Android: The Most Popular OS In The World

| February 15, 2014 | 16 Replies

Smartphone Chart

We have been having the biggest debate of the mobile world for a few years now… Android, or iOS?  Each of them have their own major perks.  Android has its insane amount of customization possibilities, and iOS has its ease of use (just to name a few).  However, a new report from the IDC shows us some irrefutable proof:  Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world.  Over the last three years, the Android operating system market share, in percentages of global unit shipments, has increased by roughly 29.6%, while iOS has dropped 3.6%.  Windows Phone has surprisingly gained 1.5%, and BlackBerry has dropped 9.4%.  As of May of last year, Samsung held the title of the first place, but that is to be expected.

Now this tells us some interesting things.  Note that Android has increased by almost 30%, while their main competition has dropped only 3.6%.  What this tells me is that it is not a majority of iOS users ‘seeing the light’, as it were, but rather new people entering the mobile market and going straight to Android.  I believe that the main reason of this occurring is the fact that Android has devices at every range of the price scale that someone could purchase.  If you want to spend a minimal amount on a phone, then good luck finding an iOS devices that fills that role.  Apple does premium pricing for what they call their premium product.  With Android, there are plenty of options for users that are half, if not less than half, the costs of Apples devices.  Even some of the high-end devices on Android are astronomically cheaper than iOS devices, such as the Nexus 5.  Price is the biggest factor here, I believe.  Basic economics tells us that when the price of a good goes down, demand for that good increases.  With Android phones becoming more and more affordable as technology improves, we are seeing this occur right before our very eyes.

Android looks to be the operating system choice of the future, and this is very good for us.  We can look forward to innovation and advances in the technology that will keep on coming for years and years.  With the upcoming Mobile World Congress, I for one am pumped to see what will be coming are way in the immediate future.  Hopefully, it lets our favorite little green robot stay on top.


Category: Android News

About Patrick Northcraft ()

I am a student at the University of Toledo studying Information Systems, Electronic Commerce, and Instrumental Music with a trumpet specialization. I am fascinated with all aspects of mobile technology, especially the vast possibilities offered via Android. I am currently sporting a Nexus 5 (which is a VAST upgrade from my old Samsung Epic 4G Touch), a Galaxy Note 10.1 2012 Edition, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.
  • Disasterpiece

    Let’s be real for a minute: the popularity of Android is not based on quality but quantity. Similar to Windows, OEMs can pump out a bunch of cheap handsets and sell them to emerging markets. I do appreciate what Android has done in developing countries for the mobile electronics world, while Apple turns their noses up to lower SES places.
    However, when 20% of Android devices are still on 2.3 Gingerbread, the story changes. Windows 8 is selling less than Windows 7 did (in the same amount of time) yet critics say Windows 8 is better. Bottom line, Android is good, but popularity isn’t everything.

  • Roger Joseph

    Flooding the market with you Is does not make you popular it makes you a comodity. People choose to pay more for IOS. There are also numerous studies that show the application attach rates are way way higher on ios. So in the way of words they android, are winning but not in minds. That was Microsofts lack of understanding Google is just repeating.

    • TofuWarrior

      I think you need to get up to date. Android IS winning in minds. People are choosing to pick up Android flagships from LG, Samsung, Motorola, and Google over the iPhone.

      Let me put it another way. Not even Apple can keep from talking about Android! If Android wasn’t winning people’s minds as much as it has been, why would Apple be bothered to bash it every chance they get?

      And with so many iPhones in the market, does that not make it a comodity too? What makes it so special if I have it and so do the majority of teenagers on my street?

      • Roger Joseph

        I see your angle, but Apple never uses the amount of phones they sold as a plus. Android is the one that uses amount sold as its explanation to why they think it’s popular. But the detail the leave out is percentage of Android 2.3 phones still sold today. This inflation of numbers is the problem in this comparison. Anything android pre version 4.0 cannot even be considered in the league with iPhone.

    • Grunchking

      People also increasingly pay more to NOT have iOS. I tout a Galaxy S4 which round my way, costs marginally more than an iPhone 5s. I got mine on contract for exactly the same monthly price as a 5s. There are far too many reasons why I prefer Android to iOS to list here, and none of them are related to cost. You are also about 18 months out of date with the attach rate bit. The most recent studies show Android at parity and , in some niches and with some leading apps, ahead of iOS.

    • BlueThruandThru

      “So in the way of words they android, are winning but not in minds.” What on Earth does that mean? Mindless people are choosing Android devices? Android is winning in minds, hearts, features and price. MSFT and Apple can never bring their price point down to most Android devices, because their revenues would drop and that would cause shareholders to sell off their stock. They could if only they realized that more volume sold x lower prices = same revenues. But the Einsteins in Redmond and Cupertino just don’t get it. They won’t be missed.

      • Roger Joseph

        Does apple seem to be having problems selling their phones? But I guess you know better than they do, you are related to Einstein right. Listen apple makes $500-$1000 dollar pieces of hardware and they sell it for that, you are expecting the to make a $100 device to compete with Android, why would they? A $500 phone from apple feels like a $500 device in build and quality, a $100 android phone feels like a hundred dollar quality device. I don’t want a hundred dollar piece of crap. I would gladly pay $600 if it meant getting hardware at that caliber.You pay for what you get.

  • James_Dymond

    All articles like this will do (as evidenced by the two comments below) is make Apple users feel even more smug and like Android is a “common, peasant os” which at the end of the day is what they love best, so no harm done lol.

  • Roger Joseph

    Just to give the previous poster some info. Longtime apple ios user from 3G days, sold iPhone 5 and got an HTC ONE and love this phone. Android is far from being as “finished” as ios. Yes it’s amazing in it’s own way but you need a good phone to take advantage of it. The large percentage of those users don’t have a quad core 2gb ram 1.7Ghz with 4.3. Once the iPhone comes out with it’s 5.5 to 6 inch phone I will definitely switch back and restore my iPhone 5 backup

  • orallc

    Cheap trash? Got a Motorola moto g last week with kit kat for £129. Quality phone, quality OS. Game changing.

  • Danie van der Merwe

    I had an iPhone before moving to Android for my last 4 phones. I would have paid more my Android if I had to mainly due to flexibility of choice, features, widgets, etc. People don’t just choose Android because it is cheaper.

  • Jeremy Caron

    Androids work great when you first get them.. but after a year OS goes to crap. you have to mod them to get anything new or updated after 6 months and just become unreliable. Ill consider a windows phone before ever owning a Android ever again.

    • BlueThruandThru

      I bought the NEXUS 4 about a year ago, realizing that all Nexus 5 development was done on the NEXUS 4 and then ported to the Nexus 5 The N4 came wit a prior version of O/S but was upgraded to 4.0 during the night about a month later.There have been updates done periodically since and my N4 is now at 4.4.2.Very smart strategy by Google other than I will probably not think about upgrading until the N6 comes out. Enjoy your Windows Phone, it will soon be in the Antiquated Technology Museum.

  • The Tim Channel

    Android is by far the dominant player in the “take what you can get for free” telephone market. Whoopie ding-dong. Enjoy.

  • IGnatius T Foobar

    Cost of hardware continues to decrease, and Android is the obvious software stack to match with it. Apple’s insistence on controlling the whole hardware/software stack and charging a premium price is placing them as a distant #2, which is the desktop computing market played out once again decades later.

    Of course, then there’s Windows Phone, which is a totally different kind of #2 …

    Let’s face it, folks: the ubiquity of Internet connectivity has changed everything. There’s all sorts of value to be gained from keeping applications behind the glass where they can be maintained, upgraded, and backed up by IT professionals. The ideal client operating system exposes just enough functionality to access those applications (thus proving that a certain group of compu-terrorists in the pacific northwest still don’t get it, when they claim that a tablet needs a full office suite in order to be useful).

    I look forward to seeing Android and Linux *everywhere*.

  • Frank Andersson

    Let’s not forget that Android got also some 65% market share of tablets during the latter part of 2013.