Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Ten years later, Android still outsells iOS by nearly 6 to 1

Bloomberg Businessweek has produced an excellent potted history of the smartphone, and in particular, the ongoing battle between Apple/iOS and Google/Android. It outlines, in words and graphs, the precipitous growth of cellphone technology - the iPhone only came out in 2007 for god's sake, and Samsung popularized the Android platform soon after.
What I found particularly interesting, though, are the graphs showing iPhone and Android usage in different countries. Here in North America, we are used to thinking about Apple and Android phones as pretty much on a par, and the stats do show a 53% iOS and 46% Android split in both the USA and Canada (more iPhones than I expected, I confess). In Japan, Apple has even more of a lead, with 70% iOS and 30% Android, and Australia shows 57% iOS and 43% Android. But these are the only four countries IN THE WORLD where iOS outsells Android (the only other country where it comes close is the UK, which is split 49% IOS and 51% Android).
Everywhere else, Android has a massive market share, and what is noticeable is that the poorer the country the feebler the hold of Apple on its cellphone market. In most poor countries, Apple's market share is in single ─Ćigits, sometimes as low as 1%. Which makes perfect sense, because the iPhone remains an expensive option, often more of a status symbol than a practical communications device. Richer countries outside of North America, like France, Germany, Spain and Saudi Arabia tend to have iPhone adoption in the mid-20%s, as do a few other outliers like Russia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Morocco and, perhaps surprisingly, China. Everyone else, though, below 20%, often below 10%. Overall, the world's smartphone users, prefer Android 85% of the time.
Basically, Android has democratized communications; if it were left to Apple, most of Africa, Asia and South America probably still wouldn't be able to afford a smartphone. I have to say, I find it quite gratifying, because for some reason I have always disliked Apple as a company. There's something just too slick about them, which grates, and I always hated their condescending and supercilious older advertising campaigns. When Steve Jobs' ranted "I'm going to destroy Android!" back in 2010, Andoid already had 85% of the smartphone market share. Well, it's exactly the same today.

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