For a brief period of time, iOS dominated Android in terms of marketshare in the U.S. But now that Android is available on many more cheap smartphones, Apple has watched as Android’s share has explode.
Over the last two years, Android has captured 70% of the smartphone growth while iOS has captured 30% of the growth. However, when you look at just the last twelve months of growth, Android’s growth has slowed while Apple’s has accelerated, opening the door for iOS to overtake Android in terms of marketshare in the future.
As of August this year, the U.S. population is split 50% between people who use a smartphone and those use a non-smartphone. The rate of adoption towards smartphones has remained consistent over the last two years and Android has added 50 million new users while iOS has gained 26 million.
According to Horace Dediu, iOS is closing the gap on Android in terms of growth though, as iOS has gained 17 million new users in the last year to Android’s 25.5 million. “Android gained 58% of the growth and Apple captured 42%–a change in “spread” from 40 points to 16 in favor of Android.” Android is still ahead of iOS, but it’s lost some of its momentum.
Dediu’s projections show Android share growth slowing over the past six months while iOS is still gaining, and agues that late smartphone-adopters may be choosier than early adopters which could help iOS’s growth in the long run.
Understanding the growth of the U.S. market is important for companies like Apple, Google, and their competitors because it may be a harbinger of what happens world-wide. What will be most interesting over the next few years is to see how much “platform churn” will attribute to growth once the U.S. market become saturated with smartphone users.