Android could overtake iPhone by 2012 say analysts

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Android could overtake iPhone by 2012 say analysts

Analysts at Informa are predicting that sales of phones using Google’s Android operating system will outpace Apple by 2012.

In a review of the state of the mobile phone operating system market the company predicts that open source will be key to the growth of mobile platforms, both in terms of opening up users to new applications but also keeping costs down for manufacturers.

“The smartphone segment is no longer as simple as it was a few years ago”, says Gavin Byrne, Research Analyst at Informa.

“In 2008, there were almost 162 million smartphones sold, surpassing notebook sales for the first time. The decision to move the Symbian platform to open source is crucial in maintaining its leadership over Android, Linux and Microsoft”

He points out that Symbian’s market share has dropped from nearly two thirds of the market a few years ago to less than half today. This is primarily because of Nokia’s poor performance in the sector but also in the growth of competing platforms.

Overall the coming year will be a tough one for manufacturers he said, with sales volumes likely to drop by over 10 per cent in 2009.

“While demand in the mid tier will fall away during 2009, sales of new smartphones will grow over 30 per cent to 211.2 million units, driven by innovative new devices and operator subsidies designed to promote mobile data consumption, so that by 2013 almost four in every ten handsets sold worldwide will be a smartphone.”

These kinds of figures are attracting interest from non-traditional manufacturer to get into the market. Acer has already announced that it will be producing a smartphone model and Dell is rumoured to be working on its own device.

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