Android maintained its position as the leading mobile operating system worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2022, controlling the mobile OS market with a close to 71 percent share, while iOS accounted for around 28 percent of the mobile operating system market.
The leading mobile operating systems
Both unveiled in 2007, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS have advanced their software over the years and provide regular updates to their operating systems. Google previously named its Android versions after sweet and candy items. However, in a break from tradition, Google’s latest release is simply called Android 12 and was used by almost 24 percent of Android mobile users worldwide in August 2022. In September 2019, Apple released the fifteenth version of its operating system (iOS 15) and it was on 72 percent of Apple mobile devices as of May 2022.
The rise of the smartphone
From around 2010, the touchscreen smartphone revolution had a major impact on sales of basic feature phones, as the sales of smartphones increased from 139 million units in 2008 to 1.43 billion units in 2021. In 2020, smartphone sales decreased to 1.38 billion units due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Apple, Samsung, and lately also Xiaomi, were the big winners in this shift towards smartphones; BlackBerry and Nokia were among the losers. Nokia’s focus on hardware rather than software specifications is one reason their net sales fell by around 30 billion euros in just three years.