iPhone 6 Nexus

The latest numbers from Strategy Analytics reveal that iOS and Android combined to capture 96% global market share in the third quarter. iOS and Android accounted for 12.3% market share and 83.6% global market share respectively for the three-month period ending September. Those figures arrive just one day after the research firm reported that Chinese company Xiaomi has become the third-largest smartphone maker in the world.

Android continued to be a dominant player in global smartphone operating system market share, increasing its lead over iOS by three percentage points compared to the year-ago quarter. Apple’s mobile operating system held 12.3% market share during the third quarter, trailed by Windows Phone (3.3%) and BlackBerry (0.7%). Other mobile platforms accounted for less than 0.1% market share.

“Android’s leadership of the global smartphone market looks unbeatable at the moment,” said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics. “Its low-cost services and user-friendly software remain attractive to hardware makers, operators and consumers worldwide. However, challenges are emerging for Google. The Android platform is getting overcrowded with hundreds of hardware brands, Android smartphone prices are falling worldwide, and few Android device vendors make profits.”

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Overall, global smartphone shipments grew 27 percent annually to 320.4 million units in the third quarter versus 252.9 million units in the year-ago quarter. The growth in the smartphone market continues to come mainly from emerging markets such as Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In particular, smartphone makers like Google and Xiaomi have been aggressively pushing entry-level devices in countries like China and India, which boast the first- and second-largest populations in the world.

Kantar Worldpanel provided a regional breakdown of these numbers earlier this week.

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