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Gartner: Android to overtake iPhone in 2012

updated 10:30 am EDT, Wed October 7, 2009

Android 2nd place in share in 3 years

Google's Android will be the second-largest smartphone platform in as little as three years, according to Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney estimated on Wednesday. While it trails today, the mobile OS is predicted to climb to 14.5 percent of the market, or about 76 million phones sold per year, by the end of 2012. As a consequence, it would whittle Symbian's market share down to 39 percent (203 million phones) and just slightly overtake the iPhone, which in this view would have 13.7 percent of the market or 71.5 million devices.

By comparison, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry OS would struggle to move past their existing positions in the market, or even decline, and would respectively hold 12.8 percent (66.8 million units) and 12.5 percent (65.25 million) of the market. Linux-based devices such as Nokia's Maemo-running N900 would have just 5.4 percent of the market or 28 million units, while Palm's webOS would have a place on a modest 2.1 percent, or 11 million smartphones.

The rise of Android would stem primarily from of Google's own efforts, Dulaney said, including both its own apps as well as refinement of Android Market and the apps inside it. The sheer scale of Android releases should also play an important part, as many more smartphones will carry Android in coming years and should appeal to a wider base than narrower device ranges like the BlackBerry and iPhone lines. As many as 20 phones are known to use the Google OS this year, but up to 40 could use it in 2010. [via ComputerWorld]

by MacNN Staff



  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969



    While I don't see Apple ever being the market share leader in phones, though it could happen, I can't imagine Symbian staying that far at the top. Symbian is an awful platform to learn, it's got no traction in North America, and it's consistently loosing users to iPhones and Blackberries, and I imagine the Pre will steal some users if Palm gets their act together. That's also assuming RIM doesn't do anything to make the BlackBerry platform more competitive. I imagine they're not showing off what they're working on, but I can't see a company as smart as RIM not having a real next gen OS in development yet.

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So that's what was in the envelope?

    Ok, and how did they come to these conclusions? Reports like these are next to useless unless they give some reasoning or data to back their projections. Sorry, but reputation isn't enough to go on for people who value their investments.

  1. FreeRange

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This report obviously fails to take into account that the iPhone's carrier exclusive deals are coming to an end and will therefore now have much broader distribution. Further, with Android being used on so many different manufacturers handsets, it will become a near instant commodity offering causing a huge price war amongst the various handset makers which will damage them in the long term.

  1. edinburghmac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good news for Apple

    While I've no idea how these analyst's have come to their predictions this would be very good news for Apple - they may predict more phones running Symbian and Android than iPhone OS but these would be split between multiple manufacturers/models and would dilute their influence. iPhone would then be a totally dominant model of phone - in the same way that iPod dominated mp3 players in the early days before wiping most of them out. This is already starting to happen - iPhones used to be a rarity with models like the Nokia N95/6, Samsung slide models (can't remember model numbers) and Sony Ericsson being very common, but iPhones are now becoming much more obvious. As the numbers build from a niche to a mainstream product and people become accustomed to the platform and potential, people are starting to switch to iPhone. This will be accelerated in the UK in 2010 when all networks have the phone and once the payment plans are in line with other phone models. Apple benefits from having a huge base of iPod customers who would be eager to upgrade - the iPod 'halo' effect in action again.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    any article about future phone sales that doesn't include the zune phone and all the "innovation" that ms will bring to it can't be taken seriously. i mean, seriously, the zune will be here for years and years and years and years to come. losing money, sure, but they'll still be here and still innovating.

  1. ethical_paul

    Joined: Dec 1969


    In other news

    I will roll a pair of dice in 2012 and they will come up boxcars

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