The Two-Operating-System Market

Most choices in the world aren’t clearly defined in yes or no terms — option A or option B — but if you’re in the market for a new mobile device, it virtually is. Thanks to the latest graphic by Statista — based on data collected via the International Data Corporation — the decision faced by the vast majority of users is clear: Android and iOS far outpace their competition.

According to IDC, 1.3 billion mobile devices were sold in 2014, with Android accounting for more than one billion on its own. The Google operating system sold to 81.5% of the market with Apple’s iOS placing second with 14.8%. Still on the podium but trailing far behind was Windows Phone at 2.7% and Blackberry held 0.4%. The remaining 0.6% of the market purchased other OS devices such as Sailfish, Tizen and Ubuntu.


With the two major players dominating the market to the tune of 96.3% last year, up from 93.8% in 2013, the app market and thus app developers have followed the customers. Via AppAnnie, the number of Android apps overtook iOS last year, with Amazon Fire coming in third. Windows Phone, BB and others were not listed.


The four major sports — plus the MLS — all have official mobile apps for Android and iOS, though after the top two the app market diverges.

iOS Android BB Fire OS

The situation seems to be a Catch-22 of sorts. Fewer app developers want to go to the non-iOS/Android markets due to the lack of consumer base and the consumer base can’t grow without apps. Amazon Fire OS is a heavily modded version of Android and is cross compatible with some but not all Android apps. Despite getting some support recently in the form of WatchESPN arriving on Windows Phones, sports fans and the public in general are in a two horse race.

(Header image via Kārlis Dambrāns)

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