Sep 10 AT 1:23 PM Sean Riley 43 Comments

Gartner: Android will finish the year as the #2 mobile OS with world domination in sight

Gartner, Inc. released their updated projections for the worldwide mobile OS market share distributions through 2014 and Android is the undisputed winner finishing out this year as the number two mobile OS worldwide and a continuous upward trend leaving it knocking on Symbian’s door by 2014.

The writing has been on the wall with Android’s ever accelerating activations this year clearly pointing toward it eventually unseating Symbian from the throne. Steve Job’s sad flailing on stage last week about their “activations” being in line with Android’s notwithstanding the reality is that Apple is firmly ensconced in 4th place internationally and while they may “pass” RIM as it descends into irrelevance they aren’t going to be within screaming distance of Android or Symbian by the end of 2011.

Considering the annoying buzzing of some fanboys about open versus closed operating systems in the last week I particularly enjoyed this quote from the press release:

Gartner predicts that by 2014, open-source platforms will continue to dominate more than 60 percent of the market for smartphones. Single-source platforms, such as Apple’s iOS and Research In Motion’s OS, will increase in unit terms, but their growth rate will be below market average and not enough to sustain share increase.Gartner August 2010 Report

These are only projections and are subject to change, but popular opinion amongst analysts certainly seems to be stacking up behind Android taking the crown as the #1 mobile OS worldwide in the coming years and its growth trajectory in the last 6-12 months makes it a hard point to argue.

Do you think Android can overtake Symbian in the next four years and if not what do you think is the greatest threat to Android seeing the rosy future projected by Gartner come to pass?

Via: Business Insider

Source: Gartner

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 8 years and covering mobile for the last 9. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • http://Website Mario

    What’s Symbian and Research in Motion?

    • Sean Riley

      Symbian is the OS used by most Nokia handsets and Research in Motion is Blackberry.

      • elijahblake

        i thought he was being sarcastic or trying to say they’re becoming less and less popular

        • Sean Riley

          You’re probably right, I’m a little literal minded today.

          • http://Website Mario

            No I wasn’t being sarcastic. I never knew the names of what either company was using. Thanks.

        • http://Website matt

          Also, NDP says, that Android owns Blackberry and iPhone as the top-selling smartphone for USA, this quarter.*

  • anakin78z

    I got me one of the Unstoppable Andy shirts on the right. I think the people at Gartner did, too.

  • http://Website t

    Symbian is Nokia. Research in Motion is Blackberry.

  • http://Website Todd


    P.S. Choke on that MG! :)


    ‘The Problem With iPhone Killers’ by MG Siegler

    “…I think Google knows that the Droid isn’t an iPhone killer…”

    • elijahblake

      MG Seigler is a COMPLETE dbag.. What kind of tech blog has a complete and utter biased fanboy? He even admits to this.. So why doesn’t everyone just do like me and stop going to his site…

      The less traffic he has the less reason Apple has to keep pumping money into his lame a$$.

      I’d like to shove his iphone up his iass

      • http://Website Gee

        The owner, MA, publicly dropped the iPhone for Android.

  • http://Website Chancy

    To be honest, whenever I go out, I see more people with Android phones than iPhones. yes, iPhone is still pretty popular but once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all. The same bland, boxy, bland color. The only thing you can ask them is “Hey, what app do you have (that I don’t have)”. But with Android, it’s just amazing to see so many different types of people with so many different phones. From the social user to the power user to the business user. You can not only ask them what “app” they are using but what their phone can do. It’s amazing really.

  • http://playedwithateam jo

    Android is played with a big team but with a better concept and strategy than windows mobile.

  • http://Website Daniel

    I am a very happy android user who owns a Nexus One but I have to say it is really hard for Apple to compete with just one model as opposed to android with a bunch of model and brands behind.
    So to me all these stats are nice but sounds like Mercedes Benz versus all the other brands,this is just my point of view.

    • http://Website Felipe

      What you and everybody that use this argument doesn’t get is that what really matters is the size of the platform, that’s why Steve Job used the number of iOS devices activated daily in his last keynote.
      Let me explain, those phones are as good as the apps running on them, and the developers are going to develop for the platform where they can make more money and if you have one platform way bigger than the others the chances are that developers would make more money developping for that one.
      So, what realy matters is how many devices running iOS (iPhones, iPods, iPads and now AppleTvs) are around against how many android devices.
      That’s why you all those iphone x android posts and news around.

      Ps.: Sorry for any mistake and typos but i’m not a native english speaker.

  • http://Website Derek

    I dont buy this at all. In 2009 Apple had a 14.4% market share and Android had a 3.9%. Android has 200,000 activations per day. Apple has 220,000 NEW activations per day on iOS. So if Apple has more NEW activations than Android has total activations, how in the heck does Android pass Apple?? Its some kind of fuzzy math. Apple even gains market share this year according to this. Also the chart has to be wrong. Look at the the total users for Apple, year-end 2010 = 47.4 million, year end 2009 = 24.8 million. Thats 22.6 million units of new users, divided by 365, thats only 62,000 activations per day. This number is WAY off. Now lets look at Android numbers. Year end 2010 = 47.4 million, year end 2009 = 6.8 million. Thats 40.6 million new users, divided by 365 = 111,000 activations per day. This number is more in line with what google has stated. Some Android fanboy somewhere got a hold of the data in this so called study and skewed it. I mean look at the overall tone of the article accompanying it “Steve Jobs sad flailing…”. Between iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads, Apple is outselling Android straight up. So tell me how Android surpasses iOS in market share.

    • kokumuo

      My guess is that this report is only looking at phones, whereas the 220k new activations for iOS was iPads, iPods, and iPhones. With that assumption and the assumption that a fair number of new activations from iOS devices are from returning users, I see no reason that these numbers cannot coexist.

      • http://Website Derek

        No the apple new activations does not include returning customers upgrading from older equipment. They went out of their way to identify that. Android activations dont take that into consideration.

    • http://Website Dan

      “Some Android fanboy somewhere got a hold of the data in this so called study and skewed it”

      Read the source of the article before making assumptions.

      • elijahblake


        What you fail to realize is the rate at which Android is growing.. The last time it was announced Android has 200,000 (PHONE) activations per day. Up from earlier THIS year where it was only 50,000 activations per day..

        So do the math. Android continues to be expanded to more and more carriers across the globe and the US. Dozens of manufacturers are getting into the tablet market with Android, while Apple has 1. And here in the US the iphone stays on AT&T. It stays the same size, comes out with a few upgrades once a year, and most of the new activations are fanboys that have the last years model..

        Now you take those figures and skew them anyway you want but I haven’t found one analysts that doesn’t believe Android will overtake ios..

        • elijahblake

          opps replied to the wrong person.. Sorry Dan that was meant for Derek

    • Sean Riley

      As Kokumuo notes the figures presented here are likely for iPhones, which is the appropriate comparison. Job’s can refer to the Touch as an iPhone with the phone all he wants, but that doesn’t get it into actual mobile OS figures.

      I have two reasons for my tone regarding Job’s treatment of the activation numbers. First he falsely accused Google of spiking their numbers with updates which is simply dishonest. Secondly I think it is sad that he is trying to play this game at all. iOS cannot win in a numbers game against Android on any kind of timeline, there are simply too many devices, from too many manufacturers, and at a variety of price points. If you like iOS that’s fine and as mallman rightly said you are going to get to keep it no matter how successful Android is, but thinking Apple is going to outsell all Android devices with one device is pure lunacy.

    • ayocuz

      Even thou I know you are a hater Derek I voted you up one. You make some pretty good points. Keep up the bad comments we do notice you!

    • http://Website tyler

      When Google decided android will be open sourced and put on any phone thats when it surpassed apple. But don’t worry android’s open source will be its downfall in the years to come…. when there are a million android phones and developers get tired of updating apps to accomodate them theyll drop android and move on to the next fad and we’ll never hear of android ever again.

    • http://Website Tim Blane

      Derek, you have based your arguments on the activation numbers Jobs provided, how do you know these are real? All the people in my office who have the new iPhone also had the previous iPhone, many used the opportunity to switch carriers (we’re in Australia), these would show up as “new customers” but their old iPhone is now sitting in a drawer somewhere.

      Android, by virtue of being new, and having new devices appearing on a monthly basis are pretty much all new customers.

      This “logic” is far more compelling than the marketing arguments put forward by cRApple who are desperately trying hang on while the tide is sweeping in.

      It’s the old windows vs apple situation again, by hanging on and not allowing “clones” they are going to lose out on market share, they bang on all the like about user experience but limited choice = limited choice.

  • http://Website mallman

    Derek, mind proving your numbers? LOL, i love people that call everyone else a liar and expect to be trusted with their numbers in the same fashion they are saying everyone else cant be trusted with theirs.

    Derek, you get to keep your Iphone even when it is less popular. Dont worry, nobody else will want to take it from you anyway, they will be too busy playing with their droid!!!!

  • elijahblake

    BOOM!!! Headshot

  • http://Website Khush

    The only problem with android is that there is 50 new and totally different phones out for everyone android updates their os leaving out alot of phones that still need updates the cliq is still on 1.5 but I guess that’s to be expected with done many different screen sizes and specs

  • http://Website Nammy

    I am a pretty big Android fan but I feel the need to point out that these numbers are not exactly representative. The data above is just for the iPhone, you need to take into account the millions of iPod touches being sold as well.

    Why should we only count phones? The reason we want numbers and data is so developers have a feel as to what OS has the most followers, and which OS will give them more sales if they develop software for it. With this is mind, the iPod Touch is just as important as the iPhone. A perfect example is shows with games on the market. I think its fair the say the one reason the iPhone has hundreds of grade A games while Android struggles to get a handful is because the iPod Touch is owned by millions of young teens who own an mp3 player are in the market to have a sort of portal game console to play with on car rides or planes or whatever.

    Bottom line, there is no reason why one would only care about phone sales and ignore such a large portion of the iOS market.

    • http://Website Tim Blane

      >> Why should we only count phones?

      Because the source is a report based on “Mobile OS market share distributions”

      They don’t include trucks and motorcycles for the same reason.

  • http://Website Jeffroid

    I’m an Asian and a big fan of Android. I’m suffocating here because everyone’s going crazy over iPhone.

    Despite the numbers shown in this report, I’m guessing android’s popularity hasn’t really reached here yet. The android community here are all waiting for high-end android phones to reach here but it won’t come anytime soon. Android Phones that are US exclusive also upsets us because we never get to know how good the phones are.
    E.g. HTC Evo 4g, Droid X, Samsung Epic 4G will never reach us, or take months to half a year to reach us.

    By then, the Q4 phones(that leaked) we have seen so far will be storming the western region market.

    Simply put, all the android actions that has been going on this year has been happening out in US and Western regions. Asian Android fans can only speculate over the net. We are very sad :(

    Calling out for green robots reinforcements to conquer the iPhone domination here(in Asia) as well!

    • http://Website Nammy

      I experianced similar things when I was i central Europe, they seem to be lagging one or two generations behind what you see in Canada or the US.

      This is all very strange, for decades Asia and Europe always seemed to be getting the newest gadgets and the coolest things way before the US did. I remember as recent as in 2004 when my roommate was buying his cellphone through an Asian exporter because the phones in Asia were light years above the crap they were selling the US.

      • http://Website timothy first

        That may be true for central/eastern europe but for western europe it is still miles ahead of US/Canada.

        • KaiserJay

          That may be due in part to the fact that the Android Market doesn’t accept payment from any Central European countries and only Japan in Asia.

          There is no point in a telecoms company promoting phones which can’t access paid applications from the Market.

          • http://Website ac

            Unfortunately, it’s true, we can only download free apps from the Market. But Android phones are actually very popular here, so we hope the situation changes soon. Please, Google, bring the paid Market to Central Europe!

  • http://Website Joe

    Although I do love Android, once iPhone is available on more carriers, Android’s growth will be significantly stunted. Most people don’t care about ‘openness’ but they do care that it’s the only real alternative to an iPhone. Tech-enthusiasts like us that frequent this site may be passionate about the platform, but we’re just a speck of dust in the big picture.

    • http://Website james

      im sorry but that is complete bs.
      i do not know where you are getting the “real alternative” from.
      even if iphone were to spread to different carriers you still cannot match up to android having a variety of devices on a variety of carriers which makes the iphone basically 2 steps behind in this department.
      so spread iphone to different carriers and what do you get?
      iphone being 1 step BEHIND.

    • http://Website Chancy

      It will NEVER happen because

      1) Apple likes to control the terms on which they operate on a network and it seems like only AT&T was willing to sell their soul for that compromise. It will take a LOT of doing to convince Verizon, T-Mobile etc to join their exclusive partners.

      2) T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint all have their biggest phones running Android. They are making more sales than they have seen in YEARS and this is only the tip of the iceberg for Android. Why would they change their fortunes?

      3) Due to Android’s “non-exclusivity”, they have been able to convert a lot of people over to Android and it will be hard for Apple to take them back should the iPhone pop up on any other network. Yes, there might be a few people waiting for the iPhone but it’s like eating cake for a year then suddenly switching to broccoli.

  • http://Website adam

    I highly dought that. Android is going to over taking iphone/ipod touch. I wouldn’t be surprise if android make an iPod touch version of android to attract teens and young adult.

    • http://Website Jeffroid

      Actually they already did, the latest archos android tablets 2.8 inch, 3.2 inch and 4.3 inch function as Portable Media Player/Internet Tablet.

  • http://Website anthony

    Ya know I once wanted an I phone. I am on tmobile and was hoping for the day the Iphone would come. I tried the mytouch3g and thought nice but no iPhone so still I waited. I didn’t get my iPhone thank God instead I got my nexus one. I know other androids are among us but those that are in the know will tell you the N1 is still tops considering its been out since January continuesto be upgraded first. I wont dare ruffle any of you other super phone owners but. I wont consider trading my sexy nexy for any other android I’ve seen so far. The only way ill switch is a processor that doubles my speed and has pure vanilla running on it. I think we all know by now the N1 still stands first in line for updates so here I stay. I just think back now what a silly child I was for wanting that I stone glad I grew up cheers android rules.

  • deltakid

    Once people enjoyed the freedom of Android devices they won’t be tempted to go to a “dummy” os such as iOS. So I believe they will happily coexist and with Sonys and Googles push in the games department we will see a lot of very attractive devices coming to our galaxy.

  • http://Website matt

    Also, NDP says, that Android owns Blackberry and iPhone as the top-selling smartphone for USA, this quarter.