Demand for alternative smartphone platforms emerges

The Android and iOS smartphone operating systems continue to dominate the global market, but there are indications of solidifying demand for alternatives, according to IDC.
Android and iOS together represented 92.3% of all smartphone shipments in the first quarter of 2013 with a combined 199.5 million units, the research firm estimates. This means a surge of 59% year-on-year for the two brands.
IDC reported that Android expanded its market share to 41% to remain the leader. Apple posted its largest ever first-quarter volume but its market share shrank and shipment growth was slower than the overall market.
"Android and iOS accounted for more than the lion's share of smartphones in the first quarter, but a closer examination of the other platforms reveals turnaround and demand for alternatives,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team.
“Windows Phone has benefited from Nokia's participation, and BlackBerry's new BB10 devices have already hit a million units shipped in its first quarter of availability" added Llamas.
IDC data show that Windows Phone leapfrogged BlackBerry and placed third for the first time. However, the company believes that given the relatively low volume generated – 20.3 million units -- Microsoft will need to show further gains to solidify a status as an alternative to Android or iOS.