It’s official: iOS’ absolute dominance of the Australian market is over. According to research firm Telsyte, 44 per cent of smartphones being used in Australia are running Android, giving it a slim lead over iOS with 43 per cent.
That figure isn’t going to cause Apple to lose any sleep, not least because it has absolute ownership of iOS customers and revenue, while Android is a much more divided market. But it’s noteworthy because it suggests that the common argument amongst app developers that iOS needs priority will need reconsideration. There are other factors that play into that argument: the Android ecosystem is unquestionably more fragmented. However, with iOS now also running over multiple versions and screen sizes, fragmentation is an issue for nearly any mobile platform.
Diversity (particularly in terms of price) has been Android’s main advantage, according to the Telsyte Australian Smartphone Market Study 2013-2017. “Our new research shows that the lower prices, faster product cycles and carrier support has helped Android become the leading platform,” Telsyte research director Foad Fadaghi said in a release announcing the results. He also noted that Apple users have a higher intention of buying again and are more likely to sign contracts.
Ultimately, having a competitive market is better for everyone. If you’re a happy iOS user, then competition from Android will still drive Apple to improve its products. Ditto if you’re content with Android, or Windows Phone, or BlackBerry. Bring it!