iOS & Android: An Unprecedented Market Domination

Once upon a time, there were names that mattered in the mobile market. Brands that, when spoken of, everyone would hold his breath in awe. Today, we find them in the museum of history lying there, and telling a story of what once was. Brands like Blackberry and Nokia were dominating the mobile market in the past. Especially Nokia, which traces its history back to 1865. It is the brand that comes from a noble and historical family, if described by human standards. So what went wrong with these brands that failed to garner users and followers in the mobile market?

Let us go back to 2007 to see where this apocalypse of ”inferior ecosystems” started. With the unveiling of the iOS operating system for the Apple iPhone, Apple attracted a massive amount of people towards the new touch screen device. Everyone felt at comfort with the iOS user interface. Although Android has been in the works since 2003, Google acquired it in 2005. Android was founded to rival Symbian and Microsoft Windows for mobile devices. In 2007, Google has established relationships with HTC, Sony, and Samsung; while commercially debuting the first Android operating system on the HTC Dream in 2008. Many companies jumped on the Android wagon later on.

Google was very good at what it does. The Android platform had the advantages of the iOS operating system while providing more freedom for the user to manipulate it at will. The unfortunate path that companies like Nokia and Blackberry walked towards was doomed to fail. The first bet on Symbian and the latter bet on the Blackberry OS. According to US statistics, since 2007, Nokia’s Symbian has been leading at 67% market share, falling to 52% in 2008, and down to 45% by 2009. Looking at the market share in 2010, we see that iOS was rising in the hearts of mobile users with a market share of 27.9% and Android was closely following by at 22.7%. Although the second leading operating system in 2010 was the Blackberry OS with a market share of 27.4%, since the Blackberry brand marketed their phones as ”The Businessman’s First Choice.” It presented itself as an elite brand which held its glamour for a time.

Then in 2011, the Apple Store started gaining momentum and Apple’s iOS became the leader of the mobile OS market share with 30%, Android with 28%, and Blackberry RIM at 25%. Later on, Apple’s iPhone franchise had Samsung, a rough rival, competing with it with their Samsung Galaxy flagship. Their devices were brilliant and had an Android operating system that worked in harmony with the devices. Now in the year 2015, we find iOS and Android controlling 98% of the mobile market share. This means the 2% includes Blackberry OS, Windows OS, BADA, Palm OS, Open Web OS, Maemo, and many others.

There is no doubt that the apps available at the App Store and Google Play have played a large role in attracting consumers. The brands that utilize these operating systems have had an influential role in the matter also. Devices with the Windows OS have barely sold 6 million devices within the 3rd quarter of 2014, while devices running Blackberry haven’t even reached 1 million in comparison. But when looking at Android devices, they sold approximately 300,000,000 devices while iOS-running iPhones sold around 46,000,000 in comparison. Of course, the reason Android is leading is because there are many companies using the Android Platform, while only Apple alone is using iOS. In terms of companies, Apple was leading in the 3rd quarter of 2014, followed by Samsung, and then Huawei.

It is clear that there will be no competitive operating system for iOS and Android due to the fact that developers place their priority in development for iOS and Android alone. It’s the place where these apps sell, while gamers and app users will go to the ecosystems that provide them with the apps they need. It seems too late for Blackberry, Nokia, and others that failed to ride the Android wagon in time. Indeed, Apple has been quite a thorn in everyone’s way with their appeal to developers is at its highest, but Google is still putting a good fight now as it works closely with top brands like Samsung, LG, HTC, and the rest of the giants. With Android’s success, Google started its Nexus line and improved relationships with Nvidia, bringing Nvidia Shield’s to the arena. Finally, there can only be two winners in the near future as we see it, they are iOS and Android.