Despite the iPhone’s success, Google’s Operating System and its Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) will continue to dominate the market for years to come – according to the latest research.
Apple is having a good year.
iPhone sales have seen steady growth for the last 2 years, plus the iPhone 8’s release this month, along with Apple’s 10th anniversary of its smartphone, will most likely boost sales even more.
Still, Apple’s success is no threat to Android, according to the latest research.
Android is also having a pretty great year. It’s the other Operating Systems that seem to be in the hot seats.
Both Google and Apple are seeing steady growth
Both Android and iOS’s market share have grown steadily between the fourth quarter of 2015 and the fourth quarter of 2016, while Windows and Blackberry are left the rear-view mirror with drastic sale drops, according to Gartner’s latest report on the worldwide smartphone sales.
Windows’s sales plummeted from 1.1% to 0.2%, reportedly due the lack of backing from OEM’s.
While Blackberry’s sales dropped from 0.2% to a rounding error of 0% with only 207 900 units sold. That’s about enough to give everyone on the island of Samoa one device.
Apple is not pocketing Samsung’s loss, other OEM’s are
iPhone celebrated a small victory, beating Samsung’s sales for the first time in 2 years with a merely 256 000 units, according to Gartner’s stats on global OEM sales for 2016.
“Samsung’s sales fell for the second consecutive quarter, dropping 2.9 percent year on year”, reads The Verge’s commentary on Gartner’s report.
Despite the triumph, it doesn’t seem like the iPhone is outselling Samsung devices, other Android OEM’s are.
“The middle ground continues to be fought over by a number of successful Chinese brands (including Huawei, Oppo, and BBK),” the Verge says.
And it’s true. Gartner’s statistics reveal that both Oppo and BBK Communication Equipment each almost doubled their market share in a year.
The third most significant competitor, Huawei, gained 1.8 percentage points during the year, amounting to an 8.9% share of the market by the end of 2016.
Apple landed a 14.4% share of the global market.
“In 2016 overall, Android also grew its market share by 3.2 percentage points to reach an 84.8 percent share, and was the only OS to grow market share year on year,” Gartner explains.
“’The entry of Google’s Pixel phone has made the premium Android smartphone offering more competitive, while the re-entry of HMD (Nokia) in the basic (midtier) smartphone category, is set to further increase the competition in emerging markets,’” says Gartner’s Research Director Ashul Gupta.
The future looks bright (and stable) for Android
According to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) projections on the Worldwide Smartphone Platform Shipments for the next 4 years, both Android and iOS will continue to grow steadily, leaving other Operating Systems in their wake.
The encouraging news is, the smartphone market’s growth will also pick up again. After the market’s lowest year-over-year growth during 2016, the IDC forecasts market growth will be “rebounding in 2017 and beyond”.
Android’s market share will increase slightly from this year’s 85% to 85.3% by 2021, while iPhone’s share will drop somewhat from this year’s 14.7% to 14.6% by 2021.
“The 2017 smartphone market is lining up to bring consumers a plethora of exciting and innovative handsets,” says research manager of IDC’s Mobile Phones team Anthony Scarsella.
According to the IDC projections, Android will secure the upper hand, in the next few years, with its advances in augmented and virtual reality features.
The future belongs to the biggest screens
The IDC also reports consumers’ need for longer battery lives and larger screens or phablets.
“Despite the moderate 2.5% growth in 2016, phablets displayed 49% year-over-year growth as consumers continue to flock to big-screened devices in both emerging and developed markets,” explains the IDC.
“As more and more Android OEMs figure out ways to produce large screen smartphones at a very low cost, IDC expects phones with a display of five inches and greater to grow from 75% of Android shipments in 2016 to 91% in 2021.”
Today’s statistics seems to be tomorrow’s blueprint
Gartner’s stats, along with the ICD’s 4-year projections, seem to be telltale signs that both Android and iOS’s current success will stand the test of time – for the next couple of years at the very least.
Android’s price and function diversity will continue to win the favor of the majority; while the iPhone will continue to woo its niche of affluent, trend-aware consumers.