BlackBerry sees 77pc fall in global OS market share in Q4


Struggling manufacturer held just 0.6 per cent of the market at the end of last year, with shipments slumping by 5.7 million 

BlackBerry’s global OS market share fell 77 per cent in Q4 and 40.9 per cent in 2013 – becoming the only OS to realise negative year-on-year change for both the quarter and 2013.

This is according to IDC’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, which provides market share and smartphone shipment figures for the industry.

BlackBerry’s market share in the final three months of last year slumped to 0.6 per cent from 3.2 per cent a year earlier. Smartphone shipments also fell sharply from 7.4 million to 1.7 million.

Last year, its market share fell from 4.5 per cent in 2012 to 1.9 per cent. Shipments almost halved from 32.5 million to 19.2 million.

These results are despite the manufacturer launching its BlackBerry 10 platform in January 2013, which was seen as an attempt to boost the company’s fortunes.

However, in its most recent financial results for the three months ending November 30, BlackBerry losses quadrupled from the previous quarter to $4.4 billion. Revenue was down by a quarter to $1.2 billion, and down by 57 per cent from $2.7 billion a year earlier.

Meanwhile, Android and Apple iOS continued to dominate the market, accounting for 95.7 per cent of all smartphone shipments in Q4 and for 93.8 per cent of all shipments for the year.

This marked a 4.5 per cent increase from Q4 and 6.1 per cent increase from what they shared in 2012.

Android remained the clear leader with 70.3 per cent share in Q4 and 69 per cent for the year. Shipments also rose 65 million to 226.1 million in the quarter and by 293.5 million over the year to 793.6 million. This resulted in respective increases of 40.3 per cent and 58.7 per cent.

Apple iOS maintained second position but saw its market share in Q4 fall 3.3 per cent to 17.6 per cent and by 3.5 per cent over the year to 15.2 per cent. Despite this, shipments were up by 3.2 million in the quarter to 51 million and by 17.5 million in 2013, resulting in respective increases of 6.7 per cent and 12.9 per cent.

Windows Phone strengthened its position in third ahead of BlackBerry. Shipment numbers almost doubled last year to 33.4 million and in the quarter grew from six million in Q4 2012 to 8.8 million in the most recent three month period. This resulted in respective growth of 90.9 per cent and 46.7 per cent respectively.

Its market share last year grew by almost a percentage point to 3.3 per cent whilst in Q4 it was up by nearly half a percentage point to three per cent.

IDC said that while smartphone growth remained strong last year, “it should be noted that the ear of double-digit annual growth has only a few years remaining” It added that manufacturers “are doing all they can to capture demand while it is still present”, primarily through marketing campaigns for flagship devices.

Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC’s mobile phone team, said: “Clearly, there was strong end-user demand for both Android and iOS products during the quarter and the year. What stands out are the different routes Android and Apple took to meet this demand.

“Android relied on its long list of OEM partners, a broad and deep collection of devices, and price points that appealed to nearly every market segment. Apple’s iOS, on the other hand, relied on nearly the opposite approach: a limited selection of Apple-only devices, whose prices trended higher than most.

“Despite these differences, both platforms found a warm reception to their respective user experiences and selection of mobile applications.”