Google’s Android: King of the Global Smartphone Market

Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system is the king of the global smartphone market as it continues to capture more users every quarter.

Data from the Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Trackers of the International Data Corporation (IDC) showed that the Android operating system captured 81% of the smartphone market around the world during the third quarter.

The research firm said manufacturers shipped 211.6 million smarthones during the period. According to IDC, the smartphone market grew 39.9% year-over-year during the quarter. It was the first time for Android to reach more than 80% share since its availability in the market.

The HTC Dream also known as the T-Mobile G1 was the first commercial phone powered by the Android operating system introduced in 2008 through the partnership of Google, T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS), and HTC (TPE:2498).

The report also showed that Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone operating system experience a remarkable growth of 156% on an annual basis. Data showed that the number of smartphones powered by Windows Phone 8 shipped increased from 3.7 million a year earlier to 9.5 million or 3.6% market share, up from 2%.  Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) contributed significant support in accelerating the adoption of the Windows Phone 8 by developing multi-tier smartphones and price points.

Ramon Llamas, research manager of the mobile phone team of IDC said, “Android and Windows Phone continued to make significant strides in the third quarter. Despite their differences in market share, they both have one important factor behind their success: price. Both platforms have a selection of devices available at prices low enough to be affordable to the mass market, and it is the mass market that is driving the entire market forward.”

The market share of Apple’s iOS fell from 14.4% to 12.9% during the third quarter. The research firm suggested that the decline might be caused by the weak demand for iPhones in the weeks before the launching of the iPhones powered by the iOS 7.

BlackBerry’s (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) BB10 operating system suffered that biggest decline year-over-year. Its market share dropped from 4.1% last year to 1.7%. The number of BlackBerry smartphones sold dropped by 41% from 7.7 million to 4.5 million in the third quarter.

Now with a new CEO in place and an infusion of $1 billion, what remains to be seen is how and when the beleaguered operating system will be able to change course in the face of mounting pressure from Android, iOS, and Windows Phone,” according to IDC.

IDC also reported that the average selling prices (ASPs) of smartphones continued to decline due to the increasing demand for more affordable devices. During the quarter, ASPs dell by 12.5% to an average price of $317. The large-screen smartphones also known as phablet with 5 to 7 inches display has an average price of $443, a 22% decline from $573 in the same quarter last year.