A mobile operating system (mobile OS) manages the software and hardware on touchscreen devices such as smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches. Due to differences in how we use them, desktop computers and laptops are powered by more traditional operating systems. Devices come pre-installed with a mobile OS, but different versions are regularly made available. These software updates may change the look and feel of how a device operates, but they are integral to making the user experience as simple as possible.
The mobile OS market in the United States is dominated by two American multinational companies: Google and Apple. The Android operating system is developed by Google and has held more than 50 percent of the smartphone market share in the United States since 2012. Android’s success, both in the United States and worldwide, can in many ways be attributed to its open-source software. In contrast to Apple’s iOS, which runs on iPhones and iPads only, Android can be installed on all other smartphone devices for free, allowing manufacturers the freedom to modify source code and create unique layouts.
Apple devices run exclusively on the operating system iOS, which is based on the software that drives the company’s laptop and desktop computers (macOS). Apple has held a significant share of the smartphone users’ market in the United States for several years and this share is steadily increasing year-on-year. Despite strong figures within the United States, Apple’s smartphone market share has dropped globally to around 10 to 20 percent.
The overall number of tablets shipped in the United States is expected to remain around 40 million for the next few years. Alongside the release of its latest iOS version in the fall of 2019, Apple introduced iPadOS – a new mobile operating system for iPads. The new software has been specifically developed to make the most of the iPads’ larger screen – recognition of a key difference between tablets and smartphones – and its arrival could further strengthen Apple’s position as the leading tablet operating system in the United States.
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In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 39 most important statistics relating to "Mobile OS in the United States".