Remember those crazy days in 2011 and 12 when we thought that the mobile market might become a three-horse race between Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile, with Blackberry bringing up the rear? Well, I have bad if unsurprising news: by the end of last year, 99.6 percent of all new smartphones ran either Android or iOS—a return to the status quo that Ars first wrote about way back in 2009.
According to the latest figures from Gartner, both Android and iOS expanded their share of the market in 2016, while sales of Windows and Blackberry continued their free fall to the base of the cliff. Gartner, a research company that derives its figures from a range of sources, says that just 1.1 million Windows smartphones were sold in Q4 2016, down from 4.4 million in Q4 2015. Similarly, Blackberry device sales fell from 906,000 to 208,000.
The action at the top of the sales table, between Apple and Samsung, was a little more exciting. For the first time since Q4 2014 Apple has apparently retaken pole position from Samsung, with 77 million iPhones shifted last quarter versus 76.8 million units for the Korean chaebol. Samsung still shipped the most smartphones over the course of 2016, but its share of the market decreased from 22.5 percent to 20.5.
Source: 99.6% of new smartphones run iOS or Android; RIP Windows and Blackberry | Ars Technica