Nokia’s Symbian OS and Apple’s iOS were recently found to be the mobile operating systems most commonly used to access the mobile Internet worldwide. Other operating systems, such as RIM by BlackBerry and Android, are also very popular in certain regions.
Statistics from StatCounter have given an overall view of which OS is predominantly used in which part of the world. The data used to gauge the mobile OS market share was taken from the month of October 2010 and is based on mobile Web usage rather than on actual numbers of handsets in use.
Apple’s iOS is the most popular mobile operating system used to access mobile sites in North America, Europe and Oceania, while Symbian is most popular in Africa, Asia and South America. Nokia handsets are relatively cheaper and are thus more popular in developing nations, but have a relatively smaller share in the North America.
Interestingly, BlackBerry, which was behind Apple’s iOS in the U.S. in October has now surpassed it with 34.3%, while Apple has 33%. Also, Google’s Android OS, which had only 8.2 % share in the U.S. in November 2009 now has 23%.
Is Android Not That Big, After All?
Android OS is still not the leader in any continent, by StatCounter’s reckoning. Google’s mobile operating system is the market leader in South Korea with 78.3% but in other countries including Austria, Taiwan and Denmark it has a market share ranging from 27.3% to 16%.
Palm’s Web OS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 also do not account for a significant share of the market. iOS is the most popular in Canada with 83.7% share followed by Cuba, Switzerland, Australia, Singapore and Sweden where it has well over 60% market share.
BlackBerry leads in the Dominican Republic with 57.1%. In the U.K. it has 40.4% while in U.S. it has 34.3% market share. Although BlackBerry originated in Canada it has only 3.6% market share in its home country.
Symbian is the largest OS in over a 100 countries with Chad having 94% share. Libya, Sudan, Iraq and Egypt follow with 93.9% to 83.9%
Not The Full Story
While the numbers provided by StatCounter paint an interesting picture, they do not provide the full story. The data is based solely on mobile Web browsing as counted by StatCounter. The data discounts the fact that a very large number of Nokia users don’t access the mobile Internet.
In fact, only 30% of mobile phone users in the UK have ever accessed the mobile Web. This means that the mobile operating systems used by over 70% of the population are not even considered. This number is similar is most of Europe and North America.
The numbers provided by StatCounter don’t even count Android market place and other app market place usage, which could account for the lower market share for Android, which contradicts the stats on Android’s growth that we’ve seen earlier this year.