We can say with almost 100 percent certainty that your next phone will run Android or iOS. How? Because Google and Apple now enjoy a duopoly in the smartphone market, with Android and iOS boasting a combined market share of 99.6 percent. Everyone else may as well pack up and go home.
Gartner has released its latest sales figures for smartphones. And they paint a picture that will haunt anyone looking to break the duopoly currently enjoyed by Google and Apple. Those two companies have essentially killed the competition, and are fighting it out for dominance.
BlackBerry Is Dead and Windows Is Dying
According to Gartner, in the fourth quarter of 2016, 432 million smartphones were sold worldwide. Of those, 81.7 percent ran Android, and 17.9 percent ran iOS. Which, when combined, covers 99.6 percent of the market. Leaving just 0.4 percent for everyone else.
Everyone else means Windows, which accounts for 0.3 percent of the market, and BlackBerry, which accounts for 0.0 percent of the market. The other 0.1 percent is split between operating systems not even worth naming. And no, that’s not a typo, BlackBerry couldn’t even muster 0.1 percent.
It should be noted that while this is a duopoly, there’s still a definite pecking order within that duopoly. With 81.7 percent of the market Android is way out in front. But then Apple is the one making all of the money due to its premium pricing and established ecosystem. So we’d hazard a guess that both companies are pretty happy with their lot.
Consumers Only Have Themselves to Blame
If we accept that competition is good — because it drives innovation and lowers prices — then these figures are bad news for consumers. Unfortunately, us consumers only have ourselves to blame, as we’re the people who chose Android over Windows and iOS over BlackBerry.