September 11, 2010

2014: Android Vs. Symbian

Google's Android software will become the number two mobile operating system this year, bypassing BlackBerry and making a move for market leader Nokia's Symbian by 2014, according to a research firm on Friday.

Technology firm Gartner said Symbian and Android will account for nearly 60 percent of the mobile operating system sales by 2014.

Gartner said the Symbian operating system will remain at the top "due to Nokia's volume and the push into more mass market price points."

"However, by the end of the forecast period, the number one spot will be contested with Android, which will be at a very similar share level," it said.

According to Gartner, Symbian will hold a 40.1 percent OS market share at the end of this year, followed by a distant second Android with 17.7 percent. RIM's Blackberry will be in close third with 17.5 percent, while Apple takes fourth with 15.4 percent and Microsoft with 4.7 percent in fifth.

Gartner's outlook shows Symbian falling to 30.2 percent by 2014 while Android closes in with 29.0 percent of the market share.

Gartner said it expects handset manufacturers such as Samsung to launch a number of budget devices in the second half of 2010 using Android, with other mobile platforms such as LG and Motorola following suit.

Gartner said the launch of several budget platforms would boost Android to the number 2 spot nearly two years sooner than the tech firm initially forecast.

Nokia on Friday named former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop to head the Finnish telecom company as it battles slumping profits and an eroding market share in the smartphone sector.


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