Android dominates, BlackBerry market share slides globally

BlackBerry is now No. 4, behind Microsoft, in worldwide market share, says a new Gartner survey. The Android operating system dominates with 79 percent market share.

Lee Jin-man/AP/File
Ads for Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S4 smart phone hang on display at a showroom of its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. Rumors about the next generation Galaxy have been swirling around the Internet all week.

Remember the days when the BlackBerry was the smartphone of choice, and the iPhone was a pricey new luxury item just making its debut?

Well, those days are long gone.

Among smartphone operating systems, Microsoft overtook BlackBerry for the first time, taking the No. 3 spot with 3.3 percent of the global market share, according to a study released by Gartner on Wednesday. Android’s OS continued to dominate the OS market, earning 79 percent of second quarter market share, while Apple’s iOS is in second place at 14.2 percent.

Samsung, which runs on the Android OS, remained in the No. 1 spot for the number of mobile devices sold. The company’s sales grew by 19 percent in the second quarter. Samsung’s success is a sign of high demand for smartphones that sell for $400-and-below, says Gartner's principle research analyst Anshul Gupta. “It will be critical for Samsung to step up its game in the mid-tier, and also to be more aggressive in emerging markets,” explains Mr. Gupta in the report's news release.

Nokia’s sales are down from where they were a year ago, largely due to a decline in the demand for “feature phones,” or non-smartphone devices. But the recent release of Nokia’s Lumia phone has widened the company’s portfolio, which has contributed to an increase in the company’s quarterly sales, says Gupta.

Meanwhile the sale of Apple phones has continued to grow, but the average sales price is dropping – now at it's lowest level since 2007 – because the iPhone 4S is retailing at the lowest price since the iPhone’s launch.  Gupta and other analysts are concerned that the rumored low-priced plastic iPhone 5C (as in Cheap), could hurt future Apple revenues.

“Although the possible new lower-priced device may be priced similarly to the iPhone 4 at $300 to $400, the potential for cannibalization will be much greater than what is seen today with the iPhone 4." he warns.

Samsung recently announced its plan to launch the new Galaxy Note on Sept. 4, six days before Apple scheduled its launch part for the much anticipated iPhone 5S.  

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