As Mobile World Forum launches in Barcelona we thought it would be great to highlight our latest research on mobile operating system usage and handset brands.

As we use market research our data looks at penetration of usage, not shipments.

Android Dominance

The chart below shows the percentage of mobile OS used and illustrates a number of key trends:

  • Android is rapidly dominating the mobile OS landscape, increasing from 24% of mobile users in Q2 2011 to staggering 54% in Q4 2012
  • iOS has reached a plateau of 17% and growth has been limited by Android
  • Blackberry has been losing share, but not as quickly as you might think, dropping two percentage points from 9% to 7%
  • The two big losers have been Windows Phone 7 and Symbian, demonstrating why Nokia Windows Phone is such an important product for both Nokia and Microsoft. Our Q1 2013 data will show how this has performed
  • Fascinatingly the percentage of respondents who say they “Don’t Know” has fallen from 22% to 9%, demonstrating the growing importance of the mobile operating system in the consumer consciousness

Android V iPhone: Country difference

When we split this by market for the top two mobile OS platforms there are key insights into the global adoption of mobile:

  • Android leads all markets but the gap between Android and iOS in fast-growing developing markets is huge. For example, in Argentina 48% use Android and just 4% use iOS. The same story can be seen in Brazil (45% versus 10%), Indonesia (48% versus 5%) and India (43% versus 6%)
  • APAC dominates the leading Android markets, with South Korea (82% of mobile users!), Taiwan (76%), Hong Kong (71%) and China (63%)
  • iOS has a clear developed market profile. Its top five markets are Singapore (45% use iOS), Canada (38%), Australia (36%) and Sweden (35%)
  • Generally iOS has a much higher penetration in the high-value advertising, content and app markets

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