While there are still some mobile operating systems out there besides Android and iOS, that is the exception to the rule. A recent study from Gartner Research shows that 98.4% of all smartphones sold in the fourth quarter of 2015 were either Android or iOS. Break these numbers down further and you find out that of those phones sold, Android has an almost incredible 80.7% of the world's market shared compared to Apple's 17.7 percent market share.
Look at those numbers a little closer and you see that Samsung had 20.7 of the world's smartphone market. So while there are certainly many manufacturers out there, Apple and Samsung combined share 44.7% of all smartphone sales.
I am not bashing Apple or Samsung. They both make great quality products, and you would be happy with either one.
A friend of mine only buys Apple products. They work for him, they do what he needs, and he is comfortable dwelling in the beautiful walled garden Apple has created. I feel pretty certain that he won't be purchasing an Android product from any manufacturer, Samsung or otherwise, but he is the first to point out to me that he is eternally grateful for the competition that Android devices brings to Apple because that competition spurs innovation and creativity while driving costs down. In short, his experience as an Apple user will only get better and better the more Apple's competitors thrive.
The problem with having only two really big phone companies is that with their size comes really big marketing budgets. Apple and Samsung can advertise in ways and places that the little guys can't, and their marketing is successful. Successful market translates into successful sales, which translates into more money for future marketing campaigns.
Some smaller companies, such as HTC just cannot spend as much promoting their products as the two big guys. HTC is a relatively small company compared to the other two, but they have been around for a while making devices under their name and under many other brands for years. In fact, High Tech Computers was making smartphones before either Apple or Samsung. Even before smartphones, going back to the days of PDAs. Remember the really cool handheld Windows Mobile device from Compaq, the iPaq Pocket PC 3630? That was made by HTC. HTC also made the HTC Evo 4G, the first 4G phone in the United States. Ask any technician who had the pleasure of working on an Evo 4G, and they will likely sing praises of the nice design on the inside of the phone, something that few consumers would ever see. They were well constructed and modular in nature, really a marvel of engineering. Of course, there was my personal favorite HTC phone, the HTC Evo 3D.
HTC is a leaner company than the two giants, and still have a group of dedicated engineers that have created the best HTC smartphone ever in the HTC 10, but have little marketing muscle to tell you about it. The camera is awesome, the touchscreen is super responsive, and the fingerprint scanner is the best I've ever used. The two way speaker system is innovative and the headphone quality is second to none. It is an innovative device that Samsung and Apple would do well to copy. When my Apple-loving friend saw my HTC 10 he commented that it looks nicer than any phone Apple has ever sold.
Nobody wants to live in a world in which the only two choices are between a Chevy and a Camry. We need competition. We need HTC.
As a consumer, I implore you to consider the alternatives before settling on the giants. You will be happy with an Apple or a Samsung, but you very well may be delighted by the alternatives.
Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee