iOS and Android are the Only Two Mobile Operating Systems That Matter
Research firm IDC released the results of its study on the global smartphone market Thursday. IDC's data shows that the only two operating systems that really matter are Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android.
According to IDC, the two combined for a colossal 91.1% of smartphones shipped in the fourth quarter. Coming in at a distant third was BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) with about 7.4% of the market. Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows Phone was even less relevant, at about 2.6% of the market.
Between the two market leaders, Android had over three times iOS's market share, at 70.1% and 21%, respectively. IDC goes on to call the smartphone market a “two horse race” with Android and iOS collectively representing over 50% of the smartphone market in the last two years.
The results shouldn't be that surprising, but they do demonstrate the significant challenge faced by both BlackBerry and Microsoft in entering the smartphone market.
Shares of BlackBerry initially gapped lower on Thursday after it was revealed that the company's former CEO and founder Jim Balsillie had sold off all of his remaining shares. Yet, shares traded back to unchanged early in the session. Perhaps investors concluded that Balsillie's opinion really wasn't all that valuable, given that he helped run the company into the ground.
Shares of Apple traded near $468 on Thursday, while Google shares were around $784.
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