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 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.