Apple and Google have had stable shares of the US operating system market for many quarters. In the most recent March 2020 quarter, Google Android had 56% of activations, while Apple iOS had 44%.
“US operating system market shares have varied slightly in the past few years, but have remained remarkably stable,” said Josh Lowitz, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. “Android has typically had a somewhat greater share, but shares have not varied considerably. If public health officials hope to cover the entire US population with a proper COVID-19 contact tracing app, Apple and Google must figure out a way to do it together.”
CIRP notes that loyalty for both Android and iOS has remained very high. Last quarter, 89% of Android users remained with Android while 91% of iOS users remained on iOS.
“Operating system loyalty is stable at very high levels,” added Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. “For the past four or so years, around 90% of new mobile phone activations stayed with the buyer’s previous operating system. Despite Apple’s efforts to attract Android users to iOS, and Android handset manufacturers’ similar efforts to attract iPhone customers, operating system usage is among the stickiest of all consumer affinities.”
Apple and Google have already announced plans to work together to build contact tracing functionality into iOS and Android.