Even though Android has suffered some reputation hit recently, with many reports claiming that a huge proportion of its users are vulnerable to dated malware, it seems like the mobile platform is continuing to expand considerably. As per a market research firm, Google's mobile platform's share in global smartphone shipments grew on a year-on-year basis while that of Apple's iOS declined in third quarter of 2016.
Research firm Strategy Analytics has reported that Android's share in the global smartphone shipments during Q3 2016 stood at 87.5 percent, up by 3.4 percent year-on-year. The report said that during the same time period, the share of iOS fell by 1.5 percent year-on-year to 12.1 percent. The share of other mobile platforms fell by 2.3 percent year-on-year as well, to 0.3 percent of global smartphone shipments.
Detailing platform-based smartphone shipment numbers, the report adds that 328.6 million Android smartphones were shipped in Q3 2016 - a growth of 10.3 percent year on year. 45.5 million iPhones were shipped in the quarter, a drop of 5.2 percent year-on-year. Smartphones from other platforms saw 1.3 million units shipped, a massive drop of 84.1 percent from the year ago quarter. Total smartphone shipments were at 375.4 million, a 6 percent rise year-on-year.
Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, "This was the smartphone industry's fastest growth rate for a year. Modest smartphone regrowth is being supported by emerging markets with relatively low smartphone penetration across Asia and Africa Middle East, particularly countries such as India and South Africa."
"Android's leadership of the global smartphone market looks unassailable at the moment. Its low-cost services and user-friendly software remain attractive to hardware makers, operators and consumers worldwide," Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics, was quoted as saying in its report.
"However, several challenges remain for Google. The Android platform is getting overcrowded with hundreds of manufacturers, few Android device vendors make profits, and Google's new Pixel range is attacking its own hardware partners that made Android popular in the first place," he added.
Strategy Analytics said that Android's dominance came at the expense of other mobile platforms, notably because Apple's share fell due to a "lacklustre" performance in China and Africa. It added that due to a change in strategy, BlackBerry and Microsoft Windows Phone have virtually vanished from the competition.
"BlackBerry and Microsoft Windows Phone have all but disappeared due to strategic shifts, while Tizen and other emerging platforms softened as a result of limited product portfolios and modest developer support," said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics.