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#ThrowbackThursday – When Android had stiffer competition

These days roughly 80% of all new devices run Android, making for very little true competition. But it wasn't always that way.

Published onApril 27, 2017

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Out of 432 million phones sold in the last quarter of 2016, 81.7% of these devices were running Android. That’s pretty insane when you stop to think about it. These days the only real competition that Android has comes from Apple’s iOS, which controls just 17.9% of the global mobile OS market. Doing the math, that means OSes like Blackberry, Windows, and Tizen control less than .4% combined.

It wasn’t always this way. Rewinding back almost exactly six years ago, Gartner released a report suggesting that Android would soon dominate the mobile landscape by jumping to around 50% of the market. At the time, Symbian was still the leading OS with 37.4% of the market. Meanwhile, Android enjoyed second place with 22.7%, iPhone took 3rd with 19.4%, and Blackberry OS had a healthy 16% chunk. Other operating systems like Windows Phone 7 shared the remaining 4.3%.

In 2011, the idea that Android would jump over Symbian and eat away enough from its rivals to gain 50% must have seemed a least a little ambitious. To be fair, Symbian’s controlling share was mostly from older devices in developing markets, where users weren’t upgrading to new mobiles OSes. Still, doubling your growth in a year is a pretty solid feat, and yet here we are today — a world where most of the platforms listed above have have since become extinct.

If you want a closer look at a few older devices rocking Symbian, Windows Phone 7, or Blackberry OS, take a look at the small gallery below:

It’s really quite impressive to think just how quickly the mobile landscape has changed. Personally, I wasn’t even with camp Android at the time, rocking a Windows Mobile powered device. What about you? Or had you yet to make the jump to the realm of smartphones? Share your mobile history with us in the comments below.

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