Android to catch Symbian for global market share lead, says Gartner

Android to catch Symbian for global market share lead, says Gartner

Summary: Gartner is projecting that Android will catch Symbian as the top global mobile operating system by 2014.


Gartner is projecting that Android will catch Symbian as the top global mobile operating system by 2014.

The predictions come as Nokia just named former Microsoft exec Stephen Elop as CEO. Part of Elop's job will be to make sure Nokia's Symbian OS doesn't lose its market share lead over the next four years.

By 2014, Gartner argues that Symbian's market share will be 30.2 percent in 2014 with Android at 29.6 percent. That's roughly a statistical tie. Gartner also has Research in Motion losing operating system market share with 11.7 percent share in 2014. Apple's iOS will be No. 3 with 14.9 percent market share, roughly flat with 2009 levels. Apple's iOS will have a peak market share of 17.1 percent in 2011.

Related: Android to control half of smartphone market, say analysts

Topics: Operating Systems, CXO, IT Priorities, Software

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  • RE: Android to catch Symbian for global market share lead, says Gartner

    as things stand today, ANDROID's total take over of the world mobile OS market is just a matter of time, it has no serious challengers. that is a no-brainer.

    iOS can stand a few more rounds because it is already has a huge install base, maybe WinMO can give some challenge by the end of this year because of no other reason than Microsoft putting all its corporate heavy weight behind it, but that would be it.

    with the pace Google is developing ANDROID, everything will look like out of date poop next to ANDROID very soon.
    • the state of android

      @samiup <br>let's have a look (some facts for a change)<br>- android has a much smaller selection of apps than ios (70.000 vs. 250.000)<br>- most of the apps are free, so the android app market isn't a good place for developers<br>- developers face additional hurdles as the android marketplace is very fragmented in hardware (esp. screen size) and os versions used<br>- android allows carriers to cripple devices with undeletable crapware, something that could slow adoption among users when other platforms (like ios or maybe windows phone) don't have that disadvantage<br>- android adoption in the us will slow down the moment the iphone is available at all 4 carriers<br>- half of the android handset makers (lg, motorola, sony ericcson) operate at a loss or hardly break even; only samsung and htc turn a profit from their smartphone operations<br><br>so, i would say, no, it's not a no-brainer that android will be market leader in os share. i don't say it won't happen, but it faces some obstacles. first one, some of the handset makers have to leave the game, if they don't turn a profit soon. android hasn't turned out to be a good business enviroment for hardware companies yet.<br><br>meanwhile apple has already 50% of ALL the profits of the WHOLE phone market (not only smartphones but all phones), probably having 75% of all profits in 2012.<br><br>android may turn out to be no 1 in os share, but it will continue to have a much weaker app market and business environment, degrading their partners to low margin players in a commodity market.<br><br>apple on the other hand will have a clearly differentiated product and will be hardware maker no 2 (after nokia) with the lionshare of the profits. which company would you like to be?
      banned from zdnet
      • Android only viable option, for now

        A lot of what you say is true, yet look at it from the Handset makers point of view, they don't have the choice of iOS. So it's not even in their options list.

        They have two options, Android, or their own OS (e.g. Symbian, bada, etc.).

        And the carriers are the same, typically one carrier has the exclusive from Apple in their market, the others naturally will go for the next best competitor. Which looks like Android.

        Yes Android apps suck for a developer, any good applications get copied into Google own apps (e.g. that Radar apps functionality got cloned into Googles), meanwhile the market is swamped with free sub grade copies. No opportunity to make money, but a lot of foolish people chasing gold mines.

        Obviously that's not sustainable for app developers. But for now its the situation as it is.

        So IMHO, Nokia need to nurture and recruit the best third party developers, they need to help them reach a wider audience, they need to build a core bundle of the best apps, and they need to offer that bundle to carriers. Because it's not the 100k apps that sell the phone, it's the bundle that comes in the box.

        And Google, for all the crapiness of its interfaces, has the current best bundle. But it doesn't mean that it will have that in a a few years time.
      • Playing loose & fast with the word "Facts" there...

        @banned from zdnet

        "android has a much smaller selection of apps than ios (70.000 vs. 250.000)"

        As a quick search comes back with the the Android app market reaching at least 90,000 with predications of 100,000 in July (2 months ago). I don't know the actual number, but a FACT is that you pulled yours from nowhere recent.

        "most of the apps are free, so the android app market isn't a good place for developers"

        Evidence of the above? I've paid for a fair number of apps (including games) after using their Lite versions because they are good apps. So no FACTS there.

        "evelopers face additional hurdles as the android marketplace is very fragmented in hardware (esp. screen size) and os versions used"

        Proof of this? When I get updates for the apps I use the most common reason has been "Update for Android 2.2", and I'm running 1.6. So one version of the App for all OSs. Again you have not presented a FACT.

        "android allows carriers to cripple devices with undeletable crapware, something that could slow adoption among users when other platforms (like ios or maybe windows phone) don't have that disadvantage"

        Only in the USA, not true in other markets. So I will give you a FACT for that as this is the US Edition of ZDNet.

        "android adoption in the us will slow down the moment the iphone is available at all 4 carriers"

        This is an opinion not a FACT. Again this hasn't happened in other markets outside of the USA, especially in UK where the iPhone is available on all carriers.

        "half of the android handset makers (lg, motorola, sony ericcson) operate at a loss or hardly break even; only samsung and htc turn a profit from their smartphone operations"

        Is this a FACT, do you have proof? If so show it. I have no idea if you're right or wrong, but it looks like a wild claim rather than a FACT.

        So before you tell us some FACTS, actually get the FACTS first.
      • money


        all numbers are q2 2010, in $

        motorola mobile division: operating loss of 109 million
        lg mobile division: loss of 101.2 million
        sony ericsson: a tiny profit of 15,5 million
        samsung mobile division: a profit of 533 million (but most of it through feature phones)
        htc: a profit of 268 million

        for reference apple had a an estimated iphone profit of around 2 bn in q2 2010. and the quarter in which apple's iphone sales are normally accelerating (after the yearly refresh) is in full swing.

        for any reason i can't post the links to these numbers in this form. they get deleted every time i try. but you can easily find those numbers when you search for "lg mobile division loss q2 2010" or "htc profit q2 2010" etc.
        banned from zdnet
      • One thing I've noticed about Apple zealots

        @banned from zdnet <br><i>which company would you like to be?</i><br><br>Apple zealots have an unhealthy emotional attachment to the multi-national, multi-billion $$$/year, mega-corporation that happens to make their bulk consumer goods. They entertain thoughts of actually <b>being</b> Apple so they say silly things like <i>which company would you like to be?</i> Single White Female anyone? You know, the movie where this emotionally unstable woman wants to be her roommate?<br><br>Unless there is even a remote chance of you actually running a huge company like Apple, HTC, Samsung, etc., your question of <i>which company would you like to be?</i> is ludicrous to the extreme. You never will be that company (or more appropriately, running that company). All your statement does is betray your unhealthy emotional attachment to Apple.
      • facts


        ok, let's have a look again:
        - android apps: 80.000 as of sep 10, 2010 (source: Andy Rubin, vice president of Engineering at Google; there are other numbers flying around but this one is official from google, and yes my 70.000 was wrong either, still 80.000 vs. 250.000)
        - almost 60% of android apps are free:
        - hardware and os fragmentation is a fact (almost 50% of all android users are still on 1.5. & 1.6)
        - android allows carriers all over the world to install crapware on their devices, vodafone is doing the same on devices in germany and uk
        - the iphone is now still exclusive only in a few countries (most notably us, germany and china), wherever else apple went multi-carrier after their exclusive contract expired their reach expanded. fact. will be probably true in the us as well.
        banned from zdnet
      • More facts for the zealot

        @banned from zdnet <br><i>still 80.000 vs. 250.000</i><br><br>First off, it isn't 250,000 because Apple uses rather creative counting to count apps. If an app has a trial version, that counts as 2 apps. If an app has a version for the iPad, that counts as 2 apps.<br><br>Second, who cares? Are there enough apps for Android that your needs are covered in the 80,000? The answer is yes.<br><br>Third, you'd better be careful because there are far more apps for Windows than for OS X. Are you prepared to argue that people shouldn't be using OS X because it only has a million apps instead of the hundreds of millions available for Windows? Yeah, exactly, you might want to stop the app count line of argument.<br><br><i>almost 60% of android apps are free</i><br><br>Sounds great for consumers! BTW, I followed your link and Windows Mobile marketplace has even fewer free apps than Apple's App Store. Will you be recommending Windows Mobile now?<br><br><i>hardware and os fragmentation is a fact</i><br><br>For Apple too. There are 2 screen sizes, 3 resolutions, the iPad doesn't support iOS4, the first iPhone can't be updated to iOS4 and the 2nd iPhone shouldn't be because performance is abysmal. Some iOS devices have GPS, some have gyro, some have cameras, some have speakers, others don't. Don't lie to us, fragmentation is a real problem for Apple.<br><br>I do have a question though: why is it so important to you that Android fails? I own an iPhone 4, I really like it, but I don't want Android (or WP7) to fail. I hope they do very well. What precisely is it about competition that has you so terrified?
      • emotions

        @NonZealot<br>you seem to be the only one with an emotional problem around here in your pursuit to paint anyone in a bad light that has some different opinion from yours.<br><br>i am referring to the fact that pundits always solely talk about unit market share as if it would be a meaningful number. it isn't. to the contrary, it is highly misleading. unit market share doesn't mean anything. <br><br>it is a business. there are only two numbers that count in business environments: revenue and profits. so yes, if you would be a member of that game (and don't kid yourself, websites like these that are dependent on the pc ecosystem ad dollars are players in this game), what company would you rather be: a member of the android team, where even google doesn't make any money and some of their hardware partners are even losing money or apple and rimm reaping all the profits. <br><br>if this means android is "winning", i hope they will.<br><br>disclaimer: long aapl, short rimm, nokia

        p.s. regarding fragmentation. any platform has to evolve to keep current. and yes you can't use an iphone or an ipod touch from THREE years ago with the newest software. but fragmentation is at another level for android where you have dozens of different hardware design (buttons, screen siezes, processors) and different os versions NOW, at this very moment. apple tries to keep a unified os platform for their developers and in contrast to what the cheapskates and freetards think, no, it is not good for the consumer to have an app environment where developers don't make much money because after a while they will simply leave.
        banned from zdnet
      • You are lying

        @banned from zdnet
        [i]unit market share doesn't mean anything.[/i]

        Sure it does. Just ask web developers of the 90s if IE's market share meant something.

        [i]there are only two numbers that count in business environments: revenue and profits[/i]

        Huh, and here I thought that it was share price and market cap because Apple was winning in those numbers compared to MS. MS is winning the revenue and profits game. Huh, guess that means that you've just admitted that MS is a better company than Apple. Huh.

        [i]what company would you rather be[/i]

        What street sign would you rather be? What food group would you rather be? What car would you rather be? Hey genius, your question is meaningless. You will never be Apple. You will never be Motorola. You will never run any of those companies. I will never run any of those companies. No one on ZDNet will ever run any of those companies. Your question betrays your Single White Female unhealthy obsession with the multi-national, multi-billion $$$/year mega-corporation that happens to build the bulk consumer goods that you happen to purchase. Seriously, get help dude!
      • relax, you're much too emotional

        @NonZealot <br>you repeat yourself and you're switching topics.<br><br>yes, revenue and profit is all that counts in business. just ask someone from your grocery store around the corner. they will tell you. market cap is a reflection of the perceived overall value of a business in the near future. not so important in my book. it is important though what it represents: it is a prognosis about near term revenue and profit. apple will eclipse msft in revenue this quarter and in profits next year. that's not what i think alone, this is what wall-street thinks, hence the higher market cap. <br><br>and no, i don't wish doom about wp7 or symbian or bada, it is only android that bothers me and the principles that it represents. it is another try of google to kill a whole industry (the mobile os industry) by giving away something for free to suck more people into their adware and spyware business model (and give a free ride to second grade hardware companies in the process that otherwise would have never managed to get any decent product out the door). <br><br>i respect rimm, nokia, samsung and even microsoft (in this case) though, because they try to be innovative on their own terms (at least where they do not shamelessly copy iOS). yes, in my book, google is evil, getting much too powerful and i pity anyone that gives their data happily to their servers through gmail or android. heck, i even switched to bing! imagine that.
        banned from zdnet
      • Good Post Banned from ZD.

        @banned from zdnet

        you've covered most of the bases.

        I'll like to add that even if Android grows it'll be loaded onto a lot cheap phones, some of which won't even run Google search or apps, some can't even be linked to app stores. Also Android is being loaded onto what is sold as cheap 'tablets' in China but what an analyst described as a 'fancy digital picture frames'. Just like the millions of 'flip phones', cheap MP3 players used as keychains sold on Asian road side stalls don't bother Apple, neither will Android picture frames, flip phones etc.

        As Apple sucks up all the revenue in the phone business, already making more money than Nokia , around 50% of worldwide phone (smart and dumb) profits, competitors will be fighting for crumbs and their R&D spending, innovation will falter. At the start companies gambled they will have an 'iPhone Killer' and spent money like crazy hoping to recoup in sales (e.g Motorola and Verizon spent a 100 million on the original droid advertising campaign). But as NO android phone has achieved iPhone like sales (tens of millions of units) I doubt android phone makers can continue spending like that . Innovation and quality for Android phones (as we're beginning to see) will continue to fall. In the end iOS (like Mac) will take over the top profitable tier of the market. (Apple haters note: last year before the continuing big boom of mac sales Macs already made 35% of worldwide PC profits).
      • Free Apps....

        @banned from,

        A point not usually considered is that the apps that are free to the user can be monetised differently. So not an issue for smart devs/houses. Some examples would be like the apps to deposit checks for banks or insurance, medical & stock apps, etc, which are developed/purchased/leased by the particular company for their online/cloud services.

        Amount of apps is not a real issue. Who is really going to use even all 70,000?
        just as long as they have the ones you want & need. Marketing Hype?

        While there is some fragmentation. (mostly caused by the carriers for control & differentiation) Again not a major issue, as the majority of general users will pick the phone & plan that best suits them. Those that are more tech aware & interested will be more refined in their research & choice, or jailbreak or even purchase an unlocked phone.

        Apple makes great products and has great marketing, and can be a great choice for some.

        Still I prefer Android (& even Meego & WebOS). While I cannot predict the future, it would seem plausible that Android would end up in one of the top spots....

      • APPL future

        @banned from zdnet

        Gave the advice to short APPLsome time ago when AAPL reached 270, and those who did made money covering at 236. Right now it sits at 263 and most indications state that it should go down, specially when you consider how much market share its giving up.

        Add based apps provide a constant stream of revenue compared to paid apps in the mobile environment. The more people use your app, that more money you make, so free apps are a win win situation, if you know what you're doing.

        Android walks all over Apple to the point Apple had to change its Controlling Maniac policies, as they saw they were loosing market share fast. Steve Jobs suggested that Android activations where less than Apples, while he skewed phones with pods and pads to state that Apple barely beat Android Google enabled phones, that's not all Android phones.

        Now, why is Apple losing market share in all other countries where its not subject to a single carrier. The answer is simple, cause it lags behind in technology and capabilities as well as price. It now trails and doesnt lead. It lacks soo much that is painful.

        A) NO Swype
        B) Flash.. rofl 180 degree turn
        C) Gesture Control
        D) Voice Control
        E) Google Navigation
        F) WIFI Access point
        G) Better screens Super Amoled
        H) Wireless DLNA access to monitors and better bluetooth 3.0
        I) No Multicores
        J) Less speed, less memory, less screen realstate, less features

        The list is so huge that its painful to see how Apple is being trampled over.

        The iPhone 4G did nothing to stop the trend with its small "retina" display. Inch for Inch any Galaxy S phone runs circles around it. See the contrast ratio between the retina and a super amoled, their is non, super amoled is a LOT better. Resolution between retina and a 4 inch super amoled is irrelevant cause it looks great. Now here is the kicker, have you tried using polarized lenses with a super amoled and a retina. Super Amoled can give you 3D!!! right there!! Retina NAH!!!

        Now if you visit Admob and see its stats you shall see that the actual amount of apps is over 101K and 13K are now counted anymore... the actual number of all apps for Android actually borders around 115 which is half that of Apple. And year ago Apple had over 1000 times more apps. This is what Apple is scared of. They loose the lead in Apps, what else do they have to boast about? Its loosing in all fronts.

        Best Hardware ---> Android dual core, new phones every month
        Best Screen ---> Android Galaxy S true blacks not washed out sharp ones like iphone's 4G
        Largest Screen ---> Android
        Most Useful Apps ---> Android
        Market Share ---> Android
        Innovation ----> Android

        A year ago Apple seemed untouchable and I can show you some of your replies to my comments. A year later you are still are on defensive, I really dont care anymore cause the tide is so huge you and all Apple loyalist can't change it. Its Worldwide. Even in the least develop countries Android is seen better than an iPhone, and their price counts cause they can't afford to spend 800 dollars on a phone equivalent to the shares of a telco company with a landline for life. Why spend 800 bucks on something that will be obsolete in a few months?

        If Apples doesn't lead in anything, what will justify paying a premium for its products? the cover?? Liquid Metal??? the Name???

        If you want to give your money away to Apple, be my guest, smart people wont.
      • Davewrite, you should not allow fear to control you.

        much like OS reload: You allow fear of competing products to colour your statements and control what you post

        Your writings are of half truths and "Fuzy Math", but that aside, what is it about Android, Windows, Dell, ect, that you fear?

        Why do you worry if Android becomes more widely adopted then the iPhone? Why are you so upset that Windows easilly outsells OSX?

        No one is forcing you to use them, are they? You have the choice of what you want to use, why should it matter if the vast majority chose to use something other then a Mac?

        Why should it bother you if more people choose to use an Android phone over an Apple phone in the coming years?

        As long as you are content with your choice, your purchase, does the fact that more people are purchasing a competing product somehow change how your units operate? Will someone else's purchase of an Android product somehow change or diminish the satisfaction you have with your Apple purchase?

        You posts show why you should not allow your human emotions to control your choices: It appears as though owning the iPhone somehow makes you feel superior to those around you.

        Pride in one's material purchases is highly illogical.
        Tim Cook
      • as usual

        @Uralbas<br><br>most of your post is personal preference and wishful thinking - as usual. iOS is not losing any share, besides some seasonality share is still growing fast. android is also growing fast. the ones that are losing share right now are symbian and winmo.<br><br>the android ecosystem is fundamentaly flawed because:<br>- the carriers are taking over control again (one of the biggest accomplishments of apple with the iphone was to give the control over the device back to the hardware maker - now with android they seem to happily give this freedom up again)<br>- participants (google and the hardware maker) don't make a lot of money, hence this business model is not very sustainable<br><br>sure some geeks like android because they hate apple, the laughable "open" meme and the empty bullet points on a feature list that you happily collected (some of them even incorrectly) but most people don't. dual core? you gotta be kidding. <br><br>and no, besides the fact that admob doesn't publish any app stats, again the official number (officially of google's andy rubin) is 80.000 apps as of last week, that's 32% of the app count at the appstore. sorry to burst your bubble but this is a long way to go before they even come close. your wishful thinking can't change that either.
        banned from zdnet
    • samiup: Good points. Android is like a freight train coming. It will be

      impossible to stop. Google is innovating so much faster than Apple on all of the things that go with the phone, like, search, turn-by-turn directions, mapping in general, etc. And, then there is all of the hardware innovation from all of the manufacturers building Android phones.
  • The thing to notice is that they are only predicting 3.9% for Windows Phone

    in 2014 (or whatever they call it in 2014).

    But, with all of the innovation pouring in to Android, it will be impossible to stop.
  • Elop's job isn't to save symbian's market share, its to switch it over to

    WindowsPhone. There is no saving symbian's share now.

    Also that chart is about what would happen if nothing new was ever introduced so you can immediately throw it out. Save it and look at it again once the 2014 numbers are available and you will see how laughably wrong it is.
    Johnny Vegas
    • Even a former Microsoft Employee would not be THAT stupid.

      You do not shake things up by going with the biggest loser in mobile.