Research firm sees a boost for Android and Windows Phone at the expense of Symbian and iOS

Research firm sees a boost for Android and Windows Phone at the expense of Symbian and iOS
IDC has run its numbers prediction game again, and this time it speculates on the market share of the various mobile operating systems in the next few years. By 2014, it predicts, the "wild card" Android will have reached nearly 25% of all smartphones worldwide - not hard to believe considering the low-tier push that Google is plotting.

IDC also states that the market for Windows Phone devices (presumably both Windows Mobile legacy, if it is still lurking around, and WP7) will expand from 6.8% to 9.8% - again plausible, since Windows Phone 7 hasn't even hit the market yet. Here we will go out on a limb and say that WP7 will probably surpass the 10% mark, considering the resources Microsoft is pouring into its development, marketing and distribution.

BlackBerry OS is expected to remain almost unchanged from its 17.9% market share, and the biggest loser is supposed to be Symbian, falling from 40.1%, to 32.9%. The other dip, according to IDC, will be in Apple's iOS market share, which could shrink from 14.7% to 10.9%. The "other" platforms will modestly increase their market share to a combined value of 4.5%.

We wouldn't even dare to speculate what the mobile OS market will look like next year, let alone in 2014, but that's what the IDC analyst get paychecks for. Considering the explosive expansion of the smartphone industry expected in the near future, where will the puzzle pieces fall is anyone's guess.

Apple's exclusivity with AT&T will be over in that timeframe, so we will be seeing the iPhone on more carriers, which will certainly boost the iOS numbers. Symbian might be declining in its current reincarnation, but Symbain^4 and MeeGo are nearing to replace it in Nokia handsets, and who knows what consumers will find attractive. Samsung is planning to put bada on a third of its smartphones, and it is the number two cell phone manufacturer, so they might stir the market as well. We are also not so sure of BlackBerry remaining unscathed with all the troubles looming over its proprietary email system.

For all we know the smartphone OS market will become increasingly fragmented, but in the end it will be Apple and Google raking in the cash - Apple from the huge margins on its tightly integrated products, and Google from the search revenue generated by Android's proliferation.

source: eWeek



1. PhoneLuver

Posts: 481; Member since: Jul 05, 2010

I see Symbian and BlackBerry losing the biggest market share. Many people are falling out of love with Nokia, they just aren't as relevant as they were before.. The N8, E7 etc, are great, but yet, there's a general "meh" attitude. BlackBerry will retain some of its loyal die hard customers, but the exclusive features it offered previously are pretty much mainstream now, making it difficult to carve out a niche. iOS might take a dive, but not that significantly. Apple has created a great following with it's products and services and in many ways revolutionized the industry. It has many loyal fans and I see them maintaining their market share if not expanding it further. Windows Phone is definitely better than the old Windows Mobile, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Same applies to MeeGo and Bada. One thing I agree with, is that Android will become the mainstream OS.

2. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

I'm always sad to see analyst predictions cus they never include webOS cus of how miniscule it's marketshare is right now. But we'll see what HP can do with it. Remember HP is the biggest seller of computers in the world, they just need to find a way to leverage that to webOS' advantage. I mean once people get used to surfin the net and multitasking on their web connected printers they'll be hooked and get a webOS smartphone amirite?

4. derp unregistered

webos is so severely underrated its sickening. best OS out there, hands down.

3. heyhey unregistered

"the biggest loser is supposed to be Symbian, falling from 40.1%, to 32.9%" Umm... the biggest loser is iOS with -25.8% change. You can't just compare the absolute numbers by subtracting future value from present value. PERCENT change gives you a more accurate description of the change.

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