Google’s Android operating system (OS) has proven once again sheer dominance in the smartphone market as its lead extended away from Apple’s iOS, according to the latest report from IT research company Gartner. Customers are apparently intent to hold off upgrades until the iPhone 5 comes out.
According to Gartner’s new “Market Share: Mobile Devices, Worldwide, 2Q12” report, Android OS grabbed 64.1 percent of smartphone sales worldwide in the second quarter this year, which is 20 percent higher compared with the same period last year.
The company said Android’s growth resulted from record sales of the Samsung Galaxy lineup of smartphones, especially with the release of the Galaxy S3 flagship, which shipped 10 million units in just two months following its release.
Gartner’s report said, “In the second quarter of 2012, Samsung’s mobile phone sales remained very strong, up 29.5 percent from the second quarter of 2011 and managed to extend its lead over both Apple and Nokia quarter-on-quarter. The Galaxy S3 was the best-selling Android product in the quarter and could have been higher but for product shortages.”
Apple’s iOS finished with 18.8 percent of the smartphone market in Q2 2012, a minor 0.6 percent increase from the same quarter last year.
Gartner explained that the upcoming iPhone 5 release was responsible for the slump in iPhone sales, as customers and Apple loyalists wait and look forward to the company’s next-generation smartphone.
“In the second quarter of 2012, consumer demand for the Apple iPhone weakened as sales fell 12.6 percent from the first quarter of 2012, but grew 47.4 percent year-on-year. Depending on the exact launch date of the new iPhone, Apple might experience another weaker-than-usual quarter in the third quarter of 2012, while it will be ready to take advantage of the strong holiday sales in North America and Western Europe that have historically remained immune to economic pressure,” said Gartner.
Regardless of the profitable smartphone market, which experienced a 42.7 percent sales growth from last year, Gartner reported that total sales of mobile devices dropped by 2.3 percent from the second quarter of last year.
The research firm attributed this to “a challenging economic environment”, and cited the product launch cycles. The iPhone 5 release alongside Chinese phone makers “pushing 3G and preparing for major device launches” are likely to drive an increase in total sales during the second half this year.
Android and iOS device sales did not fare well for Research in Motion (RIM), as the top two mobile platforms pushed its BlackBerry handsets further down the list of top smartphone makers. BBs only accounted for 5.2 percent of the market from 11.7 percent last year.
Nokia, the former top smartphone and mobile phone maker, continuous its downward spiral in mobile device sales, with its outdated Symbian OS plummeting from 22.1 percent in Q2 2011 to 5.9 percent in Q2 2012.
Last on the top five list is Microsoft’s mobile operating systems, namely Windows Mobile and Windows Phone, which saw a boost from 1.6 percent to 2.7 percent smartphone market share.
Image: Rob Bulmahn via Flickr (CC)