The recent surge in Chinese smartphone makers, adopting Android, has led to the increase in global shipments of Android phones. However, this also means the death of other lesser known mobile OSes like Windows, BlackBerry and Bada.
According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments reached 375 million units in the third quarter of 2016. The Android operating system captured a record 87.5% global market share, squeezing Apple iOS and others.
This is not really a surprise. Apple iOS has been facing criticism from fans and critics for the fact that OS lacks innovation and isn’t as open as Android. On the other hand, Apple has just one series of smartphones while there are hundreds of Android smartphone manufacturers.
Even then, the US and Europe and two of the largest markets for Apple, followed by China itself. Apple devices get sold in these countries primarily because of the premium factor and some interesting network tariff plans
Android shipments increased from 298 million in 2015 Q3 to 329 million in 2016 Q3, while iOS shipments decreased from 48 million to 45.5 million in the same time. The largest impact segment was other operating systems, that showed an 84% decline over the previous year.
Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global smartphone shipments grew 6 percent annually from 354.2 million units in Q3 2015 to 375.4 million in Q3 2016. This was the smartphone industry’s fastest growth rate for a year. Modest smartphone regrowth is being supported by emerging markets with relatively low smartphone penetration across Asia and Africa Middle East, particularly countries such as India and South Africa.”
India has recently seen a flood of Chinese smartphones, especially from LeEco, Xiaomi and OnePlus, that treat Indian market just like the Chinese market. Unfortunately, because of the pricing, Apple isn’t able to make a dent in the industry and their devices remain premium.
Will Google always enjoy this supremacy?
At the moment, there is too much fragmentation in Android. There are so many smartphone makers right now that Android as an OS is getting diluted. The OS skins are different and because it is extremely customizable, it gets difficult for Google to have a control on it.
Google’s own phones, Pixel and Pixel XL, have been launched to take a command over the Android industry. While this is a good thing, not many customers will be able to afford these phones. Ultimately, low cost smartphones will become a thing and Google will lose its control over the Android industry.
Having said that, it is very difficult for Apple to overtake Android because of the lack of options in the iOS devices. Most of the Apple users get swayed to Android for the simple fact that Android is a lot more customizable and already offers features that iOS would get in the next few years.
Even though BlackBerry isn’t dead, and will focus only on software, the chances of the BB OS making a mark are extremely less. Any other OS that now comes to the market will have to compete with Android and that is not an easy job.
Critics are suspecting that by 2017, Android will capture almost 90% of the market, making Apple rethink their strategy on iOS devices. Will Apple finally try to break the chains and make iOS an open OS? We’ll have to wait and see how the company responds.
Source: SA"Android captures 87.5% of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q3 2016; iOS Share Drops by 5.2%!",