The worldwide market for smartphones is becoming increasingly polarised. After years of competition for dominance in the US, Android and iOS are now completely split down the middle.
According to a recent report from Counterpoint Research, Apple has overtaken Android in market share in the USA over the last few months with a 50% share of smartphones. This statistic may provide some insight into what we will see with sales over the next year or two, which means that there could be a shift to favour iOS apps among those consumers upgrading their phones.
Apple’s boost in popularity is due to the release of their latest handset, while sales were down year on year in most international markets, including Germany and France. The only countries where Apple has failed to gain parity are in Eastern Europe, with only 40% of sales to iOS.
It’s also important to keep in mind that this is not a global analysis. If we look at the top 5 most utilised smartphones worldwide, Android is still the most common, with 80% of users globally using an Android OS. iOS comes in second and has a 16.8 % share of users worldwide.
These statistics may show a shift in favour of iOS apps, and web developers should continue to create well-coded sites that are compatible with all popular devices, browsers and operating systems.
The war between Apple and Android
The ongoing war between Apple and Android developers is a fascinating study of human nature and the development of technology. The conflict essentially boils down to two things:
- Apple products are not the easiest to develop for, they have more restrictions on what can be done with them, and their operating systems are not as open-ended as Android’s OS.
- Android is more popular than Apple. There are more Android devices out there than iPhones
At first, the war seemed to mainly be a war of Apple vs Android. The general consensus was that Android had more hardware freedom and covered more devices, whereas iPhone only covered iPhones. However, this is beginning to change. The two platforms have become intertwined, and their relationship has turned into a tug of war between two ideologies: Google and Apple.
The conflict is also interesting because it seems to neutralise both platforms’ potential success. Without Android in the picture, Apple would not have had an extensive “platform play”, as it were. Android was dramatically more popular than Apple due to many more available devices, including devices from tech giants like Samsung, HTC, and Google. This has kept developers from porting their software over to Apple devices. Conversely, without Android in the picture, Apple would have had a much larger base of users and developers who would have been more interested in working on apps for the iPhone.
Apple is famous for its quality user interface design, clean and intuitive user experience and the use of top-tier hardware, so we can expect that its apps will continue to entertain. However, even though Apple’s market share has increased, it is still relatively small compared to Android, which has a substantial installed base compared to iOS.
However, if Apple can continue providing users with great hardware and stellar apps, they may be able to provide users with a better experience. This will ultimately lead to more sales of iPhones and iOS devices and more app users, which is good news for iOS App Developers.
Android still rules the world for smartphones, but Apple continues to grow in market share. While Apple has been popular with enthusiast users, Android is still the largest and most influential user-friendly smartphone operating system.
Apple and Android are the most prominent players in the smartphone industry, with both offering their own advantages over the other. With Apple’s latest updates to its software, there is an effort underway to make the operating system more friendly for those who enjoy using Google’s Android platform. These additions will appeal to those who already use Android on a daily basis. There are even rumours circulating that Apple may have plans for an Android-compatible version of iTunes in the future.