Remember when Android actually had some competition from rival mobile operating systems?
Those days are now long gone, as some fresh findings from Strategy Analytics make clear.
In the third quarter, a record 88% of all smartphones around the world were running on Google's mobile OS, according to the research firm.
And, Android’s gains are definitely coming at the expense of rival platforms. In the third quarter, in fact, Apple’s iOS fell to a 12% share of the global mobile OS marketplace.
Meanwhile, “BlackBerry and Microsoft Windows Phone have all but disappeared due to strategic shifts, while Tizen and other emerging platforms softened as a result of limited product portfolios and modest developer support,” Neil Mawston, executive director of Strategy Analytics, notes in the report.
As such, “Android’s leadership of the global smartphone market looks unassailable at the moment," Woody Oh, director at Strategy Analytics, comments in the report. “Its low-cost services and user-friendly software remain attractive to hardware makers, operators and consumers worldwide.”
Yet, among other challenges, “The Android platform is getting overcrowded with hundreds of manufacturers, few Android device vendors make profits, and Google’s new Pixel range is attacking its own hardware partners that made Android popular in the first place,” Oh warned.
Altogether, global smartphone shipments reached 375 million units in the third quarter of the year, which represented an annual increase of about 6%.
This was the smartphone industry’s fastest growth rate for a year, by the research firm’s reckoning.