Android and iOS hold 99.6% of the global market, according to latest data

Android and iOS hold 99.6% of the global market, according to latest data
The latest data by Gartner, one of the top tech research companies, shows some pretty interesting numbers. The last quarter of 2016 looks nothing like Q4 2015, when it comes to the smartphone market.

The most noticeable year-over-year difference comes in the OS distribution stats. According to Gartner, 99.6% of all smartphones shipped in Q4 2016 run either Android (81.7%) or iOS (17.9%). Windows lost the most, compared to 2015. Microsoft's OS dropped from 1.1% to 0.3% year-over-year, probably due to the deal with Nokia ending last year. As for BlackBerry OS, we can wave goodbye to that one, as it fell under 0.0% with the measly 207,900 units shipped. Other OS account for 0.1% of global shipments, as opposed to 0.2% for Q4 2015.

Gartner's report also brings some good news for Apple fans. For the first time since 2014, Apple shipped more units than Samsung, but the margin between the two is barely noticeable. Apple's sales account for 17.9% of the worldwide total, or a bit over 77 million units; while Samsung sold about 76.7 million units, making for 17.8% of the total. The difference between the two in units is just 256,300. This was probably made possible by the Galaxy Note 7 washout, as the recalled handset doesn't count towards the statistics.

In the meantime, Huawei sits in the very solid third place, with almost 41 million units sold, making for 9.5% of all smartphone shipments for the period. This is a good 1.5% year-over-year rise for the Chinese OEM. Oppo came in fourth, with 6.2% and fifth place was taken by BBK Electronics that manufacture OnePlus and Vivo. Technically, Oppo is a subsidiary of BBK, but the two companies were presented separately in Gartner's report.

The Q4 data paints a different picture than what the 2016 total shows, though. While Huawei, Oppo and BBK keep their places, for the entire 2016, Samsung has shipped more units than Apple by a wide margin. The South Korean OEM sold around 306.5 million units that make for 20.5% of the total, while Apple sold approximately 216.1 million, or 14.4% of all smartphones shipped for 2016. Both companies lost some market share to the top Chinese companies, though. Samsung's market share dropped by 2%, while Apple's fell by 1.5%, compared to 2015.

And while Samsung and Apple are duking it out for the throne, Huawei is slowly but surely creeping up on them. We wouldn't be surprised if we have a three-way battle in a few years.

source: Gartner via TheVerge



1. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

apparently vivo change it's name to "BBK Communication Equipment" in that list... so, why they didn't combined with OPPO and snatch 3rd place :-/

4. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Because they still operate separately and you can combine them in your head. It is better to have high value brands seperate than putting them under an obscure parent name. Also, Q4 paints a different picture for Apple and Samsung because it is BS. Apple added an extra week of sales to help it fake "growth" and their docile media subs just keep pushing that marketing BS. Take away that week and everything is less "different" than before.

13. sgodsell

Posts: 7601; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Apple has been struggling in places like China and India. The other thing to note from this article, is Apples sales declined since 2015. Apple had a good 4th quarter, and did beat Samsung for that one quarter. However Samsung still out sold Apple by a 100 million smartphones for the entire year. Also Blackberry has evolved and has been selling Android smartphones for quite some time now. So shouldn't those Blackberry devices be considered Android smartphones now?

19. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

You forgot to mention how Samsung is doing great in China.

21. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Guess the world is too small to support three mobile platform ecosystem healthily. Really hope W10 mobile would provide that viable third option.

2. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 740; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

Look how microsoft is struggling their sales at 1,092 and having a market share of 0.3 in 4Q16. And microsoft fanboys said this almost 2 years ago. "Windows continuum will be the next generation of mobile technology. And if that time comes. Android and ios will surely fall" Looking how the sales struggle. And the lack of apps continues. Plus the unavailability of mobile VR and AR technology and apps? I don't see why include the windows chart in the first place if they could be placed in the "Other OS" category.

6. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

In all fairness ms is the one that pulled phones, discontinued the lumia brand and overall told people they are not focusing on mobile. mobile was a transition os for them. They are building the adaptive shell and full windows will be running on future phone versions if they make any. It will adapt to the way it is being used. Connecting it via continuum will produce a real desktop shell that can run x86 apps. Disconnecting will go back to mobile shell etc. Whether that will end up being succesful is anyones guess. It could win the enterprise crowd over, who knows. Only time will tell. But even though I use continuum daily, It's still not in a finished state and not ready for the world. Though honestly my desktop is now a dedicated gaming pc since I can do everything on my phone now. general computing doesn't need more power.

20. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 740; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

If they would really release a smartphone that would really give it a kick to android and ios. How about making a phablet phone with a hybrid windows and xbox wherein if it's docked. It would run on windows. But if its undocked, and slide it with a controller rather than plugin it on a usb port. It will become a portable xbox gaming device. This kind of technology would be simpler for microsoft because there is an actual device which had this kind of technology. And that's the nintendo switch. If they don't, they would surely suffer. Just like how the world of PC nowadays, wherein nobody buys a windows 10 powered devices.

18. rjmlive

Posts: 74; Member since: Apr 07, 2012

It's a better world with only 2 mobile OS's right, but why so many, why not only 1?

3. libra89

Posts: 2316; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Very interesting stats.

5. TerryTerius unregistered

So basically, the same numbers we've seen for the past few years now. All that has really changed is the order of the companies trailing Apple and Samsung. To be clear, I'm not saying that's a ruffle anyone's feathers. Just talking objectively.

7. tedkord

Posts: 17479; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

This is a bad state. We really need at least a third player to shake things up. Look at what T-Mobile did to the AT&T-Verizon duopoly, forcing them to compete. We need that with the Android-Google situation.

8. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Well considering Windows has 90% and Apple has 5% with the Mac, that hold 95% of the desktop OS market. But Microsoft has the "lions" share. And Microsoft makes far more money from Windows, that Apple makes with the desktop period. In fact I bet MS makes more just with the Surface vs the Mac in general. Android has 81% of that 99% pie. Not really a good idea to put them together, but I get it. I agree Huawei is doing well and this is what you never mention. Huawei is bring phones to the US. for people who let's say use the iPhone like an iPod, and use limited apps where all are available on Android; with Huawei phones being at the same quality as an iPhone for about 1/2 the cost; once US carriers start selling them, both Apple and Samsung will feel a pinch but Apple will feel it first. Samsung has plenty of cheap models to compensate. All Samsung would have to do is bring some of those cheaper models to the US. What Apple really needs to do is increase there iPhoen product line. The iPhoen cost them $200 to make. They coudleasily sell that $650 iPhone for $400, and simply make a betetr ipHone model for the higher range. They can have 3 groups: iPhone, iPhone S and iPhone Plus. The base iPhone would be 750p, small stays at the 4.7" size and price goes to $400 This could be their "cheap" model. The iPhone S brings you a 5.5" size, with a FHD display, the present cameras on the iPhone 6S (as an example) and a price of about $650. Then they have the iPhone Plus. Offering fancier features like wireless charging, iris scanner, better cameras, QHD display @ 5.8" and things like that for about $850. This will at least offer a single option to compete again cheaper options, still have a mid range option to go against options liek the Galaxy A series and then a Plus model to go against the Galaxy S. If Apple doesn't move to this, I'm not talking just releasing new models and just letting the price drop on older ones. Because apple only make money off original sales once, not resales. SO they need an option to complete directly with the low end. If they don't, once Huawei and Oppo and One Plus start offering more iPhone-like options for cheaper cost, Apple is goign to lose 5% of what they have now at the leats and they are really going to be hurting. Also if Apple keeps raisng the cost of the iPhone, they are going to drive more people to lower costing options. Once people see the Huawei upfront and put it by an iPhone, Apple will see they are being ripped off and many by the millions will switch. Apple needs to wake up, before iOS ends up like OSX...5% of the world and Apple will again be struggling, and no matter how much they raise the iPhone cost, they are going to lose a lot of money with far less sales. If the iPhone sales fall below 150M, Apple will be in serious trouble.

9. mrochester

Posts: 1039; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Apple will be fine. Samsung probably will be too. What you really need to do is provide an assessment of how the rest of them are going to survive.

10. mikehunta727 unregistered

"apple would feel the pinch first" Actually Samsung would. IPhones are indivudually almost 2x as popular as the next Galaxy flagship and outsells the next Galaxy flagship by a factor of 2. People love their iPhones a ton. Also Huawei makes devices half the price of Samsung devices and offers just as good if not better quality. You and the other tin foil wearers have been saying Apple is doomed every quarter for years, dont you get tired of your own nonsense fanboy bashing ? Apple just had a absolutely killer quarter and 2017 looks a lot better then 2016 for apple. You dont seem to have a strong grip on reality based on what you typed, Apple just had a killer quarter, Apple and iOS aren't going anywhere anytime soon Also, the apps on iOS app store are generally better then their Android counterparts, they are more optimized(better performing/smoother) and generally more secure too. On Android play store duplicate apps can be uploaded and not get taken down for a while, on Play Store you have 300 different fart apps, etc. Quality of Play Store apps is still not on par with iOS apps right now(have a shield tablet k1 on 7.0, had a 6P, edge plus, note 7 for a week, S6) can attest to this as can many others

11. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Apple actually makes more via apple services/app store. If you look at the highest valued companies based on earning Apple has bested Google from #1 and Microsoft is in fourth place. Next, Samsung is royally screwed because they get 0 money from the google play store and they are Apples direct competitor. Why do you think they have been experimenting with Tizen? Honestly if I were MS I would make a deal with Samsung that they will get 10% earnings from windows ecosystem on all purchases using Samsung phones, and MS will get 5%. It would need to be full windows on Arm versus the current iteration. Samsung is already experimenting with the whole continuum idea. It could be the next natural step with putting some flagship models into the windows market. This is really the only way MS could survive.. MS is really just too dumb to see that Samsung could be their next biggest partner like Intel was in the Wintel days of Desktops. They could even transform the way these ecosystems work by making deals with each OEM for money made. The OEMS do all the work really, including marketing, why are they getting screwed? Next Apple is associated with premium. Rich people want it so that they can look down on the rest of the world. It's like the fashion industry. Same 100% cotton shirt but with a brand that makes it worth $500 dollars versus $10. It's because of this that their app ecosystem makes more money than any other. These are people with money to blow. It's quite genius of them. To put lower end models could disrupt their brand name. They are a brand and nothing else.

16. AlikMalix unregistered

I like your idea of MS and Samsung partnering up... But you ruin your reputation by posting that drivel that Apple is like a fashion industry. I like my iPhone its a better tool than android - I have voiced my reasons millions of times. Never do I think or know anyone who buys an iPhone to flash it around (maybe in some 3rd world country). Here they're seen as equals to android flagships - just that some prefer the iOS ecosystem.

17. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Apple makes great products, but for non techies it's about brand. You can buy a Samsung but in North America Apple is the high end brand. I know many younger people that buy Apple because of brand and design. They could care less what's inside. Design is a huge part of the phone world and that's because it's your accessory that you have with you and you want to be fashionable and make a statement. People here have Apple stickers on their cars. I've never seen that with any other brand other than sports logos or what not.

23. AlikMalix unregistered

So can we conclude that if I see android stickers on cars - it's a fashion brand? But don't you think that non-techies buy what they feel more comfortable with (by your logic) that makes Android a failure to build an OS that everyone can use.... Just asking.

12. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Apple actually gained marketshare this quarter brush, plus I'm pretty sure half the information in your post is inaccurate.

14. PenTiltoKet

Posts: 552; Member since: May 18, 2016

next year apple need to add 2 weeks to their quartely report to gain marketshare.... LOL

15. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

If you think they gained over 5% more marketshare in a week, I question you're ability to think rationally. It is what it is, I don't see Android fans clamouring when Google or Sony does the same. Deal with it.

22. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

btw, where is tizen?

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