IDC has released its figures for smartphone shipments for the third quarter of this year and Android is yet again at the top of it all. The market intelligence company attributes this lead, as well as the rather surprising growth of Windows Phone devices, to steadily declining average selling price in the market.
Compared to the same quarter last year, the smartphone market grew by 39.9 percent, shipping out 261.1 million units in the third quarter of 2013. Unsurprisingly, majority of these, about 81.0 percent or 211.6 million units, all run Android. The Android market has grown by as much as 51.3 percent from its 74.9 percent market share from the same period last year. This covers all Android devices in all prices and sizes.
What is perhaps remarkable is the performance of devices carrying the Windows Phone OS. While still far below 5 percent, Windows Phone devices have managed to climb up to third spot with 3.6 percent, a remarkable 156 percent increase from last year, displacing BlackBerry. iOS also saw a slight decline from 14.4 percent last year to 12.9 percent. IDC, however, predicts that the fourth quarter might bring in a growth surge if the market reception of the newly launched iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c is any indicator.
According to IDC, this growth in Android's and Windows Phone's shares can be attributed to both platforms' capability to address the low-price smartphone market, a segment that Apple's iOS is probably not interested in. Average selling prices or ASPs of smartphones declined by 12.5 percent this year at $317. Another factor to consider, says IDC, is the rising popularity of phablets, smartphones sporting sizes of 5 to 7 inches, with almost all major Android vendors and even Nokia jumping on the bandwagon. Apple's refusal to play in that arena might have caused iOS some shares in the third quarter as well.