Strategy Analytics in a report has suggested that 2014 saw a rise in global smartphone shipments that grew 30 percent annually to reach a record 1.3 billion units. In 2013, global smartphone shipments saw 1 billion units shipped.
It also adds that Android accounted for 81 percent of all smartphones shipped last year which was followed by Apple with 15 percent global smartphone OS market share and Microsoft with 3 percent at third.
Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics said, "Global smartphone shipments grew 30 percent annually from 1.0 billion units in 2013 to a record 1.3 billion in 2014. Emerging markets, such as China and Indonesia, drove the industry's growth last year and they will continue to do so through 2015."
According to Strategy Analytics, the fourth quarter saw most Android devices shipping with a massive figure of 291.7 units. In the last quarter of 2013, Android shipped 227.3 million units. Apple's iOS stood second in the last quarter of 2014 with 74.5 million units shipped. The Cupertino-based giant also saw a rise in units shipped in the last quarter compared to 2013 that saw just 51 million units being shipped. Microsoft shipped 11.3 million units in the last quarter of 2014 up from 2013's 9.6 million units.
Overall, Android shipped 1.3 billion units last year while Apple at a distant second with 192.7 million shipped. Microsoft was third with 38.8 million smartphone shipments, as per data released by Strategy Analytics.
Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics said, "Android has become the first ever smartphone operating system to ship more than 1 billion units in a single year."
Talking about Apple's performance in 2014, Mawston added, "Apple iOS shipped 192.7 million smartphones worldwide in 2014, capturing 15 percent share. The new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models have recently re-energized Apple's growth and their bigger-screen designs have swiftly gained traction among wealthy consumers."
Microsoft also registered a rise in overall shipment of units; though it is far from competing against Android and iOS devices. Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics, talking about Microsoft's performance last year said, "Microsoft shipped 38.8 million smartphones for a relatively niche 3 percent marketshare worldwide in 2014. Microsoft's Windows platform dominates PCs, but it continues to struggle in smartphones. Microsoft still lacks multiple major hardware partners to build its phones, while Microsoft's retail presence in important countries like China remains tiny."
Apple earlier this week announced record iPhone sales (74.5 million units) in its quarterly results, and also posted the largest quarterly profit ($18 billion) in corporate history. Samsung, on the other hand, reported the first drop in annual net profit in three years.