Low-cost smartphones boost Android

August 14, 2014
This picture taken on March 21, 2013 shows a group of people sitting down using their smartphones at a shopping mall in Bangkok

A surge in low-cost smartphone sales, notably in emerging markets, helped the Google Android platform extend its dominance in the second quarter, a survey showed Thursday.

The report by market tracker IDC said Android phone were up 33 percent over the past year to 255 million units, and accounted for 84.7 percent of all global smartphone sales in the March-June period.

The overall market grew 25 percent to 301 million units, IDC said, with Apple, Microsoft Windows and BlackBerry failing to keep pace.

"With many of its (manufacturing) partners focusing on the sub-$200 segments, Android has been reaping huge gains within emerging markets," says Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC.

"During the second quarter, 58.6 percent of all Android smartphone shipments worldwide cost less than $200 off contract, making them very attractive compared to other devices."

Sales of the Apple iPhone rose to 35.2 million units in the quarter, but with growth slower than Android, Apple's fell to 11.7 percent from 13 percent last year in the same period.

Windows Phone sales meanwhile slipped more than nine percent from a year ago to 7.4 million units, while its market share dropped to 2.5 percent.

BlackBerry's woes deepened despite modest gains from the first quarter of 2014. On a year-to-year basis, sales fell 78 percent and its market share dropped to 0.5 percent.

The figures were largely in line with a similar survey last month from Strategy Analytics.

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