Android is the most popular operating system in the world, with over 2.5 billion active users spanning over 190 countries.
Created by Andy Rubin as the open-source alternative to iPhone and Palm OS, Android quickly became the favourite operating system for most mobile manufacturers in the early 2010s.
With titans of the industry such as Samsung, LG, Motorola and HTC all launching phones running Android, it quickly became the most popular mobile OS, hitting over one billion active users by 2014.
As Android grew, so did Google’s control of the OS. Originally, manufacturer partners were able to customise most of the platform to their liking, however, Google has every year added more compulsory services and conditions with each year, which has ensured advantages for its own suite of apps.
Google Play has grown enormously in the past decade, reaching $38.6 billion in 2020. There were over 2.9 million apps available on the store in 2020, which were downloaded 108 billion times.
Android is the dominant platform in most countries, although it has had trouble surpassing Apple in Japan and the United States. In countries like Brazil, India, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey, it has over 85 percent market share.
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While Google has claimed more control over Android with each passing year, in China, the search giant has no control over the operating system. A host of Chinese companies operate third-party app stores on the Android platform, which account for 75 percent of all smartphone users in China.
We have collected data and statistics on Android OS. Read on below to find out more.
Android key statistics
- Android has over 2.8 billion active users, it has a global market share of 75 percent
- Android holds over 85% market share in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Turkey and Vietnam
- Over one billion Android smartphones were shipped last year
- Samsung is the largest Android smartphone manufacturer, followed by Huawei and Xiaomi
Android version market share
Google has struggled to get OEMs to update their smartphones at a quick pace, which has meant most updates rarely hit over 50 percent of Android users. Google’s 2019 update, Pie 9.0, was the first to reach over 35 percent of smartphones.
Android vendor market share
Samsung has held a lead in market share since the early days of Android and has continued to perform well, even as rivals HTC and LG have folded in recent years. Chinese manufacturers are responsible for over 55 percent of Android market share.
Android vendor market share in 2021 (%)
Android vendor market share 2015 to 2020 (%)
Note: Market share fluctuates each quarter. Most values are an average of Q1 and Q3 of each year.
Sources: Counterpoint Research, Gartner, IDC
Android vs iOS market share
Android dominates in global market share, responsible for 71 percent of all smartphone usage in Q1 2021. Android has been falling slightly in market share in the past two years, as Apple’s iPhone 11 and 12 were both well received by customers.
Android vs iOS global market share (%)
Android vs iOS US market share (%)
Android has 38 percent market share in the United States as of Q1 2021, which has been falling ever since Q3 2019, when it had 45 percent market share. Apple has always been the most popular smartphone brand in the country.
Android vs iOS UK market share (%)
The UK has a higher percentage of iPhone users than most of Europe, which has made it one of the more competitive countries, with Android and iOS both fighting for the most market share. Apple has recently overtaken Android, with Android at 47 percent market share in Q1 2021.
Android has added more users every year since inception. Even though in more mature markets user growth has stagnated, Android has continued to grow at a remarkable rate through its popularity in developing countries. In Brazil, India, Indonesia, Turkey and Vietnam, Android has over 85 percent marketshare.
Android yearly shipments
Even though Android continues to grow in active users, consumers started to buy phones at a slower rate starting in 2015. Android yearly shipments peaked in 2018, when OEM partners sold 1.33 billion units. There was a noticeable decline in 2020, which most manufacturers have tied to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sources: IDC, Gartner, Strategy Analytics