Apr 08 AT 5:17 PM Alberto Vildosola 29 Comments

Pictured: Android’s astronomical growth and Symbian’s demise

A few days ago we reported on Android’s growth in the United States — despite the Verizon iPhone. That’s all fine and dandy, but how is Android doing in the rest of the world. Well, pretty great actually.  Our favorite green robot buddy is on its way to become the dominant smartphone platform by a huge margin. According to Gartner, Android should end this year with a market share at around 40%. For comparison, the second-largest platform — Apple’s iOS — will end this year with a 19.4% share of the market. Moreover, the research firm predicts that Android will own around half the global market in 2015. Something I’m having a hard time agreeing with, but an incredible feat whatsoever if it happens.

One of those opponents that fell victim to the Android phenomenon is Symbian. Symbian’s decline is almost a mirrored image of Android’s growth — as seen in the graph above. Nokia fell completely asleep at the wheel, dismissing Android as a fad that it would go away eventually — boy, were they wrong. Two years later, Nokia is headed by an ex-Microsoft executive and had to partner with said company just to survive. In just two years, Nokia went from mobile powerhouse to Microsoft’s mobile hardware department. If something is an anything killer, Android is a Symbian killer. Gartner expects Symbian to have a 0.1% market share in 2015. Symbian, you’ve been assimilated.

As you can see on the graph above, Gartner believes that Android will stop growing at around 2012 (end of the world?) and stabilize. The reason? The research firm expects Microsoft’s Windows Phone to own almost 20% of the market in 2015 — stealing second place away from iOS. Gartner credits Windows Phone’s growth to the partnership between Microsoft and Nokia.

I’m very skeptical about this forecast for a few reasons. Firstly, Windows Phone 7 has been available for almost 6 months already, but has done nothing to turn around Microsoft’s declining market share. Put simply, people are not buying these things. Secondly, WP7 is right now aimed at the high-end section of the market, competing more with the iPhone than Android. Tell me where I can find the LG Optimus One of WP7, that’s right, nowhere. Those kinds of phones are the driving force behind Android’s growth. Believe it or not, not everybody wants or can buy the Motorola Atrix 4G. Most people want a cheap upgrade from their “dumbphones”, and that’s where Android excels. Due to Microsoft’s tight control of WP7 and standardized specifications, OEMs are not able to make cheap smartphones like the Huawei Ideos.

Lastly, Nokia might be very good at building excellent hardware, but these days software is becoming more important than hardware. Today, consumers care more about the amount of  quality apps on your platform than the amount of megapixels your phones have — and software is Windows Phone 7′s weakest spot. Being at least one year or more behind Android and iOS. But I’m open-minded, I’ll reconsider my opinion once I see WP7′s market share go anywhere but down, which is what it’s doing now.

Android’s rise to the top is nothing short of breathtaking. It seems like just yesterday we were waiting impatiently for the Motorola Droid’s launch or reading about this new Google project named Android. In little more than two very short years, Android has gone from underdog to unstoppable destroyer of any who dares oppose it. But enough with what I think, I want to hear what you guys think. Do you see Android stopping at 50% of the market?

Via: ReadWriteWeb

Source: Gartner

Alberto is a college student living somewhere between Miami, Sarasota and the World Wide Web. Although a former iPhone owner, Alberto is now a proud Android enthusiast. You can follow Alberto on Twitter and Google+ for his thoughts unworthy of an article.

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  • http://Website Mark

    EPIC PICTURE IS EPIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Alberto Vildosola

      Thanks, I thought it’d fit with this article

  • http://Website Ben Johnson, GA

    Hi noo..folks!

    Lots of android trash phones flooding the market now, eh?
    Terrible.
    But very good for iPhone owners like me to distinguish us elitist
    even more from the poor angroid chumps.

    cheers, Ben
    sent from my iPad 2 while calling on iPhone 4

    • http://Website Micah

      You have nothing better to do than to go troll an android fansite? iPhone fanboys sure are ludicrous.

    • http://Website â•‘

      Hi noo..folks!

      Lots of android trash phones flooding the market now, eh?
      Terrible.
      But very good for iPhone owners like me to distinguish us elitist
      even more from the poor angroid chumps.

      cheers, Ben
      sent from my iPad 2 while calling on iPhone 4

    • http://Website ©

      Hi noo..folks!

      Lots of android trash phones flooding the market now, eh?
      Terrible.
      But very good for iPhone owners like me to distinguish us elitist
      even more from the poor angroid chumps.

      cheers, Ben
      sent from my iPad 2 while calling on iPhone 4

      • http://Website Omeer

        Oo having an iPhone makes you an elitist does it? Do all elitist carry an iPad 2 to surf and blog on the internet and an iPhone to talk on the phone at the same time? My sister in law has been doing both for about an hour now with ONE device on her T-mobile Comet. Fucking Neanderthal there are Android phones and tablets that costs more than an iPad 2 and iPhone so how does paying more make you an elitist? Android has devices on the market that are more powerful than anything Apple has made so far, it gives you choices of hardware/software, limitless personalization so how does your one trick pony of an iPhone make you an elitist? You have the same iPhone as everyone else, even the same God damn wallpaper as everyone else. How do you become “Elite” with something that everyone has? Apple makes great products but I hate idiots like you who gloat the way you do. Such blissful ignorance, it’s sickening.

      • http://Website ari-free

        too bad your elitist ipad chokes on a simple web site with Flash

    • http://Website Jorge

      Horrible joke if someone writes your material fire them, if you write your own material find another profession.

    • http://Website _5_

      Hi noo..folks!

      Lots of android trash phones flooding the market now, eh?
      Terrible.
      But very good for iPhone owners like me to distinguish us elitist
      even more from the poor angroid chumps.

      cheers, Ben
      sent from my iPad 2 while calling on iPhone 4

  • http://Website milt

    Hey ben…were you sending your message whilst sitting in a Starbucks :):)

    Nokia + windows kills Nokia not helps Microsoft

  • http://Website JoeSchmo

    I just can’t see Microsoft down the road equaling the market share of Apple’s …. I just can’t …. no justification in this projection ….

    • http://Website justice hero

      this windows mobile/windows phone projection seems very off. they have been losing market share not gaining it

  • http://Website MM3

    Perhaps I missed graphs reading 101, but it sure looks to me that Microsoft is in fact trending up. Not by much, but its go up.

    • Alberto Vildosola

      That’s Gartner’s prediction for the end of 2011, we’ll see if it turns out to be true.

  • http://trueac.com acupunc

    It isn’t WP7 that will do well for MS. It’s their next version of Windows. Some have stated that the next version of Windows will run on phones, tablets, and desktops. If that’s the case then they could produce a very compelling reason for people to use it–a massive software ecosystem many users are very familiar with.

  • FrightenedByPenguins

    Id personally like to see Android ultimately with around 45% iOS with 10% and Windows with a decent share of the other 45%. RIM is pretty much finished as a OS contender and with Nokia already throwing in the towel – that leaves … errr, WebOS?
    As a disclaimer – I’m firmly in the Android camp and am very happy to see it growing at such a fantastic rate, but to have Android running with a stable 50%+ in three years time would massively reduce the innovation driven by competition.
    In regards to my 10% estimate for iOS, this really isn’t a hater comment. Apple has created a great platform for it’s customers (they started the super phone revolution guys) but -as with Macs they intentionally limit the hardware choice and are unwilling to allow any openness that might lose them possible $$ in regards to software. Historically Apple customers are notoriously loyal and many will stick with their iPhones for years to come, which is cool – but at the moment Apples customer base is at the comprised of trend chasing Joe Public’s who will happily jump ship as soon as the next new hotness arrives (as shown in the graphic).
    Windows SHOULD manage to maintain a decent market share. Their platform isn’t too bad at the moment and as long as they get enough phones out there, they’ll always have a customer base (especially with Nokia plastered all over them).
    Ultimately, and what people (especially online) seem to neglect to mention, most phone users couldn’t care less what OS their phone uses, as long as it does what they need.

  • http://Website matt

    Android rules. They are just appealing to all corners of the market with less expensive phones. Everyone should be able to have one regardless of financial status. Its the new ” Peoples Phone.” You can have any color as long as its black.

  • http://Website Mike

    I agree with this prediction.

    WP’s market share will increase because it’s a cheaper and more “low end” option, but I don’t think it will actually be better than iOS nor Android.

    With the decrease of iOS’s market share, I think there’s two main reasons for it:

    1: The people that are currently using the extremely basic phones are starting to enter the smartphone market, but since those people don’t want a “high end” phone, they’ll choose either a WP OS phone, or a “low end” Android phone, causing the total number of smartphones to increase, which will cause iOS’s market share to decrease.

    2) The number of iOS users will start to decline because 2 years ago, the only option for a “high end” smartphone was iOS, but now that Android is an extremely good contender, more and more iOS users will start to switch to Android for the “openness.”

    Plus, I think iOS will end up in the exact same spot as Mac, where, although it’s considered a good option, a lot more people will choose Android, as you’re able to get a lot more for your money with Android.

  • http://Website Barbaa Stanton

    iphone is much better

    • GRAW

      No.

    • http://Website oldmanofskye

      Thank you for your statement. It brings a lot to the conversion. Shame you’ve believed that by owning a smartphone, you would become a person with something meaningful to say.

  • http://Website Chuck

    It kinda hurts to see IOS plunging down the drain after android development since 2years ago. Because really they got the world to see the true meaning of smart phone, Which as of those time, limited to certain people. Similarity of what happened between mac and windows back in the 80s. Now android has came into the market and stole every fame that those reputed company has built for themsleves. Making th world see the full potential of what openness. Something that IOS and windows have been fighting to keep away from the public. Now with that in place, Android has now shift the course of what tomorrow will be. Something that Mac and their full blown IOS could have done when Everyone wanted their hands that little wander device….I hope the future keeps getting better but not worse with all this tech competition.

  • http://Website JC

    I highly doubt that android will stop at a steady 60, but Microsoft has a powerful cloud based service on the works that may compete the android market share… either way, I see Android excel by at least 80 percent of the market… little green robot has stolen our hearts :)…

  • http://Website 深度定制

    超过百款网友原创主题,♥iPhone不断增加中

  • http://Website Pip

    IPhone nano for low end Apple? IPad is cheap, so they don’t seem to be averse to making cheap products now. So Android at 50%, then Apple and Microsoft to fight over the remaining. Apple make great products, but they are very narrow. If iPhone 5 is a dud, then this will really hurt them, so my guessing is that they will try to expand their line.

  • http://Website AndroidOrDie

    While the projection is the dotted line, you can clearly see that Microsoft had a slight (positive) change in fortune in 2010. I think Gartner’s projections are spot-on for the most part. I see Android capping off at the 55%-58% mark (in part because I eventually see RIMM becoming part of the Android family, not necessarily through direct aquizition by GOOG, but at least through some kind of partnership).

    Android capping off doesn’t mean an end in growth because the smartphone market will keep expanding for some time to come… perhaps till the entire world is at about 65%-70% smartphone saturation, by which time we should really be thinking beyond smartphones to a whole new era of communication devices and technology (yes folks, smartphones will eventually too be archaic technology).

    • http://Website Maximus

      I cant even begin to Fathom what communication device will replace the Smartphone which as u stated will become Archaic technology

      Were still Decades away from it but in our lifetime we will see a new form of everyday personal communication devices and technology

      INSANE!

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