The global market share of Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Android rose to 88% last quarter, further cornering Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iOS. Sales of the iPhone 7 are Apple’s only way out of the dilemma, and its numbers are not growing briskly enough to solve the problem. Android has the built-in advantage of its presence on smartphones made by an army of manufacturers, led by Samsung.
According to Linda Sui, director at Strategy Analytics, the overall market is healthy:
Global smartphone shipments grew 6 percent annually from 354.2 million units in Q3 2015 to 375.4 million in Q3 2016. This was the smartphone industry’s fastest growth rate for a year. Modest smartphone regrowth is being supported by emerging markets with relatively low smartphone penetration across Asia and Africa Middle East, particularly countries such as India and South Africa.
The firm’s pessimism for Apple is clear. According to Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics:
Android’s domination of global smartphone shipments remained strong in Q3 2016, with a record 88 percent of all smartphones now running Google’s OS. Android’s gain came at the expense of every major rival platform. Apple iOS lost ground to Android and dipped to 12 percent share worldwide in Q3 2016, due to a lackluster performance in China and Africa. BlackBerry and Microsoft Windows Phone have all but disappeared due to strategic shifts, while Tizen and other emerging platforms softened as a result of limited product portfolios and modest developer support.
One of Apple’s major disadvantages, which is not going to change, is that it will not license iOS to other manufacturers. It is stuck on its own island as the water rises.