The relationship between iOS and Android seems to be stabilizing, in which case it is time to look at the future of mobile platforms.
Currently the mobile market is clearly divided into two major operating systems: Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. The idea behind both platforms could not be more different, one is an exclusive system for a few devices and the other allows use by virtually any manufacturer.
Although initially it seemed that they were direct rivals for the same market, over time the sector has matured, has grown enough to accommodate two large platforms, and has eliminated the contenders that were not up to it (Windows Phone, Blackberry, etc.).
How is the market for mobile operating systems
All of that is fine, but now what? What will happen now that the market is clearly divided in two? Is it true that there can be only one? And if not, what will be the relationship between iOS and Android in the future?
Gartner’s latest report may be an indication of what is coming. According to these data, in the second quarter of 2016 smartphone sales increased by 4.3% compared to the same period of the previous year, indicating that the market continues to grow, but not at a spectacular rate.
The fact that only five manufacturers have grown in that period (Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi, BBK Communication Equipment and Samsung) is also an indication that things are stabilizing. The data that interests us most is that Apple is fallingNot at a worrying rate (only two percentage points), but enough to make it news.
From a more general point of view, Android currently accounts for 86.2% of the current market, while iOS has to settle for 12.9%. The rest of the systems have a barely symbolic representation.
The simplistic reading of this data could be Android crushes iOS. It would be very easy to finish the article here, in such a crude and crude way. Half of the fanboys would be happy, the other half angry, and next month we would do the same article.
This could be the relationship between iOS and Androiden in the near future
Instead, we could take another look at the data, and compare it to the computer market, which has been more or less stable for decades with some fluctuations.
For a long time, the situation has been the same: Windows dominates the market with an iron fist, and leaves little more than a crumb for alternative systems such as OS X (now macOS) and Linux. But does that mean that macOS is meaningless in today’s market?
Not much less. Although Apple itself does not want to recognize it, Macbooks are still computers to consider for the average user. When you choose a computer, the operating system is still an important aspect to keep in mind, and the fact that Windows is the dominant system has not changed so much the behavior of the buyers.
It is only necessary to see the number of macOS users who are faithful to their system to realize what the future of iOS may be. It is feasible to think that in the near future Android will be the new Windows, the system par excellence and the default choice, and that iOS is the next macOS, with a small portion of the market but large enough to survive and continue to influence the sector.
It is early to say whether this future will come true, especially since the future of Android itself is in question. Google is already working on its successor, and it is clear that Apple is not going to sit idly by.