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The Smartphone Duopoly Continues ? Who is No.3?

Both IDC and Gartner recently provided their smartphone market insight for the Q1 2013 as the Samsung/Apple duopoly continues on. The question is, who is No.3 ? Windows Phone or BlackBerry? Let?s begin with the data from Gartner ? as they try to measure the smartphone sales to end users, while the IDC measures the shipments.

Curious to note at the very start is the fact Gartner thinks that there is a tangible slowdown when it comes to the feature phone upgrades, and that they believe it could strain the mobile phone market during the whole 2013. ?Feature phones users across the world are either finding their existing phones good enough or are waiting for smartphones prices to drop further, either way the prospect of longer replacement cycles is certainly not a good news for both vendors and carriers looking to move users forward,? explained Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Gartner found that smartphones were 49.3 percent of all phones sold in the first quarter of the 2013 worldwide. Unsurprisingly, Android is dominating, as the platform has 74.4% of the market share in the 1Q13, an incredible feat considering it was at 56.9% in the same period in 2012. Apple?s iOS went down from 22.5% to 18.2% of the market share over the same time, only fortifying the position the Google has with their own mobile solution.

When it comes to the third place, things are a bit complicated. BlackBerry had a ludicrous descent from 6.8% last year to 3% in the first quarter this year while Microsoft?s Windows Phone went up by a point to 2.9% of the overall market share. With that said, according to the Gartner and units sold, Windows Phone still isn?t on par with BlackBerry ? and while more mobile platforms are expected to show up, analysts believe no one will even begin to shake the sheer numbers Android has.

Situation is virtually the same on the top two spots as reported by the IDC. Android makes up 75% of all smartphone shipments, but the growth is reported somewhat differently. Compared to the same quarter last year, Android had a 79.5% growth in shipments while Apple went down by 6.6% in the same period of time. Apple has 17.3% of market share in the 1Q13 shipments and trend is apparently pointing downwards.

Third place had a minor turnaround moment in IDC?s report, thanks to the BlackBerry sinking and slow-but-steady growth in shipments of the Windows Phone platform. Compared to the first quarter last year, Microsoft?s platform went up by 133.3% in shipments up to the total of 3.2%, while the BlackBerry holds 2.9% of all shipped smartphone units:

Raw numbers clearly show what a duopoly means ? as iOS and Android make up for 92.3% of all shipped devices during the first quarter. Android platform was present on 162.1 million units while the iOS and Windows Phone held 37.4 million and 7 million shipped devices respectively. Interestingly enough, the ratio of the shipped devices is approximately 5:1 with Android:iOS and 5:1 with iOS:WP. IDC analysts believe that the third place battle is all but decided, as the competition there will only grow on.

Things couldn?t be more different when it comes to the 1Q13 profits in the smartphone segment, however. The Strategy Analytics provided an insight into that area, and Apple holds an incredible 57% of the $12.5 billion smartphone profit cake. According to the data, Samsung managed to grab the rest of what was available (40.8% or $5.1 billion) leaving the 2.2% ($0.3 billion) of the crumbs to the ants: everyone else.

Samsung managed to evaporate everyone else in the Android platform, and within it, they hold a staggering 94.7% of the profit. What is left is the LG at 2.5% ($0.1 billion) and all others at 2.7%. Analyst Woody Oh believes that Samsung makes more revenue from the Android than Google does, and that Samsung alone is more than powerful enough to dictate the direction of the platform. Do others even matter anymore?

Sources: Gartner / IDC / Strategy Analytics