A Recent development in how the average user consumes digital content. Indicate that more people are increasingly using mobile devices to access the internet, do banking, and carry out transactions among other functions. This development has indeed made most tech-savvy companies that want to remain relevant transform their various digital and online platforms to be more mobile friendly.
It, therefore, follows that mobile device’s operating system makers are in for a magnificent market. Especially considering that most people are opting to have smart mobile devices. In this article, we are going to take a look at the most popular mobile devices operating system worldwide.
Google’s Android OS is without a doubt the global market leaders. Figures from the International Data Corporation (IDC) shows 1.1 billion smartphones were shipped last year running on Android OS. This figure is a 32.0 percent increase from the 2013’s figure of 802.2 million smartphones. IDC goes further to say that currently; Android commands 81.5 percent of the mobile space worldwide, up from last year’s 78.7 percent.
Much of Androids worldwide popularity has been driven by Samsung, which is the top original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of Android-powered phones. IDC notes that Samsung shipped more smartphones that its next five rivals combined. Another significant factor that play into Android’s favor is the numbers of affordable smartphones primarily targeting the developing economies.
Next in popularity is Apple’s iOS said to be running in 192.7 million smartphones shipped in 2014. This figure increased by 25.6 percent from 153.4 million units shipped worldwide in 2013, giving iOS a 14.8 percent market share. This figure is a slight drop from the 15.1 percent market share worldwide. It is important to note that iOS has gained some little grounds on Android especially in the European and U.S. market.
Microsoft with its Windows Phone mobile OS commanded 2.7 percent market share by the end of 2014, a drop from its 2013’s standing at 3.3 percent. Next in line is BlackBerry, which only commands 0.4 percent of worldwide smartphone OS market share. In 2013, BlackBerry smartphones stood at 1.9 percent.
Taking a keener look at the leading mobile OS in terms of the number of users using the various Android versions. Android 4.4 (Kit Kat) takes the lion’s share, with more Android device running on Kit Kat than any other Android version. Android 4.4 released in October 2013 is said to command 39.2 percent of Android market share, followed by Android 4.2.x (Jelly Bean) at 17.5% percent. These figures are according to the latest Android Developer Dashboard release as shown in their pie chart below.
Unlike iOS, users upgrade to the latest Android version is greatly hampered by the fact that there are too many referees in the system. An Android update first comes from the initial work at Google. Who then avail the OS to device makers like Samsung and the rest. It then falls upon the wireless carriers who have the final say, after performing their own testing, planning and the eventual rollout of the update. Had it not been for the fact there are too many ‘cooks’ in the kitchen for Android update, Android devices users would have been at more liberty to upgrade from the now too popular Android 4.4.
These limitations facing Android, however, does not apply to iOS device users, given Apple makes its own devices. Thus, Apple decides which iPhones and iPads will get which updates and which ones will not.