Smartphone sales by operating system -- additional information
Smartphone sales have strongly increased over the last few years. In 2009, the number of smartphones sold worldwide added up to 170 million. By 2015, this figure stood at more than 1.4 billion, generating almost 400 billion U.S. dollars in revenue. The market shows no sign of slowing down, as over a third of the world’s population is projected to own a smartphone by 2017, and the number of smartphone users is forecast to pass the 2.7 billion mark for the first time by 2019.
Android, introduced to the consumer market in 2007, has been the leading operating system since early 2011, after taking over the top position from Symbian OS. The number of Android smartphones sold increased from about 220 million units in 2011 to around 1.2 billion in 2015, while Symbian’s sales declined to about 28 million units in 2012, and later on was discontinued. Android’s market share jumped from two percent in early 2009 to nearly 82 percent by the end of 2016. Much of this growth can be attributed to the fact that many smartphone manufacturers, such as Sony, Samsung and HTC, have all built phones designed specifically for the Android system.
Along with the fall of Symbian and the increasing popularity of Android, RIM, which was the second biggest operating system at one point, saw its sales market share drop from about 20 percent in the beginning of 2009 to less than one percent four years later. Sales of RIM smartphones declined from around 50 million in 2011 to just over four million in 2015. Meanwhile, Apple’s iOS rose as the second most popular operating system in the world, accounting for around 17 to 24 percent of the market in the last few years. In 2015, Apple sold about 225 million iPhones which run on the iOS operating system. Microsoft’s operating system is the third most popular operating system in the world, as the company sold around 26 million Windows Phone smartphones in 2015.