Android still way ahead of iOS in most markets

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Gone are the days when a BlackBerry OS, Symbian, or Windows Mobile could make a significant impact.

So it really does seem we're living in a "two-OS" world as Kantar phrased it, with Android having a distinct edge because of the number of OEMs that are using the platform. To succeed, phone manufacturers will have to play by those rulebooks.

Android has further strengthened its leading position in China, registering a year-over-year share increase of 9.3 percent to reach 83.2 percent for the three months ending January, while iOS had a 8.4 percent decline, Kantar said in a report released Wednesday.

In the meanwhile, Windows phones had only a 0.1 percent sales share in China for the period, Kantar said, down from 0.9 percent a year ago. We witnessed something of a throwback to times past with the new Nokia 3310 feature phone, an updated version of the iconic Nokia look, plus several new Nokia Android smartphones being marketed by HMD, now the exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand.

According to a survey by Kantar, Windows phones no longer have the potential to support a third widely operating system and the declining share brings it closer to BlackBerry, rather than to leaders Android and iOS. Some believe that the company will deliberately avoid describing the device as a "phone", distancing itself from its smartphone struggles.

In the USA market, Android saw its share decline 1.8 percentage points to 56.4 percent, with iOS rising 2.9 percentage points year on year to account for 42 percent of smartphone sales. In the three months ending January 2016, Android accounted for 56.4 percent of smartphone sales in the country, which is 1.8 percentage points less than the year before. Among them, Spain was the only country where the iOS saw its market share decline.

Windows' YoY losses weren't quite so bad in Italy, where it dropped by 2.8pp, from 7.2% to 4.4%, making it one of the platform's most popular markets at the present time.

As in Britain and France, Android market share increased slightly in Germany, where Google's OS now runs on three out of every four smartphones sold. iOS also grew by 2pp to 21.3% YoY. Both of those Huawei models are strong sellers in price-conscious markets like Italy and Spain.