Windows Phone is surging at BlackBerry’s expense

Windows Phone BlackBerry Market Share Q3 2013

It’s taken a while but Microsoft’s Windows Phone finally looks like it’s ready to become a major player in the mobile market. The latest numbers from IDC show that Windows Phone shipments surged from 3.7 million in the third quarter of 2012 to 9.5 million in the third quarter of 2013, a year-over-year growth rate of 156%.

For every winner there’s usually a loser and the biggest smartphone shipment loser over the last year has undoubtably been BlackBerry, which saw its shipments crash from 7.7 million in Q3 2012 to 4.5 million in Q3 2013 for a year-over-year decline of 41.6%. What makes these results particularly bad for BlackBerry, IDC says, is that the company is having a tough time selling BlackBerry 10 devices everywhere and that most of its shipments to emerging markets are still older BlackBerry 7 devices.

As far as other mobile platforms go, Apple saw its overall global market share dip from 14.4% in Q3 2012 to 12.9% in Q3 2013 even though its overall handset shipments increased from 26.9 million in Q3 2012 to 33.8 million in Q3 2013. The biggest reason Apple lost market share has been the continued dominance of Android, which saw its market share balloon to 81% of all global smartphones thanks to shipments of 211.6 million smartphones in Q3 2013.

“Android and Windows Phone continued to make significant strides in the third quarter. Despite their differences in market share, they both have one important factor behind their success: price,” explains IDC analyst Ramon Llamas. “Both platforms have a selection of devices available at prices low enough to be affordable to the mass market, and it is the mass market that is driving the entire market forward.”

IDC’s full press release follows below.

Android Pushes Past 80% Market Share While Windows Phone Shipments Leap 156.0% Year Over Year in the Third Quarter, According to IDC 

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. November 12, 2013 – Google’s Android operating system reached a new milestone during the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. With a total base of 211.6 million smartphone units shipped during the quarter, Android accounted for 81.0% of all smartphone shipments, marking the first time that Android topped 80% in its short history. Despite high saturation rates in a number of mature markets, the overall smartphone space grew 39.9% year-over-year in the third quarter.

Also reaching a milestone was Microsoft’s Windows Phone, which grew an amazing 156.0% year over year. Granted, volumes started from a small base of 3.7 million units a year ago and overall market share is still less than five percent. But Microsoft’s efforts, with Nokia’s support behind it, helped drive the platform into multiple tiers and price points.

“Android and Windows Phone continued to make significant strides in the third quarter. Despite their differences in market share, they both have one important factor behind their success: price,” said Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. “Both platforms have a selection of devices available at prices low enough to be affordable to the mass market, and it is the mass market that is driving the entire market forward.”

Smartphone average selling prices (ASPs) have continued to decline as the appetite for more affordable devices grows. ASPs were down -12.5% in 3Q13, accounting for an average price of $317. At the same time, the market has seen a large influx of large-screen smartphones (5-7” screens), also known as phablets. Large-screen devices generally come with a higher selling price than smaller screen devices, due to the need for more powerful and expensive components. Phablet ASPs in 3Q13 were notably higher than the market average at $443. However, the 3Q13 ASP was down -22.8% from the $573 phablet ASP in 3Q12.

“Almost all successful Android vendors have added one or more 5-7-inch phablets to their product portfolios,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “And Nokia’s recent announcement of the Lumia 1320 and 1520 put them in the category as well. In 3Q13, phablet shipments accounted for 21% of the smartphone market, 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.”

Operating System Highlights

Android pushed past 80% market share for the first time in 3Q13, a testament to its broad and deep list of vendors, including four of the top five vendors worldwide. While Android, as a whole, moved forward, the vast majority of its vendors still struggle to find meaningful market share. Samsung accounted for 39.9% of all Android shipments for the quarter, while the rest of the vendors either saw single-digit market share or, in the case of the majority of vendors, market share of less than 1%.

iOS, despite seeing its total volumes increase and reaching new record third quarter volumes, saw its market share decline during 3Q13, most likely due to soft demand in the weeks leading up to the launch of iOS 7 smartphones. Still, if the 9 million units sold during the last week of September is any indication of future adoption, iOS stands to reap another record quarter in terms of volumes, market share, and year-over-year growth.

Windows Phone posted the largest year-over-year growth worldwide of any of the leading operating systems, a result primarily driven by the support of Nokia. By itself, Nokia accounted for 93.2% of all the Windows Phone-powered smartphones shipped during the quarter, marking a new milestone in the company’s short history on the Microsoft platform. Participation from other vendors, meanwhile, still seemed a mixed bag with more vendors participating from a year ago, but volumes still far behind Nokia’s own.

BlackBerry recorded the largest year-over-year decline among the leading operating systems during 3Q13. Underpinning its results was softer demand for its new BB10 operating system and continued demand for its older BB7 within emerging markets. Now with a new CEO in place and an infusion of $1 billion, what remains to be seen is how and when the beleaguered operating system will be able to change course in the face of mounting pressure from Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
Top Four Operating Systems, Shipments, and Market Share, Q3 2013 (Units in Millions) 

Operating System

3Q13 Shipment Volumes

3Q13 Market Share

3Q12 Shipment Volumes

3Q12 Market Share

Year-Over-Year Change

Android

211.6

81.0%

139.9

74.9%

51.3%

iOS

33.8

12.9%

26.9

14.4%

25.6%

Windows Phone

9.5

3.6%

3.7

2.0%

156.0%

BlackBerry

4.5

1.7%

7.7

4.1%

-41.6%

Others

1.7

0.6%

8.4

4.5%

-80.1%

Total

261.1

100.0%

186.7

100.0%

39.9%

 

Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, November 12, 2013

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