While I generally like to wait for IDC to chime in as well, Gartner paints an incredible picture of why Microsoft abandoned the smartphone market: Android and iOS now account basically 100 percent of all new smartphone sales.
Of course, most of that was really Android.
“Google’s Android extended its lead by capturing 82 percent of the total market in the fourth quarter of 2016,” a new Gartner report on smartphone market share notes. “In 2016 overall, Android also grew its market share by 3.2 percentage points to reach an 84.8 percent share, and was the only OS to grow market share year on year.”
Looking at Gartner’s numbers, Android accounted for just under 82 percent of all smartphone sales in the final quarter of 2016. Apple’s iPhone was just under 18 percent. Statistically, that is the entire smartphone market, though Windows phone stumbled to .3 percent (yes, point three) of all smartphones sold in the quarter. So, hooray for number three.
The report curiously does not provide full year numbers, though those are easily found by digging up past Gartner reports. I won’t do that, however, until IDC weighs in, as I don’t use numbers from a single analyst firm to determine market share.
But the Gartner report is still of interest on its own. It notes that Samsung retained its lead over Apple in total smartphone sales for calendar year 2016, and by a wide margin: Samsung sold 306 million smartphones in 2016, good for 20.5 percent of the market, while Apple sold 216.6 million iPhones.
If you look at just the fourth quarter, however, Apple slipped past Samsung for the top spot with 77 million iPhones sold. In that quarter, Samsung sold 76.8 million smartphones. So basically a tie, according to Gartner.