Android’s market share grows because it can fit any niche, big or small

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Enlarge / All the colors of the Android rainbow! (credit: Aurich Lawson)

The Android software platform lets smartphone builders everywhere create devices for every niche. If Apple’s iPhone is the gold standard against which all other phones must be measured, it’s also a one-size-fits-all strategy with just a handful of models on the market at any given time.

As a direct result of Android’s open architecture, the platform is sweeping world markets. According to the latest IDC report, 87.6 percent of the 344.7 million smartphones that shipped in the second quarter of 2016 were equipped with Android software. Another 11.7 percent came with Apple’s iOS, leaving less than 1 percent of the pie to share among Windows Phone and other challengers.

So how did Android become such a success? Let’s have a look in the rear-view mirror.

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