Apple's iOS grabs record market share

As the top mobile OS, Apple's iOS holds more than half of the market with Google's Android in third place, according to stats from Net Applications.

Lance Whitney
Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
2 min read

Despite the surge in demand for Android, Apple's iOS still holds the lead among mobile platforms, at least according to the latest data from Net Applications.

In a survey of the mobile landscape for September, iOS hit a new record with a 54.6 percent share of the market. That's up from 53 percent the prior month and 42 percent a year ago.

Trailing behind Java ME, which is typically used in feature phones, was Android with a 16.26 percent share. Though in third place, Google's mobile OS has seen a rise from a year ago when it was in fourth place with only 8.3 percent of the market as tracked by Net Applications.

Continuing its downward spiral, Nokia's Symbian grabbed only 6.1 percent in September, down from a year ago when it still held a 10.5 percent share. Coming up behind were RIM's BlackBerry with 3.2 percent and Microsoft's Windows Mobile/Windows Phone with a collective half a percentage point.

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Apple's iOS and Android have been battling for the hearts and minds of mobile users. But which one is on top of the other seems to vary from report to report.

Counting all of its mobile devices, Apple holds the lead over Android on InMobi's ad network with 29 percent of all ad impressions. But since January, Millennial Media has placed Android ahead of iOS with a greater share of ad impressions tracked on its mobile ad network. Looking at the second quarter, Android was running on 52 percent of all smartphones, says NPD Group, while iOS was found on 29 percent.

The results can vary depending on which devices are tracked. Looking strictly at smartphones, Android typically pops up in the lead. But by including tablets in the mix, iOS sometimes turns up as the top dog.

To compile its own numbers, Net Applications collects data on operating systems, browsers, and mobile platforms from visitors to its global network of around 40,000 different Web sites.