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The Future Is Bright, The Future Is Android

David Gilbert


The Future Is Bright, The Future Is Android

The writing has been on the wall for some time and in January it was confirmed that Android had become the top smartphone platform. Figures released today show that its stellar rise is not likely to diminish any time soon.

Android leap-frogged Symbian to take top spot in the final quarter of 2010, taking 32 percent of the market in those three months, showing incredible growth of 615 percent quarter-on-quarter compared to 2009. Figures from analysts Gartner released today show that Google’s smartphone platform will continue to grow, capturing 38.5 percent of the market by the end of 2011 and a whopping 49.2 percent by 2012. Interestingly the figures show that the 2012 figure could be a peak for Android as by the time 2015 rolls around Gartner is predicting the platform will hold ‘only’ 48.8 percent.

So who will be losing out to give Android this share? Well, in what will be a sad sight for Symbian lovers, by the time we hit 2015, Symbian will be all but a distant memory, with a few die-hards holding on to the last few handsets running Nokia’s platform - indeed, the platform’s share of the market will be halved by the end of this year. The biggest winner will be Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform shooting up from 5 percent of the market currently to almost 20 percent in 2015 – making it the second most popular platform. These figures seem to be based a lot on its partnership with Nokia being a success. RIM will also lose out, dropping from 16 percent of the market this year to just 11 percent by 2015 despite its expected migration from BlackBerry OS to the more advanced QNX next year.

Apple’s iOS popularity will peak this year at 19 percent but will continue to hold a respectable market share considering it has only one model on sale compared to the huge array of Android smartphones currently available. Total smartphone sales will be almost 470 million this year rising to over a billion units in 2015. While the figures from Gartner cannot be taken with any certainty, fellow analysts IDC last week made very similar predictions about Android’s future success.

Source: Gartner

Denis iii

April 8, 2011, 3:57 pm

The reasons I won't go Android:
- no centralized update.
- no simple way to set device to stock android.
- app incompatibilities across devices dependent on hardware spec and software version.

Why doesn't Google treat Android like Microsoft treats Windows as in the manufacturer can customize it to there hearts content but this doesn't affect updates being pushed out and if wanted the user can uninstall bloatware and set look and feel to default?


April 8, 2011, 7:28 pm

@Denis iii

Trying hard to find reasons... In my opinion your reasons are rubbish.

The reasons to go with Android:

- It turns your phone into a WiFi hotspot
- It plays Adobe Flash
- It has open apps
- Real Multitasking
- It has better browsers than IOS/WIN
- Fully Hackable
- Dozens of Phones to Choose From (You Can Choose Your Own Hardware)
- It's integrated with excellent cloud services
- Prices


April 8, 2011, 8:04 pm

@Ahlan: Read his comment again, note the part "The reasons I won't go Android". What's important to you, might be totally different to Deniss ii, as such his reasons can't be rubbish.


April 8, 2011, 8:10 pm

@Denis iii

Try a live demo of the Nexus S mate and then come back to us with your thoughts. :)


April 8, 2011, 9:13 pm

Android is the future :) i have no Android devices yet but i have been able to play around with the Desire HD and i loved it!
Im happy to see Android grow so fast and leave its competitors biting in the dust, my first Android device will be the Samsung SG2. If only Samsung would hurry up already with it, i can barely wait.


April 8, 2011, 9:47 pm

To be fair, Android is going modular from the next update. All the essential components will be able to update independently of the whole OS, as if they were independent apps. Gmail/maps are already like this and this type of update is quick and pain free. App incompatibilites are only seen on the budget last generation phones/chips; something you get if you try and install apps for the iphone 4 on the iphone 3 for example. I understand the comments but you need to give it a try before you say it's crap, it's certainly not perfect but there is a reason it is the fastest growing OS going at the moment.


April 8, 2011, 10:26 pm

@dev I think most will agree the main reason is price? If iPhones were priced at £100 or even free on contract would we be seeing the same numbers?

Not that there's anything terribly wrong with the devices or system, just considering how the public sees things. All platforms have good and bad things - well maybe not WP7 which is mostly bad, but I have some faith in WP8.


April 8, 2011, 10:39 pm

@GK.pm WP7 is bad? Don't let the WP7 fanbois see you say that. ;)

It's clearly not doing that well in the market compared to Android considering Windows don't want to divulge the numbers yet the users swear by it like its an iphone killer. I have yet to see any user on a bus/train/car/street yet. :/


April 9, 2011, 5:53 pm

I really like WP7. I prefer it to Android. Its so not mature in the number of apps available or the number of features os the OS but its slicker than gingerbread already. I actually use Launcher 7 skin on my Nexus S i like it so much :D


April 10, 2011, 8:13 pm

Android > iOS > WP7 > ... > ... > ... > Symbian. :)


April 10, 2011, 9:13 pm

@GK.pm While price does play a part, Nokia and BB phones are still cheaper than most Android phones. Iphone is expensive, both at purchase and in the increased line rental costs....but that's ok for many people, if you can afford it and prefer it, why not! For a lot of people, I think it comes to personal choice at their monthly contract price point. For example, in our house mum has an iphone on a £35 a month contract, dad and little bro a nokia on a £15 a month contract, me a Desire on a £27 a month contract, other bro BB on a £20 a month contract.

As an aside, despite loving my desire to bits...for purely phone call purposes (not texting though due to a crappy unthreaded app), the Nokias rule the roost.


April 10, 2011, 10:16 pm

We've a few WP7 phones at work on trial at the moment, all on HTC. I'm very interested to see the next few months develop as if things carry on like this, my iPhone 4 will not be replaced by an iPhone 5 but by a WP7 device. And I don't even own an Xbox!


April 11, 2011, 12:29 am

Market share is nice to have but I'd say profit share is even nicer..

For Apple (or for that matter, ANY company), 'profit-share' is the name of the game, and right now they're killing it. Apple's 2% market share when compared to the size of the entire mobile phone market (including 'dumb' phones) equates to 39% of the entire industries profits and they also continue to be the world's most profitable PC maker.

If this was the car industry, that headline would read 'The future is bright, the future is Toyota', which frankly would just be ridiculous..


April 11, 2011, 5:34 am

The default Desire messaging app is threaded so that's a bit strange? I'd recommend Handset for a better app though.


April 11, 2011, 4:19 pm

@rav I meant the crappy unthreaded app on the nokia lol


April 11, 2011, 9:38 pm

One other thing, whilst it's great that TR continues to be bullish in it's support for Android and hence general competition, it would do well to remind readers that these are just market 'predicitions'.. Gardner's last set of predictions concerning market share up to this point haven't been particularly accurate..

Anyhow, it'll be facinating to see how things actually play out to 2015..

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