February 16, 2011

Android To Lead Smartphone OS Market: Kaspersky

Russian computer security expert Eugene Kaspersky said on Tuesday that Google's Android would ultimately become the market leader in smartphone operating systems, surpassing Apple and BlackBerry.

There is just "one company, one operating system which follows Microsoft's strategy of the 1990s," said Kaspersky, founder of the leading anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab, referring to the way in which Microsoft's Windows operating system became the dominant platform for computers.

"I believe that if Apple, BlackBerry, Microsoft ... don't change their strategy very soon we will soon have the same mobile operating system landscape as we have with computers," he told the AFP news agency on the sidelines of this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Kaspersky predicted Android would ultimately capture 80 percent of the smartphone market, with Apple's iPhone and RIM's BlackBerry having just 10 percent each.

By total units shipped, Android surpassed Nokia's Symbian as the top smartphone operating system late last year, with its market share surging from 8.7 percent in 2009 to 32.5 percent last year, according to market research company Canalys.

Kaspersky's forecast coincides with a major shake-up in the smartphone industry.   Last week, Nokia announced it was phasing out Symbian in favor of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 smartphone operating system.

Kaspersky noted that with respect to smartphones Microsoft is not repeating its strategy of working closely with developers, which helped ensure the success of Windows for personal computers.  Rather, the software giant is keeping tight control over Windows Phone 7, similar to Apple's handling of its iOS, Kaspersky said.

"They are going the Apple way ... I don't really believe they will have success," he said.

"Maybe Nokia will force them to be open."

During the conference, both Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop said they seek to work closely with developers to ensure the creation of numerous applications to increase consumer popularity.


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