Android Dominates With Over 85 Percent Share, While Windows Phone And BlackBerry Fall To Life Support Levels
In the smartphone OS market, there’s Android and iOS; then there’s everyone else. Google’s Android operating system is by far the most popular smartphone operating system in the world, while Apple’s iOS comes in a distant second. But what about industry veterans Microsoft and BlackBerry? According to the latest figures from Gartner, smartphone operating systems from those companies barely made a blip on its radar screen.
Sales of smartphones running Windows Phone/Windows 10 Mobile and BlackBerry OS 10 fell dramatically year-over-year. Microsoft managed to sell just 1.9 million smartphone running Windows Phone during Q2 2016. Compared to the same period last year, when Microsoft sold 8.2 million units, this is a crushing defeat. Likewise, BlackBerry sales fell from an already anemic 1.1 million units in Q2 2015 to just 400,000 during Q2 2016.
When all was said and done, Microsoft and BlackBerry racked up 0.6 percent and 0.1 percent of the global smartphone market respectively, compared to 2.5 percent and 0.3 percent respectively a year ago. For those keeping score, Android’s Q2 2016 market share rang in at 86.2 percent while iOS was well behind with 12.9 percent.
BlackBerry has attempted to pivot somewhat by embracing the Android operating system, but even those efforts haven’t proved fruitful for the Canadian company.
According to Gartner, Android seems to simply be unstoppable due to its board appeal across a wide pricing spectrum. "Google is evolving the Android platform fast, which allows Android players to remain at the cutting edge of smartphone technology," explained Gartner research director Roberta Cozza. "Facing a highly commoditized smartphone market, Google's focus is to further expand and diversify the Android platform with additional functionalities, like virtual reality, enabling more-intelligent experiences and reach into wearables, connected home devices, in-car entertainment and TV."
Despite the dismal outlook, Microsoft and BlackBerry aren’t giving up on the smartphone market. In fact, both are doubling down. In April, Microsoft said:
We are currently in development of our next generation products and I wanted to reconfirm our commitment to Windows 10 Mobile. We believe in this product's value to business customers and it is our intention to support the Windows 10 Mobile platform for many years. We have a device roadmap to support that from Microsoft as well as our OEM partners who will also be selling an expanded lineup of phone devices based on this platform.
As for BlackBerry, the company just recently launched the $299 DTEK50 smartphone, which runs Android instead of BlackBerry OS 10. The company also has two more devices in the pipeline, including a “Argon” flagship with a 5.5-inch QHD display and Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor.