Windows Phone 7 will fail to compete with Android and Symbian, says Gartner

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Windows Phone 7 will fail to compete with Android and Symbian, says Gartner

Jenny Williams

Windows Phone 7 will fail to increase Microsoft's share in the smartphone market with Nokia's Symbian and Google's Android operating systems (OS) dominating the worldwide mobile OS market by 2014, according to Gartner.

The research firm forecast open-source platforms will dominate with over 60% of the market for smartphones in 2010, with Android becoming the top OS in the US by the end of the year. Gartner ranks Windows Phone behind Symbian, Android, Apple's iOS, RIM's Blackberry and Linux-based MeeGo in its 2014 OS ranking forecast - a drop from fifth place for 2010.

"The market is consolidating around three or four platforms - and Microsoft is not one of those," said Gartner analyst Roberta Cozza,

"Microsoft will increase [shipments] in 2011 a bit because of Windows Phone 7. But there are still challenges. The market is going open-sourced with freedom of what you can do with the platform. Android and Symbian will grow a lot faster than Microsoft can," he said.

Microsoft's licensing costs may drive phone makers and IT departments to open-source and licence-free platforms provided by its competitors, added Cozza.

Gartner also predicts single-source platforms, such as Apple's iOS and Research In Motion's OS, will increase in unit terms but not in market share by 2014.

Windows Phone 7 has been released to manufacture, which means devices could be on sale in a matter of weeks.

Mobile communications device open OS sales to end users by OS (thousands of units)        
OS 2009 2010 2011 2014
Symbian 80,876 107,662 141,278 264,351
Android 6,798 47,462 91,938 259,306
RIM 34,347 46,923 62,198 102,580
iOS 24,890 41,462 70,740 130,393
Windows Phone 15,031 12,687 21,309 34,490


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