The smartphone ecosystem has changed significantly over the past decade.
Modern smartphone users have only two major options in terms of software for their handset – Android or iOS.
Android is an open-source mobile operating system developed by Google and used by many smartphone manufacturers across the world.
iOS is Apple’s proprietary mobile operating system which is exclusive to its iPhone devices and features heavy integration with other Apple devices such as MacBooks and the Apple Watch.
This binary competition was not always the case, however, as over the past 10 years, there have been many other operating systems widely adopted by mobile devices.
The most prominent of these systems included Symbian OS, BlackBerry OS, Samsung Tizen, and of course, Android and iOS.
Over time, however, the other operating systems fell away, with most of the smartphone brands that used them choosing instead to adopt Android.
They maintained a unique offering by customising the open-source operating system with their own software.
These “skins” run on top of the core Android operating system and include unique functionality, such as built-in security or accessibility features.
To understand how mobile operating systems have changed over the past 10 years, we compared the adoption of Android and iOS from the year 2010 until now.
The mobile operating system has become homogenised over time, with the vast majority of modern mobile devices now using either Android or iOS.
This can be seen by the growth of the combined market cap of these two platforms over the last 10 years.
iOS was initially far more popular than Android, competing with SymbianOS for the top spot in the market at the beginning of 2010.
This changed over time, however, as more smartphone brands adopted Android and smaller operating systems fell away.
In 2020, the overall market share of Android is much higher than iOS, although its user base is distributed across a much higher number of different versions.
iOS users, on the other hand, mostly all use the latest version of Apple’s software due to the proprietary nature of the ecosystem.
We have compared the market share of Android and iOS over the past 10 years below.
Android vs iOS – 2010 to 2020
2016 to 2020 – Android and iOS versions
|Mobile OS Market Share: 2016 – 2020|
|OS Version||July 2016||Jan 2017||Jan 2018||Jan 2019||Jan 2020||July 2020|