Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, said the declining share of operating systems aside from iOS since Android's introduction is no coincidence.
"The smartphone operating system isn't an isolated product, it's a crucial part of a larger technology ecosystem," Restivo said. "Google has a thriving, multi-faceted product portfolio. Many of its competitors, with weaker tie-ins to the mobile OS, do not."
Will Android thrived and iOS' market share held steady in the third quarter, competing operating systems like BlackBerry OS, Symbian and Microsoft's Windows Phone continued to struggle, IDC said.
BlackBerry's market share continued to sink, falling to just over 4 percent by the end of the quarter, IDC said.
Windows Phone marked its second anniversary with a total of just 3.6 million units shipped worldwide, fewer than the total number of Symbian units shipped, IDC said. Even with the backing of multiple smartphone market leaders, Windows Phone has yet to make a significant dent into Android's and iOS's collective market share, the firm said. But that could change in the fourth quarter, when multiple Windows Phone 8 smartphones will reach the market, IDC said.
Symbian posted the largest year-on-year decline of the leading operating systems. Nokia remains the largest vendor still supporting Symbian, along with Japanese vendors Fujitsu, Sharp, and Sony, IDC said. Each of these vendors is in the midst of transitioning to other operating systems and IDC believes that they will cease shipping Symbian-powered smartphones in 2013, the firm said. At the same time, the installed base of Symbian users will continue well after the last Symbian smartphone ships, IDC said.