• X
  • Listen in to our latest podcast!

    August 17, 2016

    Android vs iOS: Vodacom reveals the most popular platforms on its network

    vodacom reveals popular platforms network

    Vodacom has revealed the most popular operating systems on its networks, with Android, BlackBerry 10 and iOS among the top three.

    Vodacom’s most recent trading update for its financial quarter ended 30 June shows a mobile network on the rise; the firm’s subscriber base grew from 5.4% to 35.1 million active subscribers within South Africa.

    With that news comes the reveal of the company’s growth in smart devices; its network now boasts 14 million active smartphones and tablets, with 80.9% of that figure accounting for smartphones while tablets and data cards accommodated for 12% and 7% respectively.

    Read: ANC vs DA vs EFF: What do each promise for internet access in South Africa?

    The firm disclosed the most popular mobile operating systems on its network, with some interesting results; South African could be on the precipice of a major change in platform usage thanks to the fate of BlackBerry’s BB10 operating system as well as the stagnation of Windows 10 Mobile.

    The results: which mobile operating systems are the most popular?

    Vodacom revealed that Android devices bear a strong monopoly, accommodating for 65.7% of the total smartphones registered to its mobile network. BlackBerry’s BB10 operating came in second at a total of 13.5%, while iOS chalked up third place at 7.6%.

    Those results were followed by Windows (7, 8, and 10 Mobile) at 5%, Nokia’s Symbian at 3.7%, with other platforms accounting for the remaining 4.2%.

    These results are likely to shift radically within the year in both Android’s – and to a lesser extent, iOS’ – favour.


    BlackBerry has formally stopped producing phones running its BB10 operating system and has, for the moment, committed to running Android. Its two newest devices, the DTEK50 and the Priv, both sport its customized version of the platform with security improvements derived from legacy BB10 features.

    While BlackBerry has stated that it would like to produce another BB10 phone in future, the company’s woeful hardware performance have likely rendered that possibility moot.

    The company recently handed over production responsibilities to Alcatel, who have produced the DTEK50. Further, the company is increasingly hedging their bets on software sales, and just recently debuted their first subscription package, the Hub+ pack for Android, on the Google Play Store.


    iOS remains steady, accounting for 7.6% of Vodacom’s network, but the lack of an affordable product places Apple’s devices out of reach and pocket for many.

    Windows Phone

    The fate of Windows Phone remains up in the air; Microsoft has neglected to produce a new device since the launch of its most recent flagships, the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. The company is rumoured to be in the midst of change, as the firm recently wrote off its Lumia division which it acquired from Nokia. The company could, in likelihood, launch a Surface Phone to replace its Lumia lineup in the near future.

    Nokia itself has rejoined the fray and has migrated from Windows Phone to Android, where it will produce a new device as the fruit of a new partnership with a Foxconn subsidiary.


    Symbian remains popular as the devices that support the platform are often extremely affordable; however, it is likely that the popularity of the platform will greatly diminish once WhatsApp officially abandons the platform alongside BlackBerry 10 in December this year. This would likely result in a gradual uptake in affordable Android devices.

    Vodacom has placed itself well in this regard, and has debuted its own lineup of smart devices running Android which could be well placed to steer market share as the popularity of Symbian decreases.


    Lastly, Android finds itself in a stronger situation than ever. The continued proliferation of affordable devices coupled with a strong emerging mid-range and powerful high-end market will likely secure the platform’s dominance in South Africa for at least several years. The fact that Google is increasingly throwing its weight around in securing the arrival of newer versions of the operating system on older smartphones will result in a better value proposition for the general consumer.


    Lastly, a similar trajectory follows suit with tablets. Android accounts for a whopping 86.4% of all devices registered to Vodacom’s network, while iOS follows with the next largest amount at 12.4%. Other platforms follow at an accumulated 1.2%.

    Read: South Africa votes against internet freedom in new UN resolution

    Have your say!

    What are your thoughts on Android’s continued growth on Vodacom’s mobile network? Can iOS or Windows Phone hope to compete? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!

    Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA

    Listen in to our latest podcast!