And Android Will Crush Them All… Eventually!


Looks like Nokia (s NOK) has a new chief executive (ex-Microsoftie Stephen Elop) who’s going to bring change to the Finnish company that’s been caught flat footed by upstarts Apple (s AAPL) and Google (s GOOG). Even assuming Elop brings about that change, it might be too late.

Apparently, the Android Army is ready to take over the planet. Only it will take a few years to push Symbian aside — say in 2015, according to Gartner Group’s forecast. Gartner predicts that by 2014, there will be 265 million Symbian-based phones sold, while Android will power about 260 million phones and Apple’s iOS will power 130 million devices. Gartner puts other operating systems at 85 million devices in 2014. Assuming this includes Samsung’s Bada and HP’s (s hpq) WebOS — well, things aren’t looking good for MeeGo,  which is apparently at the heart of a Nokia turnaround.


Jeff Putz

I’m sure I’m guilty of drinking the Kool-Aid®, working in Redmond, but Windows Phone is going to be a failure before it even comes out? For real? Granted, my first one will be free as an employee, but even on the cheap prototypes I’ve played with, it’s awfully nice.

I don’t see Apple taking that much of a hit either. Hell, I’m not even convinced (yet) that I’ll give up my iPhone. Apple could sell rubber dog crap (iDoggieDoo?) and people would buy it.

These strike me as pretty silly projections not even in tune with what we know today, let alone guesses about the future.


I have respect for Gartner’s numbers. However what Gartner doesn’t know is how technology will change future sales. If you were to look at Gartner’s numbers in 2006
“Worldwide shipments of PDAs and smartphones combined totaled 42.1 million units in the first half of 2006,”

They did not know the thing called iPhone. And Android followed soon. These numbers are guestimates and can change.

Katrina P

I think everyone expects Android to keep skyrocketing into the stratosphere. That’s just a given.

What’s interesting in these statistics is the failure of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7. Gartner expects Windows Phone to keep hemorrhaging market share, and fall to just 3.9% of the market in 2014. That’s 3.9% for the combined Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.

How long is Microsoft going to keep pouring money into this? Ballmer already told analysts to “temper their expectations” for Windows Phone 7. How much grace are Microsoft shareholders going to give Ballmer before they expect to see some results? They’re going to at least want to see that graph going in an upwards direction.

Henry Tsau

The 3.9% for Windows Phone is too optimistic.

Windows Mobile will continue plummeting in its current free fall. There is nothing that can save Windows Mobile.

Windows Phone 7 has no natural ecosystem. Microsoft will have to continue subsidizing software ISVs and hardware OEMs. Even with such cash handouts, OEMs are already getting cold feet, with Sony Ericsson, HP and Toshiba pulling out (after initially joining), and Samsung putting in a less than 100% effort.


I doubt these figures and so does IDC. While Europe, North America and few other specific regions are fairly well developed the rest of the world is still only just beginning to embrace smartphones. Nokia has an unbeaten distribution network across the world has has proven that symbian can run on lower spec’d hardware than similarly priced competitor devices. While at the higher end Android phones with 1ghz CPUs are common and obscure Symbian’s mobile OS advantages at the lower end these advantages come sharply into focus.


The only thing we know fore sure is that these forecasts are wrong. Looking at past forecasts (think before the iPhone; 2006 – 2010 Forecast)they can be very wrong, as in completely null and void. I wouldn’t make any bold predictions based on this.

Android has the lawsuits to go through, emerging either victorious or very expensive. Nokia could adopt Windows Phone OS, HP could get WebOS right, something different could come and replace smartphones as we know them. Too many unknown variables, that have significantly changed the numbers in the past.


For all it’s gloss and sheen, Android has striking resemblances to the AT&T unix of the Jurassic age (of computing). And this could mean that Androids will go forth and multiply, but will not necessarily win. Why do I say this? Because there’s no money, honey. A great techie idea, filling a void, helping the world become a better place (ahem!) ..does not necessarily get people laughing all the way to the bank. Someone else, clearly having his eyes on the road to the bank, picking up a dollop of techie smarts on the way has way better chances.

Unless Google transforms itself from a bland search bar to an OS company, Android will not become the windows of phones or tablets. And no, you do not need a Gartner analyst to figure this out.


Meego is a wild card in all this. It has the distinction of not being tied to a single company’s agenda as well as having an OS that is partly designed by its (eventual) users. It has HUGE financial backup. Yet any of this does not guarantee success. On the other hand, Nokia’s biggest trump card is its ability to build superb hardware – so, if Meego does not work out, it could build Android phones and would likely do very well at it.

Matt Liotta

It won’t even take a full 2 years for the smartphone world to be completely different again. Assuming Android works out like the press keeps speculating it won’t resemble what we see now. Instead, carriers and handset makers will have forked Android for their own selfish reasons.

At the end of the day, Google has given out a platform that works really well hoping to make revenue on associated services with no guarantee that it will. The very vendors delivering the phone will see this revenue as easy pickings and incorporate that into the plans. Look for hardware vendors to try and pick up software revenue and carriers to subsidize phones based on backend payback models. Really, no different than today only Google gave away the farm to make it easier on everyone. Meanwhile, Apple will laugh its way to the bank regardless of markets share.


Any market predictions are stupid because they extrapolate what people know now into the future.
What if the continued investment in Android gets more expensive for Google and only some handset makers use Google services. The link from expenditure on Android and revenue wouldn’t be so clear. The board would start to question that investment.
Everything Google does hinges on the success of their advertising engine. Even for a company of IT engineers, they should know that a single point of failure is not a healthy system.


Gartner is wrong as often as they are right so really who cares what they say about anything. Not to mention Symbian as 1? Not even Nokia thinks or wants that. Plus market share may matter to Google but it doesn’t matter to Apple. So this whole subject is really nonsensical which Om should be able to figure out.

Brian S Hall

I think these estimates are fairly solid. Still, a 30% market share — which doesn’t technically guarantee revenue to Google — probably shouldn’t be called “crushing”.


Windows Phone at 3.9%? I don’t think so.

We will have to see how it turns out but early peeks of WP7 as OS and a few phones have been very promising. I think there’s a decent chance of WP surging very strong out of the gate, possibly matching or overtaking iphone and Android in monthly sales as soon as all HW and carrier parteners are on line in a few months.


Finaly from the early sales we saw that WP7 phone was not very promising as microsft wanted us to believe.
After all this trmendous campaign of half a billion dollars they gave for free more phones than they sold.
I doubt WP7 will get more than 5% worldwide in the yeas to come.

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