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Smartphone market share of the Android operating system 2009-2018

Android OS market share of smartphone sales to end users from 2009 to 2018

by Arne Holst, last edited Sep 11, 2019
Smartphone market share of the Android operating system 2009-2018 Android’s smartphone sales share worldwide increased for the ninth consecutive year to 86.6 percent in 2018. This means that of the 1.56 billion smartphones sold worldwide in 2018, around 1.35 billion were running the Android operating system.

Why is Google’s Android OS dominating the market?

One reason for Android’s large market share is that it is an open-source platform, allowing mobile phone manufacturers to use and adapt the operating system for their own devices. Samsung, who run their own customized version of the Android operating system, currently have the largest share of global smartphone sales by vendor. In contrast, Apple’s iOS software is a closed-source platform, meaning they can control the user experience and make it available exclusively on their mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPad. This model has also proved profitable: Apple generated 25.99 billion U.S. dollars in revenue from iPhone sales alone in the third quarter of 2019.

Changing trends in mobile OS market

Android and iOS are the leading mobile operating systems today, but back in 2009 the market was much different with Symbian and RIM (Research In Motion) holding close to 70 percent of the sales market share. Symbian operated on Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson devices, while RIM only functioned on BlackBerry smartphones. Both developers were slow to anticipate the changes within the mobile operating systems’ market and were ultimately left behind by the innovative approach of Apple and Google.
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Android OS market share of smartphone sales to end users from 2009 to 2018

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