Q3 2016 may end up going down as Android’s best quarter ever.
According to a new report from Strategy Analytics, a research firm based out of Boston, Massachusetts, a full 88 percent of the 375 million smartphones shipped in Q3 2016 were Android handsets. That’s a record high for Google’s mobile ecosystem.
The company has consumers in developing countries like India and South Africa to thank for the feat. Prospective smartphone buyers in those markets gravitated to affordable low-end devices, mostly ignoring Apple’s latest iPhone due to its expensive price tag. As a result, iOS now only commands 12 percent of worldwide smartphone marketshare.
Strategy Analytics predicts the trend will continue into 2017 and beyond. However, the firm does question how sustainable the trend is for the dozen or so hardware OEMs that cater to the low-end market, as few if any of them generate a profit on the devices they sell.
“Android’s leadership of the global smartphone market looks unassailable at the moment. Its low-cost services and user-friendly software remain attractive to hardware makers, operators and consumers worldwide,” said Woody Oh, director at Strategy Analytics.
“However, several challenges remain for Google. The Android platform is getting overcrowded with hundreds of manufacturers, few Android device vendors make profits, and Google’s new Pixel range is attacking its own hardware partners that made Android popular in the first place.”
Moving forward, the market is expected to slow, with holiday 2015 likely the last quarter to see double digit growth.