For the past few years Android and iOS have been the only contenders for the title of ‘world’s most used mobile OS.’ In this article we share the latest statistics on mobile OS market share for Q2 2015 to show which of these two OSes is the most popular, and where. We’ll also look at whether there area any emerging challengers to the top two platforms.
Smartphone sales still on the rise
According to the latest IDC report, smartphones are the most popular electronic device category dominating the device market ahead of tablets, wearables, and PCs in terms of sale volumes. During Q2 2015, smartphone sales grew 13% year on year. The overall number of smartphones sold in the quarter reached some 341.5 million units.
During the same period customers bought 44.7 million tablets, 18.1 million wearables, and 68.4 million PCs. Of course these differences are caused not just by market trends but also because a typical tablet or PC’s lifespan is longer than that of the smartphone so there’s less need to update old devices with new models.
Feature phones still significant in some markets
While comparing feature phones and smartphones used to be a common practice in many sales reports, today companies like IDC are less interested in basic phones. But are feature phones still significant in terms of shipments?
According to estimates by CCS Insight, some 590 million basic phones (feature phones) were estimated to be shipped in the entire 2015. Similar 2015 estimation for smartphones was 1.48 billion. This means that feature phones still play an important role in some markets but this may be confined to countries where there is not strong 3G coverage, and where access to electricity can be an issue, making long battery life more important than ‘smart’ capabilities.
Android still in the lead
Android is a strong leader in the mobile OS space with 82.8% market share according to IDC’s report for Q2 2015. Android’s share has seen growth over the first quarter of 2015, however Google platform lost 2% QoQ.
iOS-based devices come second with 13.9% market share in Q2 2015. iOS lost 2.3% market share compared to Q1 2015 and 5.8% compared to Q4 2014 when it hit a record 19.7% market share.
Other contenders in the mobile OS space
Apart from the leading platforms, the IDC shipment report only lists Windows Phone and BlackBerry OS. Windows Phone has lost market share over the last few years dropping from 3.4% in Q2 2013 to 2.6% in Q2 2015. During the same period, BlackBerry OS lost significant share as well, declining from 2.8% in Q2 2013 to just 0.3% in Q2 2015.
BlackBerry’s method to drive new sales was mostly based on BlackBerry Classic, IDC reports. As for Windows Phone platform, the release of Windows 10 and new flagship phones in the form of Lumia 940 and Lumia 1030 may improve its position in the near future.
IDC lists the remaining part of the mobile OS space under the name ‘Others’ that captured 0.4% of the market. This figure includes:
- Firefox OS
- Tizen OS
- Sailfish OS
- Ubuntu Touch OS
Apart from these OSes which are still extant, there are some discontinued systems that may still be in use in some countries given their tremendous popularity in the past. This includes Symbian (discontinued in 2012), and Windows Mobile (discontinued in 2010).
Mobile OS market share based on web traffic
From a mobile developer’s point of view, sales statistics may not be as important as actual usage. Here is the mobile OS market share based on website visits generated by mobile devices across selected local markets. As you may notice, there are many local markets dominated by iOS especially in developed countries, even though Android sales are generally a lot higher.
These charts are based on DeviceAtlas Mobile Traffic Report for Q2 2015.
Download the full report here: