Android Well-Positioned To Breath Down Symbian’s Neck In The Race To Become The Number One Mobile OS


The past few weeks have accounted for  a lot of buzz around gadgets and especially mobile phones thanks to major events starting from the Apple Keynote address and the very recent NokiaWorld and HTC media event in London. Interestingly, all the three events have had a good amount of coverage on the three leading mobile operating systems there are namely the iOS, Symbian and Android.

 Symbian Vs Android

iOS and Android have been gaining market share at a healthy pace while there has been a lot of scepticism on how Symbian is losing the battle with a sort of ‘Symbian is dead’ doing the rounds. However, Symbian has been the market leader for quite sometime and even though it might have witnessed a minor setback here and there, the numbers still suggest that Symbian is going to be the market leader for quite sometime.

However, the future of Android Mobile OS seems to be the brightest as far as leading research firm Gartner is concerned. In their latest forecast of Mobile End-user OS sales report (excerpt here), Android is set to become the second most selling mobile OS by 2010 and is expected to close down fast on Symbian for the number 1 spot by 2014 as seen in the table below.

Mobile Device Open US Sales To End users


OS 2009 2010 2011 2014
Symbian 80,876.3 107,662.4 141,278.6 264,351.8
Android 6,789.4 47,462.1 91,937.7 259,306.4
iOS 24,889.8 41,461.8 70,740.0 130,393
RIM 34,368.8 46,922.9 62,198.2 102,579.5
Windows Phone 15,031.1 12,686.5 21,308.8 34,490.2

(Thousand of Units)

Nokia To Push The Sales For Symbian

The growth of iOS and Android has been meteoric to say the least whereas Symbian has no doubt suffered. The slow growth of Symbian mobile OS though is not surprising. Nokia, the largest supplier of Symbian phone accepted that they have indeed lost the leadership space in the smartphone space to the likes of Apple and Android.

However, a new CEO has been bought into to resurrect Nokia’s position and from whatever I have read about the ongoing #Nokiaworld event, Nokia might be ready to get its mojo back in the smartphone marketplace. The new feature rich phones on the Symbian platform are expected to improve the sales of Symbian OS as forecasted by Gartner

Android Is Fast Emerging As The Preferred Mobile OS for OEMs

Coming from the Google stable, there was no doubt that Android will be technically superior than other OS’es out there. It being open sourced has made it even more attractive for the OEMs as well the developer community across the globe. Google may have stopped selling Nexus officially but handset manufacturers like HTC and Samsung are betting their future on the Android platform.

HTC, Samsung have been aggressively pushing new phones having the Android platform and the likes of Sony, Motorola are also actively leveraging the Android platform. HTC recently unveiled two new phones on the Android platform and based on my twitter stream, I can safely say that people are already lusting for these phones.

With multiple OEMs leveraging Android as the OS of choice, I see no reason why Android should have any trouble challenging Symbian for the number one spot. iOS is doing commendable as it is ,but being locked to Apple devices alone, a competition with Android might turn a little too much for it.

RIM seems to be operate in a special niche of its own, but with phones on Android, iOS offering push emails, the growth of RIM is not expected to be phenomenal. As for the positioning of Windows Phone, the less said the better Smile

What do you think of Android’s race to the top in the battle of Mobile OS. Will Symbian be able to hold its own or cede the leadership to Android?

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