As long as Android and iOS exist, there will be an ongoing battle on which Operating System (OS) is more popular. The latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that Android growth is increasing further over iOS, despite slower growth overall. The most recent three-month study ending April 2016 shows Android is continuing to make year-on-year gains across some regions such as the EU5 (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain), the US, and China.
Both Android and iOS had a higher market share in Great Britain ending in April. According to Kantar, Android increased 4.1-percent, year-on-year, for a total market share of 58.5-percent. Apple's iOS showed its first increase since October 2015 – they had a modest 0.4-percent gain for a total market share of 35.1-percent. Lending a helping hand to Android were Window Phone owners that switched to give Android an additional 10-percent of customers. In the US, where Android captured more than two-thirds of smartphone sales (67.6-percent) and increased its share 5.2-percent, growth seems to be driven by customer loyalty. When replacing their smartphones, 9 out of 10 (91.4-percent) people purchasing an Android smartphone, already owned an Android device.
The study shows that in urban China, Android captured 78.8-percent of the smartphone sales – up 4.8-percent year-on-year. Only 14-percent of buyers opted for an iOS smartphone. While in mature markets like the US and EU5, the switch from feature phones to smartphones has slowed down, in other nations like urban China, upgrading from feature phones to smartphones is a significant factor in the growth of Android.
In both Europe and the US, the smartphone market is approaching a saturation level where growth in either Android or iOS, must come from drawing customers away from one another. For a while, they will be able to continue trying to win over the once loyal Window Phone followers, but after that, for real growth, Google's Android and Apple's iOS will have to look to newer markets where smartphone penetration is still growing, such as India and Latin America. Another way for them to grow is to offer services or products that are unique from one another, like in the case of Google Assistant, Apple Music, or opening up the development of iOS Siri, and Messenger.