Market Share of Android/IOS and other Operating System

By | May 28, 2018

The competition of various among Mobile operating systems such as Android, IOS has never been this fierce. The usage share of operating systems is an estimate of the percentage of computing devices that run each operating system at any particular time. This also approximates the market share of the concerned operating systems. Is Android Market share dominates over other operating systems? Data about operating system share is still difficult to obtain since in most categories there are few reliable primary sources or agreed methodologies for its collection.


Gartner’s smartphone figures point towards an extremely familiar picture. Of all smartphone sales, Android and iOS have been accounted for 99.6 percent. On smartphones, Android is dominant by any metric. As of August 2017, Statistica estimates its installed base at over 2.6 billion (and 0.6 for iPhones), which tops Windows on PCs worldwide. There is no operating system which has a clear majority over all platforms or all regions, but there is one operating system which has surpassed Windows globally across all platforms that is Android. Android is the highest ranked OS in most countries of the world. Since 2013, devices running Android have been selling more than Windows, iOS and macOS devices combined.

As we can see from the above graph, throughout the year of 2017, Android has completely dominated the Indian market of OS with an average market share of 78%. IOS, however, hasn’t performed as well as Apple would have liked. The market share of IOS from 2.33% in January increased to a highest 3.49% in October which is around the annual iPhone launch. Usually, during the month of annual launch, Apple reduces the price of previous models of IOS devices which significantly attracts consumers and increases the monthly sales of their devices. Also, highly publicised and advertised atmosphere during the annual launch is bound to increase the sales of IOS devices. However, IOS lacks hugely in India when compared to its worldwide market share. In 2017, IOS maintained a considerable 20% market share compared to Android’s 74%.  Even though Android is the most popular operating system on smartphones, iOS is more common on tablets. This fact is supported by the annual data on Tablets and the operating system running on them. IOS dominates the tablet market with 65% of market share whereas Android has a market share of 34%. Apple is trying it’s best to increase sales in India by setting up manufacturing hubs of iPhone in India itself which consequentially lower the rates of iPhone devices. Three years ago, Gartner said that Microsoft’s mobile OS would overtake iOS for market share in 2017, while BlackBerry would still be hanging around as a sizable (if small) player.


This statistic above shows the global mobile OS market share, in terms of sales to end users, from 2009 to 2017. In the first quarter of 2017, 86.1 percent of all smartphones were an Android operating system which was sold to end users. 6.8 million Android smartphones were sold in 2009. By 2015, this figure had risen to more than 1.16 billion. The now-discontinued OS Symbian was the first popular smartphone operating system in the world. With the launch of Ericsson‘s R380 in 2000, Symbian became the first modern mobile OS on a smartphone. By 2009, Symbian accounted for nearly half of the global smartphone operating systems market, while RIM/Blackberry, also a pioneer in this market, held around 20 percent of the share. As soon as the new operating systems were released, both Symbian and RIM were driven out of the market. Apple introduced its first iPhone model to the consumer market in 2007, revolutionizing the market. Before Apple’s iPhone launch in 2007, smartphones had not yet attained mass appeal.

According to research by Insight Portal, there is a clear correlation between the GDP per capita of a country and that country’s respective smartphone OS market share, showing the similar correlation for the richest countries as well as for the poorer countries chooses Apple’s iPhone in lesser numbers. As the data from Google says, people buy apps on Android in poorer countries. In June 2015, Asia became the first continent where mobile overtook desktop (in August followed by Africa; while in October 2011 Nigeria had the mobile majority, because of Symbian – later had 51% share, then Series 40 started dominating, followed by Android as dominating operating system) and as far back as October 2014, they had reported this trend on a large scale in a press release: “Mobile usage has already overtaken desktop in several countries including India, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia”. In India, desktop went from the majority, in July 2012, down to 32%. In Bangladesh, desktop went from the majority, in May 2013, down to 17%, with Android alone now accounting for majority web use.


Android and iOS accounting for more than 99 percent of global smartphone sales have rendered every other platform irrelevant. So, clearly, the battle is between IOS and Android.  Even though Android dominates the market share right now, IOS will not be far behind to catch up to its rival.

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