Gartner: Android devices account for 75% of worldwide smartphone sales in Q1 2013


Gartner has finished crunching the smartphone numbers for the first quarter of 2013, and the results are quite favorable for the Android regime. Beginning with worldwide smartphone sales by OS, Android accounted for 74.4% of smartphone units sold in Q1, a huge jump from the 56.9% it enjoyed in the same quarter a year ago. The closest competitor was Apple’s iOS, with the bitten fruit OS taking up just 18.2% of the sales compared to 22% a year ago.

RIM — now doing business as Blackberry — has seen better days than the measly 3% it pulled in the quarter. That is down from the 6.8% it managed in the same quarter a year ago, a telling figure considering RIM is banking on its new Blackberry 10 devices to help right the ship. We’re not sure how long it’s going to take for the company to gain momentum and get things swinging in the right direction again, but if Z10 sales remain low and the Q10 doesn’t move many more units RIM could find itself in a hole it can’t dig itself out of.

gartner q1 2013 smartphone os worldwide sales

Microsoft was able to improve with a 1% jump year over year, but going from 1.9% to 2.9% just doesn’t impress. This November, it will have been three years since the operating system’s launch. We all know Android didn’t take off right away, but it didn’t take nearly this long before Google’s operating system started to make waves and make Apple sweat. Windows Phone 8 is a staunch competitor up against the rest, but we’re starting to wonder if Microsoft was too late to the innovation train for its mobile OS.

The likes of Samsung’s Bada and Symbian are still dying, of course, with both not able to pull a full percentage point for the quarter after being able to do 2.6% and 8.5% in the same quarter a year ago, respectively.

Shifting focus to smartphone sales, Gartner puts Samsung in the lead with an impressive 30.8% for Q1, a jump from 27.6% the same quarter a year ago. The only other competitor to come close was Apple (again, going from 22.5% to 18.2%). LG has reason to celebrate as it improved its standing in the race, going up from 3.4% to 4.8%.

gartner q1 2013 smartphone vendor worldwide sales

The launches of the Optimus G and Optimus G Pro surely have much to do with that, and with more to come in 2013 LG could find itself closer to 10% by the end of the year. Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE both experienced moderate growth, as well.

Those wrapped up in the dreaded “others” category would include the likes of HTC, Motorola, RIM, Acer, ASUS, Lenovo, Nokia and a lot more. That collective group accounted for 37.9% of the pie.

Gartner doesn’t foresee the landscape of mobile changing anytime soon, mentioning that the introductions of Tizen, Firefox and Ubuntu will only affect the market in limited capacity. Android won’t have anything to worry about anytime soon, though, and while Apple continues to lose market share it will also have a big enough following to maintain a respectable second place. Head to Gartner’s site for the full breakdown if you’re interested.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I hope that it doesn’t get so big that it kills innovation. Competition creates innovation.

    1. I have a feeling we don’t have to worry about that with Google’s never-ending hunger for innovation in everything they do.

      The OEMs, on the other hand…

      1. For sure. I have a couple Samsung devices right now, but I’m not going to buy anything else from them until such time as the Android OEM field has leveled out a bit. Things could get pretty ugly if one manufacturer is selling the majority of devices.

        1. The HTC One feels like it will be pretty successful this year, and the Xperia Z has already sold millions.

    2. It’s already too big. I no longer have anything to argue about with my iOS-loving friends, I just smile at them patronizingly.

    3. Competition from within Android is better than competition from locked-down, proprietary OSes.

      1. This would create innovation for competing OEMs, but not from Google.

        I’d like to see Ubuntu or some other open source Linux based OS rather than that fruit company…

    4. uh, size doesn’t equate to innovation. not associated in any fashion.

      1. False. Chevrolet.

        1. uh, what?

          chevy is not innovative. They’re literally at the other end of the spectrum. they’re basically a dinosaur of a company. I really hope you’re not considering chevy volt innovative, because it’s not even progressive.

  2. I don’t remember which model, but the commercials for RIM’s new Blackberry phone make it look very enticing…much more so than Nokia’s commercials for their Microsoft phones.

  3. With no new iphone model coming in Q2 and with S4 and HTC ONE out… i wouldn’t be surprised if android hits the 80% mark in Q2…

  4. This just has to be a good thing.
    I did choose Android from the beginning, and I know for sure some important apps (like specific brands with device companion apps) would never be ported to Android if it could be ignored (read market share lower than 50%) because some people live in the wonder-world of Apple and try to ignore what’s around them…

  5. Apple needs some handicaps to win.

  6. And Nokia is still in the “others” category. Time for them to man up and start making Android handsets, WP isn’t going anywhere.

    1. They should really be able to do both — Samsung and HTC have no problem with this.

      1. Exactly. I’m not buying they can’t succeed with both, has to be some deal they made with MS for exclusive rights to whatever.

  7. Windows 8 has been out 3 years?? What were you taking when you wrote that :P, please fact check before you upload your articles.

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