According to the latest research conducted by Strategy Analytics, Google’s Android mobile operating system is installed on 9 out of 10 mobile devices. Android is the world’s most popular mobile operating system since long time. But in the third-quarter of 2016, Apple’s deteriorating iPhone sales pushed it to new heights.

The Android operating system grabed a record 88 percent global market-share — squeezing Apple iOS and others as global smartphone shipments reached 375 million units at the end of the month of September 2016. In short, that simply means nearly 9 out of every 10 persons, who own smartphones, are running Google’s mobile operating system on their devices. Only in last quarter, Google was able to ship 328.6 million Android devices — 10.3 percent more than during the same period last year.

Global Smartphone Operating System Shipments (Millions of Units) Q3 ’15 Q3 ’16 Growth YoY %
Android 298.0 328.6 10.3%
Apple iOS 48 45.5 -5.2%
Others 8.2 1.3 -84.1%
Total 354.2 375.4 6.0%

Source: Strategy Analytics

During the third-quarter, Apple shipped 5.2 percent less iPhone devices from the same period last year — 45.5 million iPhone units. But these numbers aren’t as bad as they look for Apple. The company released its new iPhone 7 smartphone in September only a few weeks remaining in the third quarter. Apple’s sales are expected to be strong through the holiday season.

The report also notices the sharp decline in use of other mobile operating systems such as Microsoft, Samsung, and BlackBerry. Altogether with others, these mobile operating systems make up just 0.3 percent of the total smartphone market — a huge 84.1 percent decline from the same period last year.

Increase in Android popularity is not over-night but it came at the expense of every major rival platform. But still it is not all good for Android here on though, it could face some real hurdles in place for future growth. According to Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics:

“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. 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.”

It will be interesting how Google handles these concerns. Strong sales numbers for Google’s latest smartphones the Pixel and Pixel XL can improve the company’s confidence.

Strategy Analytics: Android Captures Record 88 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q3 2016  on Strategy Analytics

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