Once again, Google's Android mobile operating system is poised to dominate versus Apple's iOS. New forecast data from market research firm IDC has Android pegged to handily walk away with most of 2014's smartphone market share and keep it that way for the next four years.

According to the IDC forecast, 82.3 percent of worldwide smartphone shipments in 2014 will be Android in nature, translating to a little over one billion shipments. Android's 2014 value of approximately $255 million means that it should command 66 percent of the smartphone revenue market share this year.

Apple's iOS, meanwhile, should ship 178 million smartphone units in 2014 for nearly 14 percent of the shipment market and, equaling around $116 million in value for 30 percent of the smartphone revenue market.

IDC's data only takes smartphones into account, not tablets, and the reason for iOS's higher value market share versus shipment market share ratio is because Apple smartphones (the iPhone series) are priced much higher than the plethora of Android handsets out on the market.

"As shipment volume slows, we expect greater attention to shift toward value trends," said IDC Mobile Phones team research manager Ramon Llamas. He continued: 

Apple's approach with premium pricing ensures a growing portion of overall revenues despite its declining market share. Meanwhile, Android's multi-faceted approach - with forked versions and low-cost Android One strategy - will produce mixed results, yet it allows deeper penetration into emerging markets. That can lead to additional pressure on its vendor partners, who will need to seek greater differentiation in terms of devices and experiences in the hyper-competitive smartphone market.

IDC also predicts Android to continue its reign for the next few years, with a 2018 shipment market share of 80 percent and a revenue market share of 61 percent. Apple's iOS meanwhile, should continue to hover 13 percent in terms of volume and 34 percent of smartphone revenues in 2018.

The balance of power in terms of manufacturers, however, should begin to shift as price points begin to merge and new, cheaper-yet-quality options arise.

"The impact of upstart Chinese players in the global market will be reflected in a race to the bottom when it comes to price," said IDC senior research manager Melissa Chau.

"While premium phones aren't going anywhere, we are seeing increasingly better specs in more affordable smartphones. Consumers no longer have to go with a top-of-the-line handset to guarantee decent hardware quality or experience," she continued.

"The biggest question now is how much lower can prices go?"