The quarterly release of smartphone share stats have become something of a regular update on just how much Google and Apple are dominating the scene.
Market research firm IDC’s latest numbers bear out a story that’s stayed the same for over five years now.
Android is sitting pretty on 76.6% of all smartphones sold in the final three months of 2014, actually a small drop year on year from 78.2%.
Apple meanwhile, saw its iOS platform running on 19.7% of phones, a rise over the 2013 figure of 17.5%.
The California-based tech giant may seem to be lagging, but that’s simply because all of its key rivals, from Samsung to Xiaomi, use Android to keep their phones ticking.
Data revealed earlier this month showed that compared to other manufacturers, Apple was a close second to Samsung in terms of hardware.
But this isn’t really a story about Apple and Google’s dominance.
Rather, it’s about the utter failure of rival operating systems to even come close to landing a punch on either.
Windows saw its share slip in the last quarter from 3% to 2.8%. BlackBerry, meanwhile, saw its decline grow steeper, slipping from 0.6% to 0.4%.
These figures represent units shipped in the final three months of the year.
And quite simply, they show that despite new devices coming to market, Microsoft and BlackBerry just cannot convince consumers to get on board.
Is it really so surprising? Google is the web’s dominant force, Android tallying neatly with every Mountain View service out there.
Meanwhile, Apple’s peerless design and ubiquity throughout popular culture makes it synonymous with cool.
Microsoft may be making big strides with Windows 10, but it’s hard to see great swathes making the switch, on mobile at least.
The simple fact is that the Big M is a deeply uncool company.
It’s the software you use in the office, the stuff of IT nightmares, even if its bleeding edge stuff is far better than that and shouldn’t be dismissed so easily.
To most people, Microsoft doesn’t offer a sharp alternative.
Likewise, BlackBerry feels dated. Its Passport was a cool attempt at gaining attention, but as with Microsoft, it’s yesterday’s news.
The struggles it faces to return to the glory days are surely insurmountable.
Right now, the idea of a rival system touching Android or iOS is unthinkable.
That’s why Samsung has moved its Tizen project to the sidelines and why Firefox OS remains a hardcore–only effort.
Next week will doubtless see upstarts trying to upset the status quo during Mobile World Congress.
But a week of good press won’t convince consumers to change their minds.
The die is cast and it’s going to take an almighty shakeup to change the current reality.