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Summary:

With all of Apple’s iPhone buzz, you’d think that Symbian, the global smartphone marketshare leader would be looking at Cupertino over its shoulder. Not so, says Gartner via a Computerworld posting. Google’s Android is emerging as a big challenger over the next few years. By 2012, […]

Source: Gartner

Source: Gartner

With all of Apple’s iPhone buzz, you’d think that Symbian, the global smartphone marketshare leader would be looking at Cupertino over its shoulder. Not so, says Gartner via a Computerworld posting. Google’s Android is emerging as a big challenger over the next few years. By 2012, Gartner estimates Android will hold a 14% share globally, up from the 2% it owns today and a tad more than the 13.7% expected from Apple. That means that Apple will hold a good chunk of the market, but Android’s growth isn’t likely to come at much expense to Apple. Instead, Symbian’s loss is Android’s gain. To round out the other expecations, here are the estimates for the remaining platforms:

  • Windows Mobile / Windows phone = 12.8%
  • BlackBerry = 12.5%
  • Various Linux = 5.4%
  • webOS = 2.1%

Several factors play into Gartner’s estimations. The number of choices for Android handsets is gaining speed — it seems like everyone is getting in on the Android game these days. The more open nature when compared to Apple is appealing. And while not everyone has embraced Google services, they do offer a compelling option when paired with an optimized smartphone platform.

The recent video where James showed of the HTC Hero certainly has me more interested in Android than before. When the platform first arrived, it felt unfinished in terms of software, there wasn’t a wide assortment of apps and the hardware was more like 2006 than 2008. But the Android Market now boasts over 10,000 apps. And handsets like the Hero and Cliq look far better than the original G1. Although I don’t think I made a mistake with my Palm Pre — Gartner figures 11 million webOS devices sold in 2012 — I’m admittedly more intrigued by Android as each day passes. Not enough to add a third phone line, but intrigued nonetheless.

One bit that I’m wondering about in terms of Gartner’s estimates — have they accounted for Maemo, Nokia’s new mobile operating system that debuts on the N900? It could be that Maemo is lumped under the Linux share, but that would overestimate the overall impact that Google is having on Nokia.

  1. Join us Kevin! We’re having a BLAST!

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  2. google android is really gettinga a lot of attention as in my country lauched with a samsung phone may be kick out symbian but not apple

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  3. “Android? Never heard of it.” — AT&T

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  4. This is goofy, will never happen. Just like everyone was going to overtake the iPod, eh? Apple will have something completely different and everyone will else will be copying and playing catchup again.

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  5. Funny, I am starting to view Android as more and more like Windows Mobile. The same thing happened. Tons of devices on al carriers then the fragmentation came… you have this tweak from this manufacturer and this from another pretty soon the phone is Android in name only and no consistency between the experience on the Android devices (just like WinMo now). I see Apple remain the trendsetter, Palm picking up steam as soon as the Pixi drops and adds more carriers and Blackberry to continue it’s chug along.

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  6. Apple should open up too, otherwise they will be killed by the myriads of android developers.

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  7. I think Android will take over the market, You just look who is developing it, I looked on some of thier apps and games, they are unbelievable.

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