Worldwide Smartphone Sales by Operating System (in thousands)

Worldwide smartphone sales over time for the most popular operating systems in thousands of units.


Operating System Share Breakdown

Unit sales in thousands by operating system for selected quarter.

Share of Total

Operating system share of total smartphone sales.


The data visualizations above show the market share distribution for major smartphone operating systems since 2007. The data only includes operating systems on sold devices marketed as smartphones, e. g. it doesn't include Nokia's S40 operating system.

Observations

After Google's Android started shipping in the last quarter of 2008 it took a good 2 years for the Linux kernel based OS to become market leader in the 1st quarter of 2011. Since then Android has seen the largest growth by far and reached a market share of 77.83% in the last quarter of 2013.

Since Android overtook, the former market leader Symbian stopped growing and steadily lost market share and is of no more relevance these days in the smartphone market. Also RIM started going down about the same time and does hardly better.

Apple's iOS has mostly been growing through the years, but in particular as of 2011 looks like a saw tooth distribution with steep increases in the 4th quarters and declines during the rest of the years. The overall trend for iOS goes upwards in terms of sold units but its overall share diminishes.

There seems to be almost no space for other systems than Android and iOS in this fierce competition. While Windows Phone shows a growing trend too, it reached a mere 3.02% percent in Q3 2013. Whether open source alternatives like FireFox OS or Ubuntu, which is set to start shipping on smartphones in the end of 2014 stand a chance in this market remains to be seen. I have doubts, but certainly like to see a true open source alternative gaining some traction.

How to explore the data

You can choose between area and line charts for the top chart that shows the data over time. In the area view you can switch between stacked, stream, and an expanded charts. This allows you to visualize the growth in terms of units sold and in case of the expanded chart the change of the market share of the operating systems. Morover, you can select and deselect operating systems to display by clicking on the labels on top right.

The bar chart shows the distribution of smartphone operating systems on sold units in the selected quarter and the pie chart the share of total smartphone sales for the selected operating system. You can change selections using the dropdown menues on top right corners of the charts.

Credits

The data used to create the above visualizations was last retrieved from Wikipedia on March, 26 2014 and is based on research on the mobile operating system market by Gartner, Inc. The charts are rendered using the JavaScript libraries D3.js and NVD3.


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