Blackberry and Windows Phone are breathing their last

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There’s no doubt at this stage the leading smartphone operating systems are Android and iOS. It has been that way since both phones went head-to-head with each other, fighting for the biggest slice of market share.

In every race, there are losers, but in the smartphone OS market, the stragglers are so far behind, they might as well not be in the market at all. At this rate, they won’t be for much longer.

According to Gartner’s smartphone statistics for the last quarter of last year, Android was the undisputed king with a market share of 80.7%, with iOS way behind at 17%.

Microsoft’s Windows Phones however, only managed to claim 1.1% market share, while Blackberry trailed behind with a very insignificant 0.2% market share.

Both companies have been on a slippery slope, as Windows Phone had a 1.7% more market share in Q4 2014, and Blackberry for the same period was at 0.5%.

“Android benefited from continued demand for affordable smartphones and from the slowdown of iOS units in the premium market in the fourth quarter of 2015,” said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner.


In terms of actual numbers, 325 million Android phones were sold to end-users in Q4 2015, while iOS had 71 million sales. For Windows Phone, it was 4.3 million, while Blackberry had a paltry 906 000.

Breaking it down further, there is no doubt that Samsung will remain the most popular Android user, although Chinese manufacturer Huawei is forging ahead at a steady pace.


“For Samsung to stop falling sales of premium smartphones, it needs to introduce new flagship smartphones that can compete with iPhones and stop the churn to iOS devices,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. “An aggressive pricing from local and Chinese brands in the midrange and entry-level segments of emerging markets led to consumers upgrading more quickly to affordable smartphones.”

Blackberry did release a new flagship model, the Priv, earlier this month. Whether it will be enough to rescue them from the abyss remains to be seen.

Charlie Fripp

Charlie Fripp

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.