Android versus iOS — What happened in 2021

Google’s mobile operating system Android managed to hold its own in 2021 against Apple’s iOS after seeing a considerable decline in 2020, according to estimated market share data from the GlobalStats StatCounter.

As of November 2021, Android had captured around 70.74% of the mobile OS market share worldwide, maintaining its position as the world’s leading mobile operating system.

This was only a slight decline from the 71.18% it held in November 2021.

During the same period, iOS saw a slight uptick in market share — from around 28.19% to 28.54%.

While that might seem like a win in Apple’s book, it was a significant slowdown in the migration of Android customers to iOS compared to a year earlier.

Between November 2019 and November 2020, Android market share declined from 75.82% to 71.18%, while iOS climbed from 22.9% to 28.19%.

One possible factor in 2021 might be that Apple struggled to deliver as many iPhone 13 models as it had planned.

Multiple reports suggested that the company cut production on its latest flagship smartphone range by millions due to the global chip shortage.

The shortage has been so severe that Nikkei claimed Apple slowed down iPad tablets production to allocate more components to the iPhone 13.

Overall, Android is still the dominant mobile OS in the market.

Its availability on a broader range of smartphone models at various price points makes this easy to understand.

Apple does not compete at the lower end of the market and barely offers models in the mid-range.

These two segments account for the vast majority of smartphones sold worldwide.

But 2022 could see the Cupertino-based giant breathe up Google’s neck again with the expected release of the budget-oriented iPhone 3 SE.

A report from Reuters has claimed that this model, which will likely be Apple’s cheapest 5G smartphone yet, could lure nearly 1.4 billion low-to-mid-end Android smartphone users, in addition to 300 million existing Apple users.

The market share of other mobile OSs in the world continued to shrink in 2021, accounting for less than 1% of the total market.

The table and chart below show the global market share of the most popular mobile operating systems as of November 2021.

Mobile OS Share – November 2021
Android 70.74%
iOS 28.59%
Samsung 0.38%
KaiOS 0.14%
Unknown 0.13%
Nokia Unknown 0.12%

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Android versus iOS — What happened in 2021