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Android vs iOS: 2016 Market Shares Divide the World

In the three months ended August 2016, Android has gained traction among users in Europe’s biggest markets, while iOS has lost some of its fanbase over in China, data from Kantar Worldpanel shows.

Although Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) may have lost some of its users in China, dropping from 19% market share in the same period of 2015 to 13.5% during this year’s three-month period, the outlook is quite hopeful for the American company. “We believe- that Apple’s share in Urban China will bounce back, as the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus become widely available,” said Lauren Guenveur, Consumer Insight Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Her belief is that the September data will show an increase from the sales of the lower-priced iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, though Huawei may yet ruin things for Apple given its high sales in China.

Over in Europe, however, Android continues to rule, with sales in the continent’s big five markets – The UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain – growing to 78.1% from 72.1% in the same period of last year. Apple’s iOS also grew in the EU5, from 16.3% to 17.3% in the same period of time. Windows OS, however, dropped from 10.9% to 4.1%, signaling a tough future for Microsoft’s mobile OS and its devices.

The US market looks similar in some ways. Android accounted for 65.2% of smartphone sales in the three months ended August, while iOS grew to 30.9%.

The outlook for Android sales continues to be great, especially with the Google-made Pixel phone coming out this October. On the other hand, the three largest manufacturing brands in the US, namely Samsung, LG and Motorola, have posted year-on-year sales declines.

“The US, British and German markets have a couple of things in common. First, the Google Pixel, announced October 4, will be available through select retail partners in these markets beginning in mid-October. Second, the combined sales shares of Samsung and Apple represent more than 60% of all smartphones sold in these regions, with the rest scattered among brands in decline, such as Motorola and Sony, and those in growth, like Huawei and Alcatel,” said Guenveur.

Google’s Pixel phone has received stellar reviews thus far and its specs may attract loads of new fans to the Android world. While in past years Google has tried to keep its phones within lower price ranges, this year it went all out to come up with hardware that competes with the best of the best. The phone’s camera is a particular bragging point for Google, especially since all reviews are mentioning how fantastic it is, particularly in low light. The elegant design is also a high point for Pixel, while Android’s cool new Google Assistant makes every users yearn for the latest OS update. Overall, Pixel is a worthy iPhone alternative in the same price range.

While it’s really no surprise that Google’s Android manages to be on top of all markets given how many smartphone manufacturers run the OS on their devices, it’s admirable that Apple manages to keep up, to some extent. Each mobile operating system clearly has a fanbase of its own and people may move between them at one point or another, but in the end they’re the biggest players in the market and will continue to dominate most markets in the months and years to come. Without another real competitor, it’s just the two of them.

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