While at the top both Apple and Samsung continue to see flattening, but dominant, sales and market share, the battle for No. 3 is heating up with Microsoft accelerating and the sad sight of BlackBerry perhaps heading into a terminal tailspin.
Talking Mobile Numbers
Analyst firm Gartner's latest figures are cool for a couple of reasons. For a start, smartphones are now selling more than feature or basic devices around the world. While we're many years from an all-smartphone world, that means vendors can start to wind down design and production of basic devices and refocus those resources on more modern phones, and beyond.
Imagine if PC makers still had to cope with building five-year old PCs, alongside today's thoroughbred machines. That gradual shift should come as a weight off mobile makers' shoulders as the rest of the world catches up. Beyond smartphones we have a world of smart watches, communicators and other developments to look forward too.
The second significant statistic is that Microsoft is now placed firmly into the No.3 operating system spot with Windows Phone sales rising as BlackBerry's continue to fall. With the Canadian company looking at its future options, it won't be able to take any comfort from these numbers, and as Microsoft has a growing Windows 8 (nearly 8.1) ecosystem to leverage and push Windows Phone to users, BlackBerry is left with a shrinking legacy.
The Top Two Fight On
Android's market share is approaching massive dominance at near 80%, according to Gartner's figures (press release). That's on the back of market leader Samsung's sales, with the Korean firm managing to sell almost a third more devices in the quarter (totalling 71.4 million units) than it did this time last year. However, its market share is only up a couple of percentage points. That suggests that other Android players like Amazon, HTC and others are making headway.
Apple meanwhile saw sales of iPhone up a couple of million units, while its market share has dived down 4.8% since last year. With only the one new device on-sale (a similar tale is seen in the tablet market), there's a logical reason behind that, but will the new cheaper iPhone plus a step-up premium model iPhone 5S and the lure of iOS 7 help to turn around what's becoming a declining trend?
Apple is likely to confirm the rumored 10 September reveal date soon, and we can all get on with liking or loathing the new devices. That could be the event that sees us waving farewell to BlackBerry as the company slips into history or forced to find a partner with the money to sustain it.