Apple and Android rule smartphone world: IDC

SAN FRANCISCO - Smartphones powered by Android or Apple software accounted for an unprecedented 85 per cent of the global market in the second quarter of this year, industry tracker IDC reported on Wednesday.

"The mobile OS (operating system) market is now unquestionably a two-horse race due to the dominance of Android and iOS," IDC senior research analyst Kevin Restivo said in the firm's quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report.

"There is still room for some mobile OS competitors to gain share, although such efforts will become increasingly difficult as smartphone penetration increases."

Google-backed Android accounted for a "commanding" 68.1 per cent of all smartphones shipped in the three-month period; while BlackBerry and Symbian saw their shares slip to 4.8 and 4.4 per cent respectively, according to IDC.

"Android continues to fire on all cylinders," said IDC senior research analyst Ramon Llamas.

Android smartphone prices were "well within reach to meet multiple budgetary needs, and the user experience from both Google and its handset partners boosted Android smartphones' utility far beyond simple telephony," Llamas added.

IDC analysts traced Android's success in the market directly to South Korean personal electronics giant Samsung, which so far this year has made 44 per cent of all shipped smartphones powered by Google-backed Android software.

The market figures were released as Samsung and Apple battle in a closely-watched, high-stakes patent trial in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Testimony is set to resume on Friday, with Apple striving to convince a jury in federal court in San Jose, California, that Samsung ripped-off hit features from iPhone and iPad devices.

Apple is seeking more than $2.5 billion.

Jurors began hearing the case, the biggest US patent trial in decades, last week and the trial is scheduled to continue through late August.

This is one of several court cases around the world involving the two electronics giants in the hottest part of the tech sector - tablet computers and smartphones.

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