Android was the overall leader among the mobile operating systems
Smartphones powered by the Android and iOS mobile operating systems captured more than 80% of smartphones shipped in the first quarter of 2012 (1Q12), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).
Android was the overall leader among the mobile operating systems and boasted the longest list of smartphone vendor partners, with Samsung accounting for 45.4% of all Android-based smartphone shipments.
Android occupied share of 59% of the 152.3 million smartphones shipped in 1Q12 while the mobile operating systems held 23%.
The figures reveal an expansion of market share in 1Q12 when the two operating systems combined share was 54.4% during the first quarter of 2011.
The share gains mean that Android and iOS have successfully distanced themselves from previous market leaders Symbian and BlackBerry, as well as Linux and Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile, the research firm revealed.
IDC Mobile Phone Technology and Trends program senior research analyst Ramon Llamas said
the popularity of Android and iOS stems from a combination of factors that the competition has struggled to keep up with.
"Neither Android nor iOS were the first to market with some of these features, but the way they made the smartphone experience intuitive and seamless has quickly earned a massive following," he added.
IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker program senior research analyst Kevin Restivo said in order for operating system challengers to gain share, their creators and hardware partners need to secure developer loyalty.
"This is true because developer intentions or enthusiasm for a particular operating system is typically a leading indicator of hardware sales success," Kevin added.
Symbian sales plummeted, the largest year-over-year decline, driven by Nokia’s transition to Windows Phone and IDC expects further declines for Symbian for the rest of this year.
BlackBerry sales were down as demand for older BlackBerry devices decreased and the market awaits the official release of BB 10 smartphones later this year.
Linux maintained its small presence in the worldwide smartphone market, with Samsung accounting for 81.6% of all Linux-powered smartphones by the end of the quarter.