CRAZY Android vs iOS Market Share Discoveries

Imagine entering a virtual room where all you can see are ones and zeros.

Basically, exactly what a computer would see.

Unlike ours, a computer’s language comprises of these two symbols alone. We can’t even begin to start to understand how a computer’s mind works. But what we can do is communicate with it.

However, to do that successfully, we need a little bit of help. 

Enter operating systems. 

Today we’ll dive in deeper into this world starting with the most popular ones – Android and iOS.

Here we explore the Android vs iOS market share on different continents, make comparisons between the two platforms, and even mention some other OS solutions out there.

The thing is:

The war between the two competing sides that are Android and iOS has been waged for years and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. For now, we can say that they are at a stalemate, but a battle is still a brewin’.

But we are here to talk stats! 

So let’s see some numbers first:

Android vs iOS Market Share Fascinating Facts (Editor’s Choice):

  • Google Android and Apple iOS have 98% of the global market share for operating systems. 
  • Android’s market share will reach 87% in 2022, forecasts suggest.
  • So far, the iOS market share in 2019 is 22.17%.
  • iOS has captured 50% of the UK market share this year.
  • Research into Android vs iOS market share in the US shows that the market leader remains Google Android, with a 51.1% market share in June 2019. 
  • The sales of smartphones jumped from 139 million devices in 2008 to 1.56 billion in 2018, affecting the mobile OS market share.
  • Between 2012 and 2019, the number of Apple smartphone users grew by 20%.
  • In 2017, there were 2 billion monthly active Android devices around the world.

We have tons of stats coming up. So, I suggest you grab a cappuccino and keep on reading:

An image of three cappuccinos.

Android vs iOS

The two operating systems were both introduced to the world in 2007. It’s been 12 years since then, and so much has happened in the meantime. 

Now:

To fully understand how the two operating systems got their current market share, it would be useful to go back in time and observe from a distance…

But before we dig into the real iOS vs Android market share statistics, let’s take a moment to look at each operating system individually.

All You Need to Know About Android

Let’s start with the basics:

September 20, 2008, was the official date when Google announced the release of the first Android OS. But the original name was not what you would expect. It was called Astro, like the dog from The Jetsons cartoon. 

Mystical, right?

Later versions of the OS included names such as Bender and Cupcake, and the trend continued from there. It soon became a custom to give the Android platform names based on desserts and sweets. Making them very hard to ignore. 

But every next release after that was organized in alphabetical order. We’ll mention just some of them (you know, too many sweets is not good for your health):

  • Donut – The 1.6 version of Android released in 2009.
  • Éclair – Android’s version 2.0. that came out just a month after Donut.
  • Froyo – Came out in 2010 and added USB tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality.
  • Gingerbread – Released in 2010 as the OS for Google’s Nexus S smartphone. 
  • Honeycomb – Codename for Android 3.0 but used only for tablet devices. 
  • Ice Cream Sandwich – Ice Cream Sandwich moved the Honeycomb OS to smartphones. 
  • Jelly Bean – Came out in 2012 with an agenda to fix the issues that Ice Cream Sandwich had. 
  • Marshmallow – Android 6.0, with new features like native fingerprint recognition and support for USB-C connectors. 

The latest version of Android is… 

… (no, it is not iOS 13, no matter what some people think) … 

 Android 10. It was released in September 2019. 

Sorry, we didn’t warn you in advance that things were about to get tasty round here! (And just a bit awkward.) 

Android market share in 2019 research uncovers that the operating system holds its position as a global leader firmly.

Phones such as Samsung Galaxy, HTC Wildfire, Motorola Droid Razr, and HTC Desire all use this system.

On the other side of the road we have: 

All You Need to Know about iOS

It’s safe to say that iOS is Apple’s baby.

The company has still not given permission to any other manufacturer to use its operating system, making iOS an exclusive platform.

When we start to discuss the iOS market share in 2019, we’ll see just how well the platform is doing compared to the others. 

iOS was launched on June 29, 2007, when Apple unveiled the first iPhone.

Like Android, iOS has gone through a lot of enhancements to become the operating system that it is today. It has done a great job of offering innovative and easy-to-use solutions at the same time.

Right! Now that’s out of the way, it’s time to get cracking with the latest stats and facts:

Fascinating Mobile Operating System Market Share Facts 

1. Analysts believe the smartphone market will go through a slight slowdown in 2019.

(Source: IDC)

Will there really be another decline in the smartphone market?

  • According to forecasts, the shipment of smartphones around the world could drop by nearly 2% in 2019 and reach 1,375 billion units.
  • In 2018, the number of smartphones shipped globally was 1,402 billion
  • A major deciding factor for the market could be the outcome of the US-China trade dispute. 

Android vs iOS market share 2019 stats suggest the second half of 2019 will bring positive change, and the market will return to full speed. More so, the launch of the 5G network and devices in the second half of 2019 is likely to further strengthen the market.

Projections for 2023 reveal the smartphone market is going to reach 1,484 billion units.

Next: 

2. Google Android and Apple iOS have 98% of the global market share for operating systems.

(Source: Statista)

Research on the Android vs iOS market share worldwide shows just how dominant the two operating systems are together.

For the sake of better examining the situation, we are looking at them separately. However, it is quite interesting to see what would happen if they joined forces and what their international position would be.

World domination!

It’s mind-boggling that only a measly 2% of the global market share remains untouched by Android and iOS.

3. Forecasts suggest the Android market share will reach 87% in 2022.

(Source: IDC)

  • Today, Android remains the dominant operating system globally, with a 76% market share.
  • Leading vendors such as Samsung, Motorola, and LG all use Android as their operating system. 

The devices sold by Samsung, Motorola and LG make up a very large chunk of the overall smartphone sales in the US.

Check this out:

Samsung smartphone sales make up 28% of the whole market in 2019. And expectations are that the number will grow, thanks to the amazing features and quality of the Galaxy series. 

And yes, there’s an ongoing battle for innovation between Samsung and Apple.

4. The iPhone market share in 2019 was 13%.

(Source: Statista)

Ever since the decline of Nokia and RIM, Apple started going after Samsung. It has been a constant presence in the top 5 smartphone developers since 2009. 

Apple rose from selling 140 million units in 2014 to 216 million iPhones in 2017.

Top Mobile OS

Without looking at the stats on Android vs iOS market share, it’s difficult to really say which operating system is the best one out there.

As we saw earlier, these two are the leading platforms in the world today by a country mile.

But that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones out there.

The thing is:

The OS market has significantly evolved thanks to the dynamic growth of technological capabilities. New smartphone solutions and devices are pushing for creative responses.

The mobile operating system market share is, in fact, distributed among a number of platforms that many people haven’t even heard of.

And that’s okay, we don’t judge. Once Android and iOS emerged as the two undisputed leaders on the market, we stopped hearing a lot of news about older platforms that are still in use.

Today we’ll share with you some of the more important facts that are part of the bigger picture.

Here they come!

5. In early 2003, Windows Mobile was the third most popular mobile OS.

(Source: Geek)

How many of you have heard of it?

Well, in 2000 Microsoft released its operating system for smartphones and Pocket PCs. 

But the picture was much different in 2003, as Symbian was the one to rule supreme. It experienced an insane boom of 800%, believe it or not, and climbed to the number one spot of the handheld market with 53%. And only a year before, they were at 13%.

Windows CE-based devices dropped from 24% to 19%.

Counting only smartphone devices, Symbian was even more dominant, with a 91% grip on the market (up from 79%). In the same segment, Windows only had 7%. 

6. Blackberry OS is still used by millions of people worldwide, even though the last devices to use it was manufactured in 2015.

(Source: BlackBerry)

This operating system is the property of RIM or Research In Motion and has been around since 1999. Designed specifically for Blackberry smartphones, the operating system is quite different from rivals on the market.

The latest versions released included BB10 and BBOS back in 2015. 

Due to its growing effort as a cybersecurity company, Blackberry has retained a lot of users. So, in 2017 it promised customers two more years of support for BB10 and a year for BBOS devices. 

But more good news for Blackberry users came in 2019 when the company announced that it’s going to continue providing support and services. It’s still not clear for how long, though. 

Next:

7. KaiOS outperformed iOS in emerging countries and got $22m in support from Google.

(Source: Make Use Of)

With the growth of online services, smartphone sales have stagnated a bit. Especially in those hard to reach places. This made Google think long and hard as it tried to find ways to explore new avenues. 

Enter the new kid on the block! 

This brand new operating system for smartphones has already outsold iOS in emerging countries. The sales were most prominent in India, which prompted Google to back the project up with a $22 million investment to further expand the brand.  

Owned by KaiOS Technologies, the operating system is based on Linux and is way different from all the rest.

Moving on:

8. Property of Nokia, Symbian OS was the dominating mobile operating system until 2010.

(Source: Computer Hope)

This was once a dominating force in the mobile Operating System world. Up until 2010, it was the most used OS, but Android overtook it within four years’ time. 

Developed by Psion during the 1980s, it began under the name EPOC. With the help of Nokia, Ericsson, and Motorola, Psion became Symbian in 1998.

In 2008, Nokia acquired the company, and the majority of source code was released under that license. 

Finally, in 2014, the company called it a day, it was no longer able to publish new applications. However, existing applications are still available for download if anyone is interested. 

And finally:

9. Tizen is the leading OS for smart devices, with a 21% market share for Smart TVs.

(Source: Mobile Syrup)

This is an open-source OS based on Linux. It is mainly used by Samsung and can be found across a range of the company’s devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch and the Galaxy Gear series.

In 2018, there were 157 million Smart TV sets sold worldwide. One in every five used the Tizen OS, which equals to 21% of the total market share. 

Next came LG’s WebOS with 12%.

Android TV ranked third with a 10% hold of the market. 

Market Share by Continent

Now that we’ve introduced you to some of the other operating systems on the market, let’s go back to our two main players – Android and iOS.

The global market share of iOS vs Android looks very different from continent to continent.

Below, we’ll list some of the most extraordinary stats regarding the use of the operating systems in different parts of the world.

As you can imagine, every country has its own pace of technological development, which will also contribute to the vivid differences in distribution.

Europe

Let’s start off by seeing how the market share of Android vs iOS situation looks in Europe.

Generally, Europeans use Android more than iOS.

And here are the stats to prove it:

10. In September 2019, Android had 72% of the market share, and iOS had 27%.

(Source: StatCounter)

Android remains a clear leader on the market today, giving iOS a limited portion. Feast your eyes on the stats below to see the extent of the dominance. 

  1. Android – 72.87%
  2. iOS – 26.45%
  3. Windows – 0.27%
  4. Samsung – 0.23%
  5. Linux – 0.06%
  6. Series 40 – 0.03%

But how does the iPhone vs Android matchup look when it comes to individual countries?

11. iOS has captured 50.3% of the UK market share this year.

(Source: Device Atlas)

  • In November 2018, iOS’s market share in the United Kingdom experienced a significant boost, reaching nearly 60%.
  • During the next month, December 2018, its UK share dropped to 52%.

Since the sudden drop, iOS has held onto around half the market share in the UK.

The Android vs. iOS market share in the UK situation is an interesting one to observe.

Here’s why:

  • Android’s market share in November 2018 was extremely low, reaching 38.5%.
  • In December 2018, Android picked up and reached a market share of 47%.

So far this year, Android has been gaining ground slowly but steadily, showing more stability and presence on the UK market.

Asia 

Our two main competitors’ fortunes in Asia are vastly different!

Here’s the thing:

Asia’s Android vs iOS market share in 2018 showed that there is a substantial gap between the two, with iOS dramatically falling behind.

12. In December 2018, Android captured 84% of Asia’s market share, while iOS had only a 13% presence on the market. 

(Source: Stat Counter)

There is no specific reason why Android has such dominance in the Asian market. 

But 84% to 13% disparity seems huge!

And things haven’t gotten any better since. Research from September 2019 shows their respective shares have remained largely the same.

Africa 

We can observe a similar trend in Africa.

Android vs iOS market share 2018 worldwide statistics reveal that Africa’s OS users prefer Android over iOS.

13. Only 9% of Africa’s market share was held by iOS in December 2018, while Android possessed 82%. 

(Source: StatCounter)

What’s more:

According to the latest figures, exactly 85.88% of users in Africa prefer using Android to 8.84% of people in iOS.

There has been a slight growth in iOS’s market share during the start of the second half of 2019.

14. iOS market share in July 2019 grew to 16% to later fall back to 13% in September 2019. 

(Source: Stat Counter)

July 2019 marked an important point in the recent Android vs iPhone competition in Africa, as that month the iOs market share started growing until it reached 16%. 

However, this was short-lived, as it dropped to 13% in September and later went as low as 9%.

It is clear that Africa is still not ready for iOS since developing countries prefer cheaper devices. 

So, Android is going to remain the undisputed leader for the foreseeable future on the continent. 

North and South America

Android vs iOS users have different preferences in North and South America, and this starts to become clear when looking at the 2018 stats.

In North America, for instance, Android and iOS have similar portions of the market share. November 2018 marked the largest gap over the past twelve months.

15. In November 2018, iOS dominated the North American market with around 57% share. At the time, Android had about 43%.

(Source: Stat Counter

Believe it or not, in March 2019 the two operating systems broke even in North America.

Fast forward six months and the Android vs. iOS market share in the USA is still divided in half – with giving or take 50% for each platform. Android has a slight advantage, with a 51.46% market share as of June 2019, as opposed to 48.29% for iOS.

But South America is a whole different story: 

16. Android is the market leader in South America with an 89% market share. iOS only holds 11% as of September 2019.

(Source: StatCounter)

South America shows the biggest difference when it comes to Apple vs Android matchup.

Currently, 89% of South Americans use Android, which is also the all-time high. 9.38% of people are iOS users, which is understandable when you take into account the large number of people who are unable to afford expensive phones. 

It’s now time to move on to the financial side of the story.

Interesting Revenue Stats to Consider

The truth is, the world is crazy about smartphones. Let’s talk about volume.

17. The sales of smartphones jumped from 139 million devices in 2008 to 1.55 billion devices in 2018, impacting the mobile OS market share.

(Source: Statista)

Let that sink in.

The popularity and the need for smartphones have been rising rapidly on a global scale. You can see that based on the figure, which stood at 139 million units in 2008. In just ten years, it skyrocketed to a whopping 1.55 billion devices. 

2019 sales numbers currently stand at 1.51 billion but are on pace to surpass the previous year’s ones. And predictions for 2020 say that it might go all the way up to 1.56 billion and perhaps even more.

18. According to the latest Android vs iOS market share statistics, the number of Apple smartphone users grew by 20% between 2012 and 2019.

(Source: Statista)

As of August 2019, Google Android stood as the market leader in the US with 51.1% of the share.

Even though its share has risen by 20% in the last seven years, the sustained growth of smartphone shipments has dropped by 10%.

19. Consumers spent $25.5 billion worldwide on Apple’s App Store in the first half of 2019.

(Source: Sensor Tower)

That’s an increase of 13.2% year-over-year spending during the first quarter of 2018 reflecting last year’s smartphones operating system market share. The figure jumped from $22.6 billion in Q1 to $25.5 billion for Q2 2018. 

Apple’s platform generated somewhere around 80% greater gross revenue amounting to $14.2 billion. Which is also a 19.6% year-over-year increase from 2018’s $11.8 billion earned. 

Fun fact: Tinder was the highest-grossing non-game app with $497 million across both stores. 

20. In 2017, there were 2 billion monthly active Android devices around the world.

(Source: Google)

Google celebrated a very important milestone in its history and that of the Android market share by hitting the mark of 2 billion active monthly subscribers globally in 2017.

Some of the individual achievements include…

  • A growth of 10x more users by more than 300 car models. 
  • 1 million new TV device activations every month. 
  • Android of Things has thousands of developers around 60 countries using it to build devices.
  • Android users installed 82 billion apps and games within the past year. 

21. There was a 56.7 billion first-time app installs on the two platforms in the first half of 2019, according to the latest iOS vs Android market share trends.

(Source: Sensor Tower)

Out of those, 14.8 billion come from the App Store. This was actually a decrease of 1.4% compared to the first quarter of 2018, and it was the first quarter where iOS’s downloads fell year-over-year. This was mainly due to a slow year in China. 

But the second quarter saw a bounce-back of nearly 3% year-by-year to earn some $7.4 billion worldwide. 

In Conclusion

It seems like we’ve just about covered some of the most fascinating facts about the Android and iOS market share around the world.

It’s been a long journey, and here are the key takeaways:

Most smartphones use operating systems developed by Android.

This might no longer be the case if Apple decides to give other manufacturers the chance to use its iOS platform. However, for the time being, iOS remains strictly Apple-oriented.

It’s been a blast to cover the topic of Android vs iOS market share, and we hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we did!

Until next time, guys! 

See you around. 

Sources:

  1. IDC
  2. Statista
  3. IDC
  4. Statista
  5. Geek
  6. Black Berry
  7. Make Use Of
  8. Computer Hope
  9. Mobile Syrup
  10. Stat Counter
  11. Device Atlas
  12. Stat Counter
  13. Stat Counter
  14. Stat Counter 
  15. Stat Counter
  16. Stat Counter
  17. Statista
  18. Statista
  19. Sensor Tower
  20. Google
  21. Sensor Tower