Smartphone market share – Android to dominate by year end

Android will be the most popular smartphone platform worldwide by the end of the year, with 39.5% share of the smartphone market. That’s according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) who also predicts that Windows Phone 7 will be the second most popular platform by 2015.

Until recently, the smartphone market was being dominated by Apple’s Iphone and RIM’s Blackberry with about 15% of the market share for each platform. But then Google got into the mobile business with their open source platform – Android. That’s when everything changed. But did it really change? As we say, history often repeats itself and this story sounds familiar, just like the Windows vs Mac story. Except this time its more like Google’s Android vs Apple’s iOS.
But the idea remains the same, Windows or this time Android is an open source platform that is made available on many different devices by different manufacturers; just like Windows was on the PC. Apple’s iOS is available on only Apple’s devices, which are very few, just like when Apple’s was competing against Windows on the PC platform.

In a way, Windows kind of won, even thought, Apple has made a big comeback as a company thought, not as much as a PC seller. Is it going to be case again? Yes and no. This time its a little bit more complex as more players are getting involved.

Google’s Android operating system will lead the way. It now seems that Windows mobile/ Windows Phone 7 will come second. Surprising since most analysts never really took Windows Phone 7 into account; that’s until recently since Nokia’s decision to discard its aging Symbian platform and move to Windows Phone 7. This synergy will create an interesting mix with Nokia’s past experience in handsets and Windows experience in Operating System.

But lets not count out Research In Motion’s BlackBerry platform which is starting to get very competitive in terms of price, carriers, and plans. Same goes for Apple’s iOS, you can even get an iPhone 3GS for 0$ at some retailers. Their weakness is the lack of devices they run on since they are exclusive to their respective company. This is also somehow their strength, since apps are going to be more consistant and easier for developers to produce since they dont have to take into account the multiple varieties of devices available on the market.

Time will tell what consumers prefers, one thing thought, this ever growing smartphone market is interesting more and more manufacturers. HP is already running webOS devices, Samsung launched its own OS called Bada last year and Motorola is rumoring planning its own OS as well. I guess its all about the money.

Related links

- IDC Forecasts Worldwide Smartphone Market to Grow by Nearly 50% in 2011

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