Android has managed to maintain its global lead in the smartphone market over the past year but feature phones and sub-$100 devices are building traction in some markets, according to a new Mobile Web Intelligence Report 2018 from DeviceAtlas. On the latter point, although the balance between Google’s open-source mobile OS and iOS has remained relatively stable, both companies appear to be losing share in the world’s foremost emerging market. Android’s largest market share growth happened in Malaysia with 22.57-percent in increases to Apple’s 22.33-percent loss, landing at 93.39-percent. But it did lose 11.84-percent in India that doesn’t appear to have been picked up by the iOS. Instead, a feature phone OS called KaiOS has managed to grab 16.1-percent market share in that region. Meanwhile, the US actually represented the second-largest sub-$100 smartphone market for 2017.
In the meantime, the analysts also indicate that a substantial portion of that will likely be centered around Android itself with Oreo-based Android Go. So although other operating systems have grown in emerging markets, any OS other than Android or iOS is likely to have a difficult time gaining a foothold outside of those. That’s reinforced by the fact that only approximately 0.013-percent of phone traffic in the well-established US market can be attributed to any devices other than those running the two primary global operating systems. Since that’s the second-largest market for those types of devices in the world, the analysts see that as an affirmation that a need for quality affordable handsets is prevalent. That also makes sense since the majority of the world’s smartphone users are still using handsets with just 2GB of RAM, according to the report. Only Argentina and Colombia buck that trend, with users vying for handsets with just 1GB instead.
Setting that aside, Android did lose market share to iOS in all but four countries – Australia, Brazil, India, and Malaysia – in Q2 2018, as compared to the same quarter in 2017. In Australia, the Google-owned operating system regained just under nine percent to Apple’s loss of nearly eight-and-a-half percent. Having said that, DeviceAtlas also reports that iOS leads Android in just six of the twenty markets studied, including Australia, Canada, Japan, and Sweden, in addition to the UK and US. For the second quarter of 2018, Android is ahead in each other respective region. That includes India, where it still holds 71.3-percent despite its losses over the past year.