In the mobile OS two-horse race, Android has been leading iOS for some time. But the release of the iPhone X has driven Apple to the lead according to the latest data from IDC. They say, contrary to many other reports, that the iPhone X has been driving iOS’ increased market share following lower-than-expected demand for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
Not surprisingly, Windows Phone has dropped completely from the ratings, selling just 45 units during the last quarter of 2017. Android devices shipments closed in on 1.4 million handsets with iOS nudging towards 1.8 million units.
Obviously, that means Apple leads all-comers in terms of manufacturers. Samsung held onto second spot even after their share dropped to 15.4% in 2017Q4 from 24.6% in 2017Q3.
But the picture is likely to shift. With Samsung’s new flagship S9 on the market, their sales will be buoyed. And a number of other major Android OEMs will be releasing new devices during the first half of the year so we should see the balance tip back Android’s way locally.
What’s all this mean? It shows that there is healthy competition but phone makers will be concerned as data recently released suggest people are holding onto phone for three years, rather than the long-term trend of replacing their handsets after two years – the typical period for a phone contract. And Apple’s current ascendency is likely to be challenged in the coming months as Android makers release their new models.
Unit sales will clearly favour Android as there’s a far greater spread of devices and price ranges on that side of the market while Apple will be content to scoop up the higher end of the market where margins are higher.