The upward climb for Android-based phones seems to just continue. Google’s mobile operating system is expected to be the No. 2 mobile operating system in 2010 and could reach No. 1 by 2014, researchers announced Friday. Meanwhile, the open-source cell phone OS will pass Apple’s iOS and Research in Motion.
According to Gartner, Android-based handsets will garner 17.5 percent of the market in 2010, up sharply from 3.9 percent in 2009. Apple’s iOS will own 15.4 percent of the market this year, up from 14.4 percent of the market in 2009. By 2012, the research firm expects Android will closely challenge Nokia’s Symbian OS as market-leader with 29.6 percent of the market versus 30.2 percent for Symbian.
Two key issues seem to be driving Android’s growth: its wide-availability and its open-source nature. Samsung is expected to announce an Android-based phone in the second-half of 2010, with many other manufacturers, including Motorola, LG and Sony Ericsson following suite.
“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 announced. Open-source platforms will own 60 percent of the smartphone market by 2014, the firm claims.
While Android is ahead of iOS in terms of mobile OS marketshare, the Apple operating system used by the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch was leading the Google OS online, according to figures released earlier this month.