ABI Research, in its latest published report
, states that Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system saw a steady growth of 19 percent from the third to the fourth quarter in 2013 in terms of the handsets shipped, and a 104 percent growth year on year from Q4 2012.
The report shows Windows Phone market share remaining the same however, at 4 percent, from Q3 2013 to Q4 2013. The data also details that 10.9 million Windows Phones were shipped worldwide in the fourth quarter which is a huge rise from 5.3 million in Q4, 2012.
As compared to the competition, Android models, including the forked Android or AOSP saw a complete domination with 77 percent of the market share and over 280 million smartphones shipped in Q4 of 2013. A total of nearly a billion smartphones were shipped in 2013 of which Android accounted for 78 percent of the share across the year.
It is interesting to note that the research back's up claims from Microsoft that it has sold almost twice the number of handsets as compared to the previous holiday period. Also the Nokia Lumia devices amounted to almost 90 percent of all the Windows Phones sales in Q4.
For the complete Android devices shipped almost most of the growth has come from forked Android systems. Forked Android systems are those, which are tweaked by manufacturers to suit their own purposes. AOSP accounted for 25 percent of the Android share, with Google's Android making up the other 52 per cent.
As far as the iOS platform is concerned, it recaptured some market share with the iPhone 5s launch, increasing from 15 percent in Q3 2013 to 18 percent in Q4 2013. Year-on-year market share dropped however, from 23 percent in Q4 2012. Emerging markets were the strongest growth sector. Nick Spencer, senior practice director, mobile devices, ABI Research, said, "Apple continues to avoid a low cost smartphone product to target these markets, focusing instead on its traditional premium segment, where growth is harder to achieve due to fast approaching market saturation." Blackberry
10 shipped only 1.1 million units in Q4, 2013. The Canadian mobile maker however saw a surge in sales of the Blackberry OS 7 devices. A total of 4.2 million phones were shipped in the three month period giving it a 42 percent quarter-on-quarter growth.