Symbian grows mobile dominance in 2011

Even though Nokia is phasing out the Symbian mobile operating system in favour of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, the software grew its share of all mobile phones in 2011.The OS started the year with a 30.

Even though Nokia is phasing out the Symbian mobile operating system in favour of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, the software grew its share of all mobile phones in 2011.

The OS started the year with a 30.25 percent share of all mobile phone operating system's, according to data from StatCounter compiled by Royal Pingdom and released on Thursday, and finished with 33.59 percent.

"As interesting as it is to see that Symbian has actually increased its share of mobile web browsing a bit in 2011, doubt remains as to the future of the platform," Royal Pingdom wrote. "Despite selling almost 24 million Symbian smartphones in Q2 2011 and close to 100 million mobile devices altogether in the same period, not many numbers for Nokia point in a positive direction."

Nokia entered into a partnership with Microsoft in 2011 that saw the company adopt Windows Phone 7 as its primary smartphone platform. Chief executive Stephen Elop said the partnership means the smartphone market had become a "three-horse race" between Google's Android, Apple's iOS and Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.

Google's Android OS starting the year with 14.61 percent and finishing with 21.74 percent. Meanwhile iOS, the software behind Apple's wildly successful iPhones, saw its share inch up from 25.02 percent to 25.56 percent.

Research in Motion's (RIM) Blackberry OS was the "real loser" of the year, Royal Pingdom wrote, as its share was cut in half, falling from 15.03 percent to 7.86 percent.

RIM has had a tough year; in October a core failure in its IT infrastructure led to customers across Europe, South America and North America losing access to email, the internet and instant messaging; in December its next-generation mobile OS was delayed and in the summer it found itself at the centre of controversy when officials questioned whether its technology played a part in the riots that swept the UK.