SMARTPHONES WORLDWIDE are on the whole going to be running either the Symbian or Android operating system, according to Gartner, with the two together expected to have 59.8 per cent of the market by 2014.
Symbian is king for now but Android will almost have usurped Nokia's OS come 2014, according to the market research company's analysis. Gartner sees the race by communication service providers to supply marketing and vendor support for Android-based smartphones making the OS the second largest by the end of this year. And it's bad news for Microsoft, as its Windows phone OS will be relegated to sixth place, embarressingly behind Meego.
Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner said, "The worldwide mobile OS market is dominated by four players: Symbian, Android, Research In Motion and iOS. We believe that market share in the OS space will consolidate around a few key OS providers that have the most support from CSPs and developers, and strong brand awareness with consumer and enterprise customers."
Gartner expects manufacturers such as Samsung to launch many new budget Android devices in the second half of 2010 that will drive Android into mass market segments. Other players, such as Sony Ericsson, LG and Motorola, will follow a similar strategy.
The research company's analysts also predict that by 2014, open source platforms will continue to dominate more than 60 per cent of the market for smartphones. Single source platforms, such as Apple's IOS and RIM's OS, will increase in unit terms, but their growth rates will be below the market average and not enough to sustain market share increases. µ