Android's smartphones are projected to account for around 87 percent of all smartphones shipped worldwide in 2019. Google’s Android operating system is forecast to be installed on around 1.2 billion of the total 1.37 billion smartphones shipped globally in 2019 and this figure is expected to increase over the forthcoming years.
What are the reasons behind Android’s success?
One reason for Android’s dominance is its open-source platform that allows mobile phone manufacturers to use and adapt the operating system for their own devices. Apple’s iOS software, which was running on around 210 million smartphones shipped worldwide in 2018, is a closed-source platform used exclusively on iPhones and iPads. Another reason for the far greater number of devices shipped with the Android operating system is that they are more affordable than their competitors with an average selling price of under 300 U.S. dollars.
The changing mobile OS landscape
Android has been the leading mobile OS for several years and currently holds around 75 percent of the global market share. Historically, Android and iOS have not been the only players in the battle for mobile OS market share; software developers RIM (Research In Motion), Microsoft, and Symbian were all serious competitors back in 2009. Symbian – an open-source platform used by phone vendors Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and Nokia – accounted for around half of the mobile OS market, while Android held less than two percent. In 2010, both Samsung and Sony Ericsson adopted Android as their mobile OS, leaving Nokia as the only significant user of Symbian. Failing to keep pace with rivals in changing times, Nokia signed a partnership with Microsoft in 2011 and gradually transitioned away from Symbian, shipping its final Symbian smartphones in 2013.
Smartphone unit shipments worldwide by operating system from 2016 to 2023
(in million units)
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IDC. (September 9, 2019). Smartphone unit shipments worldwide by operating system from 2016 to 2023 (in million units) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/309448/global-smartphone-shipments-forecast-operating-system/
IDC. "Smartphone unit shipments worldwide by operating system from 2016 to 2023 (in million units)." Chart. September 9, 2019. Statista. Accessed November 30, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/309448/global-smartphone-shipments-forecast-operating-system/
IDC. (2019). Smartphone unit shipments worldwide by operating system from 2016 to 2023 (in million units). Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: November 30, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/309448/global-smartphone-shipments-forecast-operating-system/
IDC. "Smartphone Unit Shipments Worldwide by Operating System from 2016 to 2023 (in Million Units)." Statista, Statista Inc., 9 Sep 2019, https://www.statista.com/statistics/309448/global-smartphone-shipments-forecast-operating-system/
IDC, Smartphone unit shipments worldwide by operating system from 2016 to 2023 (in million units) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/309448/global-smartphone-shipments-forecast-operating-system/ (last visited November 30, 2022)