Apple has always been strong in its home market and commands a healthy share of the premium smartphone segment globally, but Android’s greater variety of devices and price points has led it to be to the dominant operating system.
Android first overtook iOS in the early years of the modern smartphone back in 2010 and Apple has never reclaimed supremacy.
China smartphone sales
However according to new figures released by Counterpoint research, the ‘active installed base’ of iPhone is now greater than Android.
This differs from shipments which reflect more recent trends on a quarterly basis, and is an area Apple has already been performing well in, meaning it has been closing the gap.
What this means for the industry is that Apple has a much greater market to sell its services, such as video, games. At a time when the smartphone market is saturating, these subscriptions are a growing source of recurring service revenues and tie consumers into Apple’s ecosystem.
This opportunity also extends to third party app developers, meaning Apple will earn greater commission and users will receive more optimised software.
The company could extend its lead further in the coming weeks with its latest flagship handset, the iPhone 14, set to hit shelves in time for the crucial holiday shopping season.
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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.