The lull between iPhones has been Google and Microsoft’s gain, research firm IDC said Wednesday, reporting that Apple’s iOS mobile operating system has lost share to Android and Windows Phone.
According to the IDC report, Apple’s market share slipped to 13.2 percent from 16.6 percent in the same period last year — a dip that analysts said shouldn’t be too concerning to Apple investors.
“Without a new product launch since the debut of the iPhone 5 nearly a year ago, Apple’s market share was vulnerable to product launches from the competition,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager on IDC’s mobile phone team. “But with a new iPhone and revamped iOS coming out later this year, Apple is well-positioned to recapture market share.”
Last week, IDC also tied slower sales in the tablet market to the fact that Apple hadn’t released a new iPad in several months.
In the meantime, the break between Apple products continues to be good news for competitors — particularly Windows Phone, which saw its largest year-over-year increase of any smartphone platform in the top five, the report said. It’s not a huge slice of the market, but Windows Phone is now more solidly in third place, with a 3.7 percent share of the global smartphone market.
Microsoft and Nokia have been more aggressive about pushing new phones running the platform onto the market, particularly by showing off camera-focused models such as the Nokia Lumia 925 and 1020. Nokia, in fact, recently pushed out an ad directly challenging the iPhone by lampooning Apple’s “Photos Every Day” ad that touted the fact that the iPhone is the most-used camera on the market. Nokia’s version, called “Better Photos Every Day,” not only mimics the iPhone ad, but also unfavorably compares similar shots taken by the iPhone and the Lumia 925.
Meanwhile, the smartphone market’s other competitor for the third-place spot, BlackBerry, dropped to 2.9 percent from 4.9 percent in the same period last year. IDC researchers said that BlackBerry has seen steady growth since launching its new BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system, but that it will take time for it to build up followers again.