iPhone vs Others: The Mobile OS Market


Related GigaOM Pro Research Report (sub req’d):

The App Developer’s Guide to Choosing a Mobile Platform

Infographic by Column Five Media



I can’t believe how so many companies are ignorant to Symbian and stubbornly refusing to release Symbian versions of programs (Evernote to name as an example and many others


This is interesting! I’m a bit surprised RIM is doing so well, we’ll see what the future holds if they don’t fix their user experience.


Intresting how people react to the facts and figures. and also amazed to know how GUI dominat Mobile OS when people talk about there phones or buying phones.

Linux/Unix is the only open source leting companies enjoy the liberty, its like every company wants to cook their future on an already tested platform except symbian and windows.

So I would respect these two and not worry about others, as they are just making us all look like fools and reaching million/billion mark.



Besides Windows, everything is running on Unix/Linux. That’s including Apple iOS and Symbian. You just have to give Microsoft that for standing out.


symbian is not based on linux,it’s based on Psion EPOC OS which built from scratch in 1985 or so,in 1998 psion software was renamed Symbian Ltd. and EPOC OS became symbian


Besides Windows, everything is running on Unix/Linux. That’s including Apple iOS and Symbian. You just have to give Microsoft that much for standing out.

Paul Dost

Interestingly, it looks like Android’s share is all at the expense of Linux.


I can’t believe how so many companies are ignorant to Symbian and stubbornly refusing to release Symbian versions of programs (Evernote to name as an example and many others).


Rooooh what a nice chart ! Gartner should take a lesson here how to present data in their press release
About the content – the fragmentation of the market is just impressive. Is it a battle ? No, it’s a war !

Stan Wiechers

I have seen these stats before and find the dominance of the symbian platform hard to believe. For example the N73 from 2006 was a smartphone when it was released, but now 4 years later its not. That invalidates the whole statistic for me. Gardner needs to layout which phones they consider smartphones of the Symbian Platform.


Would everyone agree on what exactly is a smartphone?. For me Iphone is not a smartphone as it has no multitasking.


Interesting concept. I buy something and it change by itself to something else.

What from N73 make it not a smartphone anymore?

The only Symbian Phone not smartphone from my standpoint would be DoCoMo device, as they don’t allow native applications installation.

All S60, S80, S90 and UIQ devices are smartphones.


Om, if you are looking for ideas for super-helpful infographics…one debate we constantly have, as a large media company investing in mobile, is “Smartphone marketshare vs. Smartphone web&app usage”

Sure, there’s Admob’s ad impressions (which MIGHT be biased toward apps), then there’s ComScore’s MMetrics panel which has its own flaws….

Putting some color on Nokia & RIM’s massive installed base vs. Apple vs. Google’s in terms of actual traffic, web usage, and app usage.


With all the hype, android just stands at 6.8 million devices. To top it all Motorola has to be given more credit to that than google. I wonder if it would have sold even 1 million if it werent given free. Welcome to the most overhyped mobile OS of the century.


I am not sure if the Symbian phones can be really classed as smart as the iPhone and Android. :-)


I’m not sure you actually know what you’re talking about if you come up with nonsense like that.

Can the iPhone allow third party multi-tasking? Uh… no.
Can Android allow application installation on non-native memory? Uh… no.

Don’t confuse a pretty UI with an OS.


Hi Iphone allows third party multi-tasking did you checked the latest edition of iphone,Please check it


Is this North America or World wide data analysis? Reason I’m asking is because all other recent analysis of the market showing Symbian been minor mobile OS in North America market, that is lead by iPhone OS flowed by BlackBerry .


It has to be world, for the reasons you said. Symbian phones are rare in the US.


The title of this should be: “Symbian dominates the smartphone market” All the other OS numbers look pretty pathetic compared to Symbian.

Curtis Carmack

There’s research showing that already iPhone profits exceed all of Nokia’s smartphone profits — number of units is not the only important metric, though it is important, as potential network effects increase exponentially with the number of nodes.


If wealthy Apple users are happy to continue padding Jobs’ wallet, hey, let ’em. Nokia has done more to enable billions to access information through their range of devices. About the number of nodes, from a peasant in top of some water buffalo texting away, to that smartphone in the Black Eyed Peas I’ve Got A Feeling video, it’s a Nokia.


The only problem, Tim, is businesses care about profit above all else. Without similar levels of profit compared to your competition, you can’t afford similar levels or R&D and thus will eventually lose by all measurable metrics.


Some businesses may care about profits above else, these are the businesses that operate by fear, dictatorial control, hypocrisy, overhype. They see their operating environment only to be exploited- engineers that fall out of building windows for losing prototypes, mercilessly berating employees, not permitting apps about public figures featured on their ads, running Superbowl ads about the need to break Big Brother’s grip on the masses and hypocritically making overpriced fashion trinkets that only the rich can afford. These businesses’ R&D sure are aimed at encouraging even more useless, mindless apps, and designing even more overpriced, overpriced baubles. They sure look pretty but are rotten in their core.

And there are those businesses that while not as profitable, may also see part of their work: the wide access to information for the common good- good for their customers as well as their bottom line. They offer a variety of products and services that give their diverse customers choices. Their smaller profits are put to better use. Perhaps that’s where their R&D is partly focused at: Researching the needs of the masses and Developing products and services that met those needs, whether it be more durable phones or developing literacy services in the developing world for their low-end devices.

Shahab khan

I think the title of the post has been chosen so because the iPhone sales has shown a great annual increase as compared to others.

Btw ..Its really a Nice comparative study!


Any charts available for revenue by platform? I’m curious how RIM, iPhone, and Android stack up to Symbian. Seems Symbian may have the lions share of the market…but probably not of the revenues.

Om Malik

There are many different flavors of Linux — Android Palm being the most well known. However, for the purpose of this infographic, we have those two separated out and that is actually how they are counted by research firms.


The Iphone os is linux also.

Probably most of the phone OS are based off linux.

And then how many different variations of android are there.



iPhone is not based on linux, although they are both “unix” like.


What non-android linux based os’s are there for smart phones then?


No its not GNU/Linux at all, it uses a bastardized linux KERNEL though


:) I’d like to see that as the label, lol.

Add one more: bastardized Java and VM.

Because it also runs it’s own Google-ized, non-standard version of Java, on it’s own VM, Davlik.

In other words, the heavy lifting is done by Java, the Linux kernel is used for threading and memory, which is interesting that Java, or at least this fork of Java, is reaching it’s original intended use – that of small devices.

I don’t particularly care for the fact that they’ve pulled a sort of a Microsoft move in “embracing and extending” Java, but they’ve got their own reasons, and the rest of the architecture looks pretty cool. libc, “derived” from BSD, WebKit (same as Safari, with roots in KDE), SQLite, etc.



Again, good graphics Edit! Now will you take in consideration the iPad in your future totals? On one hand it is not a smartphone, on the other, it will run the iPhone OS.

Om Malik

The inclusion of iPad would make sense and when comes time, we would update the graphic (or do a new one) to showcase the changing market share etc.


In that case, why not add in iTouch numbers now?

But you would also have to add in Zune numbers for Microsoft….

Michael Bazeley

Wait a sec. That doesn’t make any sense. This is a smartphone graphic. The iPad is not a smartphone, even if it does use the iPhone OS. If you’re going to include the iPad, then you need to include netbooks, other tablets and all the other portable devices. And all devices that use Android, whether phone or not (set-top boxes?). That’s a completely different graphic.


If the iPad cannot make calls then it doesn’t make sense to add it in. The primary function of a smartphone is as a communication device – if you take the call function out it’s no longer a phone.

Muhammad Bilal

If you include ipad in this list, you should also include HP slate, a full windows 7 Pad.
Smartphones are other things and tablet PC is other thing. Why to compare these ?

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