The Android vs. iPhone saga is likely to be ongoing for some time to come; however, every time we get a look at mobile OS stats, we see Android pulling ahead a little bit more.
While a recent list of the top 30 mobile devices shows that all iOS devices together still outnumber Android devices by a slim margin, when you only compare smartphones and put tablets and MP3 players aside, Android clearly has a larger share of that list.
Data gathered by mobile ad shop Millennial Media also shows iOS and Android devices tied for total number of impressions in November, each OS grabbing exactly 38% of the month’s mobile impressions.
However, when considering a breakdown of the top 30 mobile devices, including smartphones, feature phones and connected, non-phone devices, a different picture emerges.
At first, when devices are broken into categories based on operating system alone, Apple has the advantage. But when you take iPads and iPod touch devices out of the picture and you only consider smartphones’ share of the market, Android devices seem to come out on top.
It’s worth mentioning that none of the relatively new Android tablets have yet tipped the scales of mass adoption or even moderate popularity to our knowledge. Models such as the Dell Streak and Samsung Tab weren’t even in the top devices listed here. Apple’s iPad, however, was in the seventh position on the list.
The diversity of the Android hardware currently available has likely been a boon to the vitality of the operating system. Thirteen of the 30 top mobile devices as measured by Millennial were Android-powered. And Samsung and Motorola, two companies that have invested large amounts of time and effort, not to mention marketing dollars, in the Android platform, were the top two manufacturers behind Apple. The original Droid was the stand-out hit among all Android smartphones in the top 30 mobile devices.
At the end of the day, there are areas where Apple’s iOS devices show a clear advantage in numbers; likewise, there are areas where Android devices are beginning to pull ahead. But the mobile market, as complex as it is, is hardly a zero-sum game. Both companies (Apple and Google) can and have won in the mobile OS department. What remains to be seen is who will continue to innovate and continue to win the dollars of U.S. and global consumers.
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