Apple’s strong sales of iPhones during the fourth quarter of 2014 gave the company a greater piece of the worldwide smartphone market, according to new figures released today by IDC. The Cupertino-based company sold 74.5 million iPhones during the quarter, which translates into 19.7 percent of the worldwide smartphone market. That’s up from 17.5 percent during the same period a year ago.
Android sales totaled 289.1 million worldwide, up 26.6 percent from the same period a year ago. But Google’s market share shrank by 1.6 percentage points to 76.6 percent of the total smartphone market. Windows Phone sales grew slightly from 8.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 10.7 million units during the same period in 2014, but Microsoft’s overall share shrank from 3 percent of the market to 2.8 percent of the market.
The worldwide smartphone market is increasingly looking like a two-horse race between Apple and Google, with little room for other platform operators. Smartphones running iOS or Android made up 96.3 percent of the total smartphone market during the full year 2014. Microsoft is the closest competitor to the two titans with only 2.7 percent of the full year market share.
As usual, BlackBerry is the big loser in all of this, with just 0.4 percent of the worldwide smartphone market in the full year 2014. The company’s annual sales dropped almost 70 percent over 2013 to just 5.8 million units, less than 17 percent of Microsoft’s total sales for the year.