The latest figures from IDC are in and represent what seems to be the status of smartphone shipping for both the final quarter of last year (Q4) and the year in general. The big headlines from the report is that Android and iOS together tightened their grip on the smartphone market (as a whole) even more. The latest figures show that the two operating systems combined totaled 96.3% of all smartphones shipped in the final quarter. This is up from the 95.6% figure which was noted for the same quarter (Q4) in 2013. Interestingly, the IDC report also noted that the year end figure for the OS distribution was identical to that of Q4. In short, for 2014, the Android and iOS dominance also equated to exactly 96.3% which highlights how consistent the level of both operating systems performed as the dominant pair. Although, compared to the previous year figures. the increase to 96.3% was much greater for the year than for the quarter with the 2013 Android and iOS dominance reaching only 93.8%.
Of the two operating systems, there was no change at the top with Android remaining significantly dominant in the worldwide figures. For the year, Android saw an 81.5% market share which was up from the previous 78.7% figure noted for 2013. This is not that surprising as this was also the year Android pushed passed the one billion android smartphones shipping marker. In contrast, iOS market share was 14.8% which was slightly down on last year which saw the market share at 15.1%. In spite of the seemingly lower market share, iOS did however, see a big gain in actual volume of shipping compared to the last year. Although, that gain was just not as large as that noted with Android which effectively shaped the overall market share figures.
In terms of the breakdown within android, not a lot changed compared to what has been typically reported over the last year. According to IDC, Samsung remained significantly dominant as the android leader with what IDC referred to as "a wide margin". In fact, the latest figures states Samsung shipped "more volume than the next five vendors combined". In spite of this massive difference between Samsung and the rest, Samsung did not see any direct or notable improvement on the previous year with their total essentially remained flat. This was largely reasoned to be due to the recent trend we have seen in the rising of Asian vendors like Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, LG and ZTE.