Android 'vying for top spot' by 2014


Android will be one of the top two mobile operating systems by 2014, vying with Symbian to be number one, according to an analyst firm.

Combined, Google's and Nokia's mobile operating systems will make up 59.8 per cent of all mobile OS sales by that time, Gartner claimed.

Open-source platforms will dominate over 60 per cent of the market for smartphones by 2014, while growth of propriety platforms, like the Apple iOS and Research In Motion's OS will be sub-market average.

Single-source systems like Apple's, however, will increase in unit terms.

"Launches of updated operating systems such as Apple iOS 4, BlackBerry OS 6, Symbian 3 and Symbian 4, and Windows Phone 7 - will help maintain strong growth in smartphones in 2010 and 2011 and spur innovation," said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner.

"However, we believe that market share in the OS space will consolidate around a few key OS providers that have the most support from CSPs [communication service providers] and developers and strong brand awareness with consumer and enterprise customers."

Cozza suggested both CSPs and manufacturers alike will have to review platform strategies and "balance the need to pursue platforms with the highest current demand against the need to maintain differentiation with unique devices."

The Gartner predictions come hot on the heels of an IDC report that suggested Google's mobile OS will grow its market share from 16.3 per cent to 24.6 per cent by 2014.

This would put Android in second behind Symbian, as indicated in Gartner's suggestions.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.