Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android push towards two-OS smartphone world

The latest smartphone OS sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that iOS achieved continued growth across most regions tracked, except for Japan, Spain, and Urban China. Android also continued to post market share increases in all regions but the US, as no other ecosystem is challenging the two giants – iOS and Android.

Gone are the days when a BlackBerry OS, Symbian, or Windows Mobile could make a significant impact. It is clear that there will only be two smartphone ecosystems moving forward – iOS and Android. To succeed, phone manufacturers will have to play by those rulebooks.

In EU5, Android accounted for 74.3% of smartphone sales in the latest period, a marginal increase from 72.9% in the three months ending January 2016. iOS held a 22.7% share, with iPhone 7 remaining the top-selling device in Great Britain, France, and Germany. Europe’s big five markets include Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.

In Urban China, in the three months ending January 2017, Android accounted for 83.2% of smartphones sold, an increase of 9.3 percentage points versus the same period a year ago. Huawei continues to account for over a quarter of smartphone sales in the region, at 26.6% for the three months ending January 2017. Apple, whose iPhone 7 remains the top-selling smartphone in Urban China, and Xiaomi are the second and third largest manufacturers in Asia, with 16.6% and 14.5% shares, respectively. However, they continue to experience year-on-year declines as they face increased competition from Oppo and Vivo.

In the three months ending January 2017, Android accounted for 56.4% of smartphone sales in the US, down 1.8 percentage points from the period a year earlier. iOS accounted for 42% of smartphone sales, up 2.9 percentage points year-on-year.

Source: Kantar Worldpanel ComTech

MacDailyNews Take: Now imagine if Google hadn’t knocked off Apple’s iOS. The smartphone market share picture would resemble that of smartphone profit share.

If Apple owns nearly all of the profits, how do the other phone makers stay in business? – February 8, 2017
Apple took 92% of smartphone industry’s profits in Q416 – February 7, 2017
Prior to Steve Jobs unveiling of Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android didn’t support touchscreen input – April 14, 2014
Before iPhone, Google’s plan was a Java button phone, Android docs reveal – April 14, 2014
How Google reacted when Steve Jobs revealed the revolutionary iPhone – December 19, 2013
Apple to ITC: Android started at Apple while Andy Rubin worked for us – September 2, 2011
Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt spotted drinking coffee in Palo Alto (with photo) – March 27, 2010


  1. > It is clear that there will only be two smartphone ecosystems moving forward – iOS and Android.

    This is new news, or is this article from about five years ago? 😉

    The parallels to Mac/Windows is striking… One with serious security issues, one tightly integrated with hardware, one associated with cheap “generic” hardware, one considered the premium choice by most consumers.

  2. What is shocking, (or maybe not; after all Donald Trump was elected) is that more than 50% of the people cannot seem to grasp the importance of the things they cannot not touch nor see (i.e., security, easy/reliable upgrade of the os, privacy, integration of services, quality of build components, total cost of ownerhip, etc.). Just hard for me to comprehend.

    1. You seem to be having trouble comprehending all manner of things. The fact that Trump was elected president is, strangely enough, one that you and your kind are largely responsible: categorizing anyone who do not vote for a Democrat as being racist, calling tens of millions of Anericans they are “deplorable” because their political views don’t align with your own, and categorizing those who have faith as “clinging to religion”. Do you even have a tiny understanding how dishonest and insulting those statements are? Do you not realize that this served to galvanize millions of voters whom you labeled “worthless”?

      I did not vote for Trump (nor Clinton). But your failure to grasp why, and your continual crying like a baby over the election, is cause for you to look in a mirror. Look hard.

      1. Wow, take off the filter glasses. I’m not lamenting the election results, (I did not vote for either Clinton or Trump, but did vote in the election, did you?) I can easily grasp what’s transpired, but what’s missing is any logic in it, and by the way, any logic in your rant. There was no put down in my comment, never called anyone deplorable because of their views, frankly, my views aren’t disclosed here, only the aspects of using technology that I find have value but seemingly many others do not. You on the other hand, don’t read what’s written, but blindly infer your venomous demagoguery at every opportunity. Blow it out your A$$.

  3. The MDN take is guilty of false logic. If not for Android something else would have risen to serve the low cost market.
    Newsflash – not everyone can afford a $650 phone. Hell, the iPhone didn’t take off until the 3G had $199 subsidized pricing. I bought the original and didn’t see another one in the wild until I saw a 3G in August 2008.

    1. Microsoft blew their chance to be in the position Google is with Android but is that really surprising for that One Trick Copying Pony? I must admit I take a bit of schadenfreudian delight in that.

      But on the other hand Microsoft probably wouldn’t have wanted the tradeoff in that bargain – giving up the mobile OS for free.

      And on the remaining hand at the end of the day this stragedy may eventually not work well for Google either.

  4. Anyone remember One Laptop Per Child? It was a never-ending quest to produce a rugged laptop for the 3rd world for $100 or less. While the elites were trying to figure out how to bring Linux to the masses, Google started giving away Android and good ole capitalism took over – and the world changed. Now places that had no hope of getting landlines have cellular coverage and the unwashed masses can pick up an internet-connected pocket computer for under $100. That enables anyone to start their own business, or maybe lead a revolution against an oppressive government.

    Apple created the modern smartphone, but Google got it out to the world, and the world is undeniably a better place for it. Look up any stat you want on global poverty – it’s improving. Yeah, Google ripped off Apple but historians won’t care about that. This will be remembered as a time when the world became connected as never before.

  5. I will agree that for a lot of Android owners cost is one of the considerations on choosing a device. Another that I have recently realized is the areas one can personalize. On iPhones the personalization is primarily external via cases and sticker-like screen and back protectors. For Android it is primarily internal via selecting default apps, wallpapers you can actually see and in some cases be useful via full animation, being able to sparsely or specifically place app icons on multiple ‘pages’ and adding on-screen widgits among other things.

    Saying everyone chooses iOS vs Android solely on price is rather short sighted.

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