Android and iOS "duopoly" monopolizes 92% of global smartphones in Q4

Android and iOS dominated 92-percent of smartphones shipping in Q4 2012, according to new statistics, though Google's OS was the undeniable platform king in what "has effectively become a duopoly." Sales in the smartphone industry were up 38-percent year on year, according to Strategy Analytics, but it's primarily a win for Google and Apple, with near half a billion Android devices alone shipped in 2012 as a whole.

In Q4 specifically, Apple had 22-percent of the smartphone OS marketshare, though that was down 2-percent from the same period a year ago. Still, iOS was up 29-percent annually, having shipped nearly 50m smartphones worldwide. Android, in contrast, rose from 51-percent marketshare in Q4 2011, to 70-percent in Q4 2012.

That leaves slim pickings for the other smartphone platforms still out there, some waning – like BlackBerry 7 and Symbian – and some attempting growth – like Windows Phone and Tizen. Firefox OS and BlackBerry 10 will join the crowd in 2013, though it's unclear how much more than the 7.9-percent OS marketshare non iOS and Android platforms held in Q4 2012 they can acquire.

"Consumer demand" Strategy Analytics' Scott Bicheno suggests, has polarized around mass-market Android models and premium Apple designs" leaving other platforms in the cold. Just last week, the company claimed global phone shipments at a whopping 1.6bn.