Android and IOS together control the quasi-totality of mobile OS market share. Android and IOS combined account for more than 1.5 billion users worldwide. For the past couple of years, they have been on top of the mobile OS market. And this will not change anytime soon. So if you’re a smartphone user, you better make friends with either of these platforms. Excerpt for somebody comes up with something, they will power our smartphones for the foreseeable future.
Though these two platforms dominate the mobile OS market share as a whole, let’s concentrate on the smartphones market which is the heart of the mobile device market.
Mobile OS market share before
The popularity and mobile OS market share of Android and IOS may make things look very simple. However, it has not always been this way. Some years back, Apple and IOS were also fighting for market share. Back then the mobile OS market share was mush divided than today. It was well fragmented with many platforms battling sales. BlackBerry’s RIM, Symbian and Windows were still alive and strong. Samsung was still talking about its own operating system (Bada). In fact, according to Statista the combined market share of Android and IOS then was just about 39%. Then something happened. Between around 2009 and now, everything changed.
The only survival from the competitive market days is Windows. When I say survival, I actually mean barely breathing. That’s right, Windows occupies a minuscule mobile OS market share these days. IDC projects an 80.9% decline in Windows Phones sale in 2017. This represents only about 1.1 million shipments.
The smartphones market Growth
“2016 was an interesting year for smartphones with some high-growth markets down and other mature markets like the U.S. and China outpacing global growth rates,” said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. Following a new forecast from IDC, the smartphone market is set to grow by 3.0% in 2017. This corresponds to about 1.52 billion shipments and marks a 0.5% increase from last year’s 2.5% growth.
Thus it is safe to say the smartphone market is doing well. IDC predicts a 4.5% smartphone market growth in 2018.
The main driving force of the smartphone market for the past few years has been the developing markets. But according to IDC, high-end markets like the US and China are still strong and will maintain reasonable growth. For example, China -the largest smartphone market- is still a major battleground for all manufacturers. Local Chinese smartphone makers –Huawei, Vivo and Oppo– muscled out Samsung and Apple in the Chinese market last year. Another reason for the expected growth is the continuous demand for performance and functionality by smartphone users. More low-end users will make the transition to high-end smartphones. And high-end users will go for new and better devices. Demand in performance from smartphones will drive more research and better products.
This is all good news for Android and IOS operating systems as they are major beneficiaries. The mobile OS and smartphone markets are strongly entangled. Since Android and IOS sit on almost all mobile OS market share, they can only smile at the good figures from the smartphones market.
Future of mobile OS market share
The Ascension of Google’s mobile OS has been more than impressive in the past few years. its name is everywhere in the industry. Android sits on more than 85% of mobile OS market share. According to IDC, the growth of Android devices will go up 10% by 2018 while global growth should hit 4.1%. Thus, in regions like the Middle East and Africa Android devices still have a lot to count on sales. Furthermore, IDC projects Android smartphones shipments to attain 1.5 billion by 2021.
After a slight decline in sales last year, iPhone shipments should grow by 3.8% in 2017 according to IDC. This represents about 223.6 million units for the Apple iPhone. But, this figure is again expected to increase to hit 240.4 million by 2018. Thus IOS is still a major contender for mobile OS market share. It has to if not it will become a total monopoly by Android and we all know what happens when there is a monopoly.
As for Windows, Windows Phone sales continue to drop and things seem to be going from bad to worst with an 80.9 drop this year. To make things worst, there are no signs from Microsoft putting up any serious fight for its platform.
As of now and for the foreseeable future, there no new mobile OS that will challenge Android and IOS. Excerpt something happens, their reign should be a very long one. The utter dominance of Android on mobile devices now threatens Windows leading position as the most used OS to access the internet. Internet access is shifting more and more to mobile and Android is in a strong position. It will sure take over someday if Windows does nothing about it. Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter confirms, “Windows has won the desktop war but the battlefield has moved on”.