Android Market Share Hits New Record, Now Powering Nearly 9 of Every 10 Phones

Android share at record high

Android grabbed a record market share in the third-quarter of 2016, now running on 9 of 10 mobile devices. The record high comes both thanks to declining iPhone sales and Google's increasing outreach in the low-cost smartphone market.

Android now installed on 88% of all smartphones 

Google's Android mobile operating system has remained the world's most popular OS for years. However, the third-quarter of this year proved to be the luckiest for the company. New stats reveal that Android captured 87.5 percent of global smartphone market share in the three months to the end of September. This translates into nearly nine out of every ten smartphones in the world running Google's mobile OS.

328.6 million Android devices were shipped in the last quarter, resulting in a 10.3 percent year-on-year increase, analysts at Strategy Analytics reported.

In comparison, Apple only shipped 45.5 million iPhones, down 5.2 percent from the 48 million milestone in the same period last year. This was earlier shown in the last Apple earnings, which showed a third straight quarter of declines in the iPhone sales. Due to this decline in iPhone shipments, iOS now stands at 12.1 percent, down from 13.6 percent of last year.

As for the other mobile operating systems, "BlackBerry and Microsoft Windows Phone have all but disappeared due to strategic shifts." Mobile OSes by other manufactures, including Samsung, Microsoft, Blackberry, and others make up for just 0.3 percent of the total smartphone market.

The low-cost smartphone market

It's not only the declining iPhone sales that have helped the growth of Android. The rise of low-cost device manufacturers has significantly contributed to this growth, especially in China. "Android's leadership of the global smartphone market looks unassailable at the moment. Its low-cost services and user-friendly software remain attractive to hardware makers, operators and consumers worldwide," commented Woody Oh, director at Strategy Analytics.

"However, several challenges remain for Google. 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."

Google launched its Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones last month - a first for the company. While some analysts have said that the software giant could risk its relationships with its OEM partners, Google's Pixel lineup is built to face its biggest competition - the iPhone.

With the holiday season here, Google might gain some strong sale numbers with its Pixel phones. But, its OEM partners might not be as lucky. Samsung has had a bad streak with its Note 7, and other Android vendors haven't yet managed to translate the growing Android share into substantial profits.

On the other side of the fence, Apple's sales are projected to gain numbers during the holiday season. It is important to note that the latest iPhone 7 was shipped with only a few weeks remaining in the third quarter.

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