Latest Gartner data shows iOS vs Android battle shaping up much like Mac vs Windows

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Lucille Barrett
Lucille Barrett
Future teen idol. Hardcore tv lover. Social media guru. Zombie aficionado. Travel scholar. Biker, shiba-inu lover, audiophile, Mad Men fan and proud pixelpusher. Working at the junction of minimalism and elegance to answer design problems with honest solutions. I'm fueled by craft beer, hip-hop and tortilla chips.

While Apple has seen declining sales of its iPhone over recent quarters, new data from Gartner provides another look into the decline facing Apple and the smartphone market in other regions. Overall, the data shows that smartphone sales worldwide grew 4.3 percent year-over-year, though Apple saw a 7.6 percent decline itself. When it comes to operating systems, iOS and Android continue their dominance.

Although the market-wide increase in sales, growth overall is slowing for smartphones. All mature markets except Japan saw slowing demand for smartphones. All emerging regions, however, saw growth of 9.9 percent.

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As of the second quarter of 2015, Apple held a 14.6 percent share of the worldwide smartphone market. In Q2 2016, however, that number fell to 12.9 percent. However, Samsung saw a slight increase in market share, rising from 21.8 percent this time last year to 22.3 percent. Samsung, in fact, reported its strongest quarter in two years for the second quarter of 2016.

For Apple, Gartner’s research shows that the company experienced its worst decline in Greater China and mature Asia/Pacific regions. In these areas, sales declined 26 percent year-over-year. However, in Eurasia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe, Apple’s iPhone sales grew more than 95 percent year-over-year.

Overall, Oppo saw the strongest growth, rising from 2.4 percent to 5.4 percent, which Gartner attributes to strong sales of its R9 smartphone in China and other countries.

The more interesting portion of the latest Gartner data, however, comes concerning operating systems. According to the data, Android and iOS now account for a combined 99 percent of the worldwide smartphone operating system market. Android holds 86.2 percent of the market, up from 82.2 percent in the year-ago quarter. Combine that with the 12.9 percent iOS holds, and that’s 99.1 percent of the entire market.


In terms of the smartphone operating system (OS) market, Android regained share over iOSto achieve an 86 percent share (see Table 2) in the second quarter of 2016. Android’s performance continued to come from demand for mid- to lower-end smartphones from emerging markets, but also from premium smartphones, which recorded a 6.5 percent increase in the second quarter of 2016.

It’s interesting to think that the iPhone vs. Android battle is starting to increasingly look like the Mac vs. PC battle. Android owns a larger portion of the market, much like PC manufacturers do, while Apple still brings a higher average selling price. In June, I argued that the smartphone market was shaping up to nearly mirror the PC market, and today’s Gartner data continues to show that trend. What do you think? Is the Android vs. iOS battle the Mac vs. PC battle all over again? Let us know in the comments…

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