10 years later, Android operating system continues to lead the competition (infographic)

Ten years ago, on September 23, 2008, the T-Mobile G1 made its debut, marking the birth hour of Android. More than a year after Apple had released the first iPhone, Android’s debut wasn’t as spectacular and, as opposed to the iPhone, the first Android device still had a physical keyboard. But Google’s open approach to building a mobile platform quickly proved to be successful and it took less than three years for Android to become the number 1 platform in the booming smartphone market.

As the following chart illustrates, much of the smartphone market’s exponential growth over the past decade was driven by Android devices, with sales surpassing one billion for the first time in 2014. According to Gartner, worldwide sales of Android smartphones amounted to 1.3 billion units last year, which is equivalent to 86 percent market share for Google’s mobile operating system.

Android's Rise to Smartphone Dominance - infographic

Back in 2010, the smartphone market was quite fragmented. BlackBerry was still going strong, Symbian was present on millions of Nokia phones and Samsung was still experimenting with its own operating system, Bada. For app developers and publishers alike, it wasn’t easy to decide which platforms to support and which ones to ignore.

Nowadays, things are much easier as there are just two relevant smartphone platforms left. As the infographic below illustrates, devices running Android and iOS accounted for 99.9% of global smartphone sales to end users in 2017, according to market research firm Gartner. All other platforms, including former market leaders BlackBerry and Microsoft’s Windows Phone have been rendered completely irrelevant.

This chart breaks down global smartphone sales by operating system.
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