Most popular operating systems in South Africa

The most popular operating systems (OSes) in South Africa are Windows on desktops and Android on smartphones, according to data from Statcounter Global.

Android and Windows have held the top spots for OS market share in South Africa for many years, and their market shares have remained relatively constant.

When it comes to mobile OSes, Android holds a market share of 83.28% in South Africa, followed by 16.31% for Apple’s iOS. On the other hand, Windows has a desktop OS market share of 64.39% in South Africa, followed by macOS with 9.51%.

However, it should be noted that, according to Statcounter Global, 24.34% of the South African desktop OS market share is unknown.

In terms of the dominant OSes — Android and Windows — they appear to have a firm grasp on the market in South Africa, as their market shares haven’t changed much since May 2019.

Mobile OS market share

Android’s market share in South Africa has hovered around the 83% and 84% mark for the past four years, and iOS’s share increased slightly from 14.96% in May 2019 to 16.31% in May 2022.

Statcounter Global also lists several other less-common mobile operating systems, including Tizen, Nokia, Series 40, Blackberry, and Linux.

It does not specify what is meant by the “Samsung” operating system, but together with Tizen, they were the most popular smaller operating systems over the past four years.

Nokia’s mobile OS market share has remained steady at 0.05% since May 2020, dropping from 0.16% in 2019.

Mobile OS market share in South Africa: 2019 to 2022
operating system May 2022 May 2021 May 2020 May 2019
Android 83.28% 84.37% 83.90% 82.58%
iOS 16.31% 15.14% 15.49% 14.96%
Samsung 0.20% 0.15% 0.04% 0.12%
Tizen 0.07% 0.10% 0.28% 0.84%
Nokia 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.16%
series 40 0.04% 0.08% 0.06% 0.33%
blackberry 0.01% 0.02% 0.05% 0.44%
Linux 0.01% 0.03%

Desktop OS market share

Windows is the most dominant desktop OS in South Africa, and its market share appears to have dropped considerably from 71.55% in May 2020 to 64.39% in May 2022. macOS also saw a significant loss in market share.

However, the decreases are because the “unknown” segment of South Africa’s desktop OS market share has increased over the years. It reached a low of 9.30% in May 2020 and has since grown to 24.34%.

Desktop OS market share in South Africa: 2019 to 2022
operating system May 2022 May 2021 May 2020 May 2019
Windows 64.39% 65.35% 71.55% 69.40%
macOS 9.51% 11.21% 17.94% 13.06%
Linux 1.38% 1.15% 1.06% 0.97%
Chrome 0.31% 0.22% 0.15% 0.14%
FreeBSD 0.06% 0.02%
UnknownOS 24.34% 22.05% 9.30% 16.34%

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