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, every year Google has added more compulsory services and conditions, which has ensured advantages for its own suite of apps.
Google Play has grown enormously in the past decade, reaching $38.6 billion revenue 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.
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% of all smartphone users in China.
In 2021 and 2022, Google has been at odds with regulators and developers over the amount of revenue it takes for subscriptions and other transactions. It has also been accused of preventing third-party payment solutions from working on the platform, with South Korea forcing Android to accept third-party alternatives.
We have collected data and statistics on Android OS. Read on below to find out more.
Android key statistics
- Android has over three billion active users
- Three quarters of all smartphones in the world run Android
- Over 1.5 billion Android smartphones were shipped last year
- Samsung is the largest Android smartphone manufacturer, followed by Xiaomi and Oppo
|Launch date||September 2008|
|HQ||Menlo Park, California|
|People||Hiroshi Lockheimer (SVP Platforms & Ecosystems), Sundar Pichai (CEO, Alphabet), Andy Rubin (Android founder)|
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% of Android users. Google’s 2019 update, Pie 9.0, was the first to reach over 35% of smartphones.
Android version market share 2013 to 2022 (%)
Android vendor market share
Samsung has held a lead in market share since the early days of Android and has continued to perform well. Chinese manufacturers superseded HTC, LG, and others in the mid-2010s, and are now responsible for over 50% of Android device sales.
Android vendor market share in 2022 (%)
Android vs iOS market share
Android dominates in global market share, responsible for 70% of all smartphone usage. However, in the United States and United Kingdom, iOS has more overall users.
Android vs iOS global market share (%)
Android vs iOS US market share (%)
Android vs iOS UK market share (%)
Android has added more users every year since inception. Even though in 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% market share.
Android annual active users 2012 to 2021 (bn)
Even though Android continues to grow in active users, the rate of phone changes slowed in the mid-2010s. Android yearly shipments peaked in 2022, when OEM partners sold 1.57 billion units.
Android annual shipments 2012 to 2021 (bn)
Sources: IDC, Gartner, Strategy Analytics