Zimbabwe is Android country. That has been the case since the beginning and is not about to change anytime soon. Or is it?
Back in November 2021, we looked at the inroads that iOS is making in Zimbabwe. iOS is the software that runs on iPhones.
iOS market share had risen to just over 10% that month and looking at the stats, it’s been steadily increasing since then.
In February 2023, iOS reached 11.88% market share. That’s close to a 2% gain in market share in the 15 months since November 2021. It’s not that huge but it’s not insignificant either.
Android had 86.98% in that same month, still pretty much dominant. This means it has become truly a two-horse race with these two OSes commanding 98.96% combined.
Windows Mobile which had 4.48% in Feb 2018 is now down to 0.01%. Nokia’s Series 40 is also languishing in the 0.01% range.
Do remember that this market share we are talking about here is arrived at after analysing traffic to over 2 million popular websites. This means if someone is using the internet, they will visit at least one of these sites and their device will be logged.
Meaning we can be sure that this represents the actual market share that iOS has for phones that connected to the internet. Makes you wonder, who used a Nokia Series 40 phone to browse the web in Feb 2023.
That said, we still miss a number of devices that only connect to WhatsApp. We know that there is a significant number of devices that only ever get WhatsApp bundles and traffic to that and other apps is not captured.
We don’t have numbers on how many devices only connect to WhatsApp and so could not say just how much this pool affects the market share figure we talked about above. I would imagine if we accounted for those, it would knock iOS market share back into the single digits.
One weird little thing about iOS market share is that it seems to spike in January of every year. In January 2023, iOS reached its second-highest-ever market share in Zimbabwe at 15.83%. This is after having reached its highest in Jan 2022 at 15.94%.
Do iPhone users only have money to buy data bundles in January after splurging on their devices? Or are we saying we get an influx of iPhone-toting diasporans visiting in January? Maybe you have an idea as to why we get that spike in January.
Looking at our own Techzim visitor stats, the iPhone has never been more popular. Around 25% of people visiting our site are using iPhones and iPads. We cannot ignore that little fruit company any more.
Life has been pretty chill for the Zimbabwean developer who has not had to tinker with Swift this whole time. The honeymoon is over dear developer, these iPhone-wielding youngins need apps too.
Android in trouble
Globally, Android is losing ground to iOS. These GenZers (Ama2000) do not care for Android at all. Apple has dominated the US market but is now making inroads globally.
The scariest stat is that for people aged 18-29, Apple now has a 52% market share in South Korea, Samsung’s home turf. Samsung only has 44% of that demographic in their own country.
Apple only really competes in the premium smartphone market and is dominant there. Apple has 76% of the worldwide shipment of smartphones priced at $800 and over. Samsung has to settle for 17%. That means these two companies ship 93% of all $800-and-up smartphones. Crazy.
In other countries, as people are moving into the middle class, they are deciding to splurge on iPhones. The over a billion budget conscious Indians are also warming up to the iPhone. It recorded double-digit growth for a third consecutive quarter recently.
In Zimbabwe we are seeing some settle for older, now cheaper iPhones just to get in on the iPhone action.
But that’s the thing, Android only has a market share in the Gen Z demographic because they can’t afford iPhones. If money was not an item, over 90% of them would be rocking an iPhone. That’s a terrible position that Android finds itself in.
As these Android-using Gen-Zers join the workforce and are able to afford it, they will switch OSes.
They won’t even have to splurge $800 plus for those iPhones either. Smartphones have not really been improving by leaps and bounds and so a 5-year-old iPhone is not only pocket friendly, it is perfectly usable too.
With Apple recycling their design for years, an old one doesn’t even feel out of place. What’s to stop these kids from choosing those?
For those of us that love Android, we are uneasy about its future. Or maybe Android will manage to turn it around and make it so Android is not only good, which it is, but also desirable.