Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android dominate the world, smartphone-wise. The competition has long since vanished in their dust.
Global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 432 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016, a 7% increase over the fourth quarter of 2015, according to Gartner, while BlackBerry and Windows Phone are nowhere to be found.
After effectively pioneering the original smartphone, BlackBerry’s marketshare has shrunk for seven years straight. The operating system’s global share now sits at 0% (0.2%, to be exact). BlackBerry now makes phones running Android.
Microsoft, meanwhile, has seemingly abandoned smartphones altogether. And why not, when your marketshare is a modest 0.3% (and shrinking!).
While Android continues to boom, its leader Samsung has been scrambling through tumultuous terrain of late.
“This is the second consecutive quarter in which Samsung has delivered falling quarterly smartphone sales,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. “Samsung’s smartphone sales declined 8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 and its share dropped by 2.9 percentage points year on year. Samsung’s smartphone sales started to drop in the third quarter of 2016, and the decision to discontinue the Galaxy Note 7 slowed down sales of its smartphone portfolio in the fourth quarter.”
It has taken eight quarters for Apple to regain the top global smartphone vendor ranking, according to Gartner.
“The last time Apple was in the leading position was in the fourth quarter of 2014, when its sales were driven by its first ever large-screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus,” said Mr. Gupta. “This time it achieved it thanks to strong sales of its flagship phones: the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.”
iOS and Android combine for 99.6% of the world’s smartphones.