iOS: 1% of the models. 50% of the activations.

Yesterday Furry reported that Apple dominated the holiday season, with iOS devices accounting for 51.3% of mobile devices activated during Christmas week. Holiday device activations 2014

That's incredible. It's even more impressive given the limited number of iOS models Apple sells. That got me wondering. How many models accounted for the other 48.7% of activations?

Apple offers ten iOS models. Four iPhone models, five iPad models, and the lonely iPod touch. Simple.

How many models are offered by Apple's competitors? Not so simple. Take Samsung for example. In 2013, just for fun, I made a list of all the phones offered on Samsung's website  ... all 153 of them ... just on its U.S. website. That was something I was hoping to avoid doing again. Even if I found the number of models offered by the four non-Apple manufacturers in Furry's chart, I'd still be missing a large chunk. Since Furry's chart doesn't add up to 100%, additional manufacturers must account for the remaining 22.2% of activations.

I moved on to a ballpark approach. It's pretty obvious that the vast majority of those 48.7% of activations were Android devices. I couldn't find a good source for the number of Android models on the market, but I did recall a fragmentation report by OpenSignal. OpenSignal detected 18,796 distinct Android devices in 2014, an increase of 6,928 from the previous year. That suggests that there were about 7,000 new models in 2014, and perhaps that's about how many models would have been available during the holiday.

Then I stumbled on to this answer on Quora. It states that the Android developers console lists 7,000 devices. That's in the same ballpark as OpenSignal's data. Still, 7,000 seemed high. I wondered if/when model variations (for carrier, storage level, even color) may be counted as multiple devices.

I decided to dig deeper and came across OpenSignals' 2012 Android fragmentation report. It says they spotted 599 distinct brands alone. Brands; not models. If that's the case, surely there must be over 1,000 models. And if that's the case, then Apple's ten models represent only 1% of all mobile device models on the market.

Yeah, there are a lot of holes in the above, but the point remains the same. With only a tiny percentage of the models offered to consumers, iOS devices accounted for over half of the mobile devices activated during Christmas week. That's impressive.