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Android to challenge Symbian for os domination in 2014, Gartner predicts

by Sarah Griffiths on 10 September 2010, 14:36

Tags: Gartner (NYSE:IT)

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os wars

Android will challenge Symbian's worldwide os top spot and open source platforms will command almost 60 percent of the market in 2014, according to a report by Gartner.

The market research firm believes Symbian will top the worldwide os ranking for a few years to come because of Nokia's volume and its drive to provide mobiles at multiple price points.

However, Android is fast gaining on Symbian's dominance and should become the second-largest platform by the close of this year, almost two years earlier than Gartner predicted last year.

Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner believes the launch of updated operating systems like Apple's iOS 4, BlackBerry 6, Symbian 3 and 4 plus Windows Phone 7 will continue to drive strong growth in the smartphone markets well into 2011 and boost innovation too.

"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 and developers and strong brand awareness with consumer and enterprise customers," she added.

Gartner predicts that open source platforms will control over 60 percent of the smartphone market by 2014, while single-source platforms like Apple's iOS and RIM's BlackBerry os will increase in unit terms but lag behind the market average in terms of their growth rate and lose some of their market share.

It also estimates the eagerly anticipated Windows Phone will be relegated to 6th place behind MeeGo by 2014.

Here is Gartner's forecast chart calculated in August:

Forecast: Mobile Communications Device Open OS Sales to End Users by OS (Thousands of Units)

 OS

2009

2010

2011

2014

Symbian

80,876.3

107,662.4

141,278.6

264,351.8

Market Share (%)

46.9

40.1

34.2

30.2

Android

6,798.4

47,462.1

91,937.7

259,306.4

Market Share (%)

3.9

17.7

22.2

29.6

Research In Motion

34,346.8

46,922.9

62,198.2

102,579.5

Market Share (%)

19.9

17.5

15.0

11.7

iOS

24,889.8

41,461.8

70,740.0

130,393.0

Market Share (%)

14.4

15.4

17.1

14.9

Windows Phone

15,031.1

12,686.5

21,308.8

34,490.2

Market Share (%)

8.7

4.7

5.2

3.9

Other Operating Systems

10,431.9

12,588.1

26,017.3

84,452.9

Market Share (%)

6.1

4.7

6.3

9.6

Total Market

172,374.3

268,783.7

413,480.5

875,573.8