Various editions of iOS 9 are currently installed on 87 percent of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, a one-point gain versus a month ago. During the same period, iOS 8 has dropped from eleven to ten percent of devices, suggesting much of iOS 9’s growth could be owed to upgrades. Earlier editions of iOS continue to comprise about three percent of devices.
The stats were derived from Apple’s logs capturing devices that accessed the App Store on August 15, 2016, and are publicized on the App Store dashboard.
By comparison, Google’s official stats have Android 6.0 Marshmallow powering 15.2 percent of smartphones and tablets, with the two-year-old Lollipop (5.0-5.1) OS found on more than one-third of Android hardware (35.3 percent).
Google’s numbers don’t take into account the following:
- Devices without Google Play services, like those sold in China
- Forked Android builds, like Amazon Fire OS
- Devices running Android versions older than 2.2
- Any other devices that did not visit the Play Store during a seven-day period ending on August 1, 2016
Google’s fragmentation problem and slow rollouts of software upgrades by carriers and device vendors should be blamed for the fact that a vast majority of Android device owners run software more than two years old.
Of course, Android continues to dominate in terms of worldwide market share.
As per Gartner, Android smartphones accounted for 86.2 percent of worldwide sales in the June quarter. During the same period, iOS lost two percentage points, falling from 14.6 percent worldwide in the second quarter of 2015 to 12.9 percent.
“In the second quarter of 2016, Samsung had nearly 10 percent more market share than Apple,” said Gartner. “Samsung saw sales of its Galaxy A and Galaxy J series smartphones compete strongly with Chinese manufacturers. Its new smartphone portfolio also helped Samsung win back share it recently lost in emerging markets.”
iPhone sales dipped sharply in Greater China and Asia/Pacific and slightly in Apple’s two strongest markets: U.S. and Western Europe. On a more positive note, its sales in Eastern Europe, Eurasia and Sub-Saharan Africa grew 95 percent year over year.
All told, the Cupertino firm has had three consecutive quarters of slowing demand as sales declined 7.7 percent. In Apple’s defense, market share doesn’t tell the whole story.
For starters, the company does not compete in the mid and low-end of the global smartphone market at all—its most affordable iPhone is the $399 iPhone SE.
With strong global sales of sub-$400 devices (most of the handsets sold in India are sub-$100 phones, for example), of course market share numbers are going to be skewed significantly in Android’s favor.
Bottom line: Android is the world’s most-used mobile OS, but iOS remains the king of the hill when it comes to device and app profitability and third-party software support.
What’s your read of these stats?