphones shipped globally during 2012, ringing up almost half-a-billion new Android-powered handsets during the year.

Although 2012 saw global shipments of slightly over 700 million units, a “robust” increase from 2011’s 491 million units, worldwide smartphone shipments growth slowed somewhat, from 2011’s 64 percent to 43 percent in 2012, according to the Strategy Analytics report. This was seen as evidence that the smartphone market is maturing in developed regions, such as North America and Western Europe.

“We estimate that 152.1 million Android smartphones shipped globally in Q4 2012, nearly doubling from 80.6 million units in Q4 2011,” says Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. “Android’s share of the global smartphone market has surged from 51 percent to 70 percent over the past year, crushing Symbian, Bada and other platforms in its wake.”


“Almost half-a-billion Android smartphones were shipped in total worldwide during 2012. Android is clearly the undisputed volume leader of the smartphone industry at the present time. Android’s challenge for 2013 will be to defend its leadership, not only against Apple, but also against an emerging wave of hungry challengers that includes Microsoft, Blackberry, Firefox and Tizen.”

Scott Bicheno, a senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Apple grew 29 percent annually and shipped 47.8 million smartphones worldwide for 22 percent marketshare in Q4 2012, dipping slightly from 24 percent a year earlier. Combined together, Apple and Android accounted for a record 92 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally in the fourth quarter of 2012. The worldwide smartphone industry has effectively become a duopoly as consumer demand has polarized around mass-market Android models and premium Apple designs.”

In its report on global smartphone operating system shipments for Q4 of 2012, Strategy Analytics released the summary data shown below.

Global Smartphone OS Shipments (millions of units)
  Q4 ’11 2011 Q4 ’12 2012
Android 80.6 238.9 152.1 479.0
Apple iOS 37.0 93.0 47.8 135.8
Others 39.4 158.6 17.1 85.3
Total 157.0 490.5 217.0 700.1
Global Smartphone OS Marketshare
  Q4 ’11 2011 Q4 ’12 2012
Android 51.3% 48.7% 70.1% 68.4%
Apple iOS 23.6% 19.0% 22.0% 19.4%
Others 25.1% 32.3% 7.9% 12.2%
Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Total Year-over-Year Growth
  55.9% 63.8% 38.2% 42.7%


The full report, “Android & Apple iOS Capture a Record 92 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q4 2012,” is published by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Smartphone Strategies service. Further information may be found on the market researcher’s website.

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