The smartphone users globally have now reached a staggering 6.7 billion! That’s quite a steep rise considering there were less than 2 billion active smartphone users in late 2016.
Seeing the ever-increasing number of smart devices, you might wonder how many operating systems are there that are popular among the users; and the statistics we share with you here are astonishing, to say the least. 98% of smartphones are run by two operating systems, and you might have guessed them already, they are Android and iOS.
iOS and Android – Two kings of the OS world
Did you know that the ancient Greek city Sparta had two kings? Each from the two founding families who laid the city’s foundation. We will just leave the history right there and return to the present world – the world of smartphones.
Talking of operating systems, both iOS and Android came into the market in 2007, and since then, Sky is the limit for their rise and market penetration.
One obvious reason for their success is that Google owns Android and Apple owns iOS; both are Trillion-dollar companies with unimaginable resources. But there is certainly more to their success than just the riches.
Both iOS and Android are always a step ahead of the tech advancements, and they provide users with all the latest features. Similarly, both operating systems are regularly updated and upgraded for a seamless user experience.
They simply make their users fall in love with their usability and functionality. This is the reason there’s hasn’t been any competitors worth mentioning against the two OS giants.
And this is the reason we say if the smart-device world of today was Sparta, Android and iOS would be its two kings reigning.
The dominance of both Android and iOS is easy to understand. It’s evident that a third iOS is not even in the picture for comparison. But what about a head-to-head comparison between these two? How are they competing against each other in the market today?
Here are some interesting Android vs iOS market share numbers to give you some idea about how the two operating systems are performing around the global market.
- Android is the biggest OS in the world with more than 70% market share. iOS is second with almost 25% market.
- Android keeps growing in the emerging markets as well as in the developed markets. But there is one big exception – China!
- The iOS market is enjoying promising growth in niche markets like the USA, Japan, UK – all developed markets.
- Older versions of Android OS are more popular among Android users. iOS users prefer the latest versions.
- Google Play Store and iOS App Store made almost $34 billion in the last quarter of 2021.
1 – Android is the biggest OS in the world
Android is the biggest OS in the world for mobile devices, and there are innumerable data sources to prove this.
iOS comes second, but the market share difference is visibly wide. According to statistics, the Android vs iOS market share is 72.2% and 26.99%.
Both iOS and Android were launched to the public around the same time. Apple caught most of the initial market and Android’s share was just 10% in 2009. It’s unimaginable how Android improvised itself to become the most-used mobile OS around the world.
But that doesn’t mean iOS lags behind in any way. iOS keeps a considerable global presence and despite having less market share as compared to Android, the revenue stream is larger than Android.
2 – Android’s market share is growing everywhere except China
In China, Android has still got the biggest share of OS. The current iOS vs Android market share in China, updated in February 2022, is 79% Android and 20% iOS. But according to Statista, Android’s market share was 81% in July 2021. That’s the change in just six months which gives a clear picture of Android’s sharp decline in China over a short period.
China is the biggest market for mobile phones; and being the biggest OS, Android should be winning there. But we know there are always some political and business rivalries going around when it comes to the Chinese market.
Chinese authorities don’t go along pretty well with Google. That’s why they have restricted Google’s access to Chinese markets in different ways. This has resulted in Android’s market share declining and Chinese mobile users are left with alternate options such as Xiaomi, Huawei, OPPO, and other local brands.
3 – iOS is the people’s choice in developed markets
If you are reading this piece in the US, Japan, and the UK, Android’s global statistics might come as a big surprise for you. Because, according to statistics, there are more chances of you and your friends having an iPhone.
The iOS vs Android market share US is 59.17% iOS and 40.54% Android. In Japan, the iOS market share is almost 63%. Similarly, in the UK, iOS beats android by a fine margin. The primary reason for iOS being the first choice of consumers in the developed markets is their buying power.
4 – Older versions of Android OS still popular among most users
The popularity of older versions of an OS sounds odd because we all want to have the latest version of the OS on our phones. While this is true for iOS, the Android user statistics tell us a different story.
In a study published in Feb 2022 on Statista, Android versions as old as 2015 were the most popular versions among Android users. 60% of Android users have older versions of Android on their phones.
It’s not that Android’s latest version comes with issues. It’s just that there are tons of Android phone manufacturers and in managing different models, makes, and manufacturers, having the latest version becomes quite a challenge.
iOS users, on the other hand, don’t have any varieties in their manufacturers. So more than 80% of iOS users have the latest iOS version on their phones.
5 – $34 Billion app revenue for Android and iOS in Q3 – 2021
In the third quarter of 2021, people spent almost $34 Billion on premium apps, in-app purchases, and first-time app installs on Android and iOS.
Despite iOS having 50% less market share than Android, iOS’s revenue was $21.5B which is almost twice that of Android’s $12.1 Billion.
Now we learn an important aspect of iOS vs Android market share, that winning in books is not that important but the market that you are winning in.
iOS has a considerable lead in the developed markets, which in turn enables it to garner better revenues since users in the developed markets are more capable of spending more on apps.
Android vs iOS market share discoveries in 2022 – infographic
- Globally, 72.73% of mobiles run on Android while 26.99% have iOS.
- iOS is the leader in the US market with a 33.26% OS share across all devices.
- The Asian market is dominated by Android. 85.9% of phones in Asia are Android phones.
- The iOS vs Android market share game in the UK stands even, with Android just leading by fine margins. 50.1% market share for Android, and 49.9% is the iOS market share.
- Android leads the African and Latin American OS market with almost 90% share in the mobile OS market.
- Android has over 3 million apps on Google Play, and iOS App Store has about 2 million. However, the app revenue of iOS is more than that of Android.
- In 2 years, Android will capture 87% of the global OS market.
When it comes to mobile OS global market share, there is no third player in the market other than Android and iOS.
From the present statistics we see here, it is as clear as a day that Android’s policy is to maximize the market penetration and reach maximum users. While iOS tends to keep a revenue-centric presence in the developed markets.
Android wins the iOS vs Android market share game, but iOS makes it even by having a much better revenue stream.
And as we delve into the future of Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality, we only see the two OSs booming; as we see both OS giants preparing well ahead of the game. And with the current market presence and we only find these two operating systems capable of delivering to the markets of the future.
And finally, one last time, Android and iOS are the two kings of Sparta.
Long live the two kings!