Android OS set to overtake Apple by next year


Android OS set to overtake Apple by next year

Kathleen Hall

Google's Android will command nearly half of the worldwide smartphone operating system Market by 2012, according to research.

Worldwide smartphone sales will reach 468 million units in 2011, a 57.7% increase from 2010, according to Gartner. By this time Android will become the most popular operating system worldwide, with 49% of the smartphone market.

Sales of OS-powered devices will account for 26% of all mobile handset device sales in 2011, and are expected to exceed one billion by 2015, when they will account for 47% of the total mobile device market.

"Android's position at the high end of the market will remain strong, but its greatest volume opportunity in the longer term will be in the mid- to low-cost smartphones, above all in emerging markets," said Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at Gartner.

Apple's iOS will remain the second biggest platform worldwide through 2014, despite its share decreasing slightly after 2011, as Apple maintains margins rather than pursues market share, says Gartner.

Research In Motion's share over the forecast period will decline, reflecting the stronger competitive environment in the consumer market, as well as increased competition in the business sector.

Gartner predicts that Nokia will push Windows Phone well into the mid-tier of its portfolio by the end of 2012, driving the platform to be the third largest in the worldwide ranking by 2013.

According to research from Ovum, Apple constituted 90% of the market in 2010, but by 2015 its share will drop to 35%, while Google's Android and Chrome OS will rise to 36%. RIM's Blackberry Tablet OS and HP's web OS will account for 29% of the market, said Tony Cripps, principal analyst at Ovum.

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