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Android may overtake iPhone by 2012

updated 03:05 pm EDT, Mon March 9, 2009

Android and iPhone Study

Google's decision to launch an open-source mobile platform may be key to Android phone sales overtaking the iPhone's by 2012, according to estimates by Informa. Researcher Gavin Byrne predicts that phones like the T-Mobile G1 will eventually outrun Apple as a new focus on software over hardware will reportedly favor Android's open development system versus closed systems like Apple's. Other open-source platforms like LiMo and the eventual Symbian update should also benefit, Byrne says.

The analyst points to Nokia's current performance as an example of the importance of open-source software and of software. Where the company once held 65 percent of the smartphone market in 2007, that number dropped to 49 percent in 2008 as the company's share was eroded by very software-oriented devices like the iPhone or RIM's BlackBerry line. While moving Symbian to open-source may not directly hurt these two rivals, Byrne sees it as "crucial" since it gives phone makers a reason to pick Symbian over Android and regular Linux platforms and will also damage Windows Mobile.

And while just LG has added itself as a major Windows Mobile developer in 2009, phone makers like HTC, Motorola and Sony Ericsson have all either been shipping or planning to ship Android phones the same year and either complementing their existing Windows Mobile plans or else scaling them back.

Regardless of platform, Informa expects smartphones to grow in spite of the current economic crisis and anticipates their sales growing 35.3 percent in 2009 even while the overall cellphone market contracts 10.1 percent. In 2013, about 38 percent of all phones are expected to be smartphones where they should account for just 13.5 of the market in 2009.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

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  1. rytc

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2001

    -11

    Agreed

    I think it is clear that unless Apple opens up the iPhone OS to other manufacturer's it will go the way of the Mac - although an important game changing platform, it failed to capitalise on its early lead and has remained a niche player - albeit a great one!

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +9

    and...

    the Palm Pre may overtake Android phones. Or the Pre may overtake the iPhone. Or both! And all three may be overtaken by the Google Phone. A Zune phone may overtake the world!

    In fact, a lot of things MAY happen. I may write a non-annoying post in 2009.

    The question is how likely is any of that happening? OK, so we scratch off the Zune phone...

  1. Athens

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: Jan 2003

    +3

    of course

    Of course but for different reasons

    iPhone - One company Apple
    Android - Dozen Companies, Dozens of Phones

    Android will lead. I dont think the applications will make a difference. Apples system means Developers make money. Androids open system means a lot of software will be pirated and developers wont make much money. This will limit the development of software. I see the App store being the bigger player for this reason alone.

  1. Roehlstation

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +6

    Annoying Predictions

    I may win Miss Universe too.

    iPhone - One company Apple (not to mention Thousands of Developers)
    Android - Dozen companies, Dozens of Phones, All c***.

  1. dynsight

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    +3

    Open source so successful

    We can see how open source systems like linux and all the open source software like Gimp have completely replaced "closed" systems like Windows and OS X. Gimp has completely replaced Photoshop, and Adobe is filing for Bankruptcy as we speak.

    Sorry, in case you cannot tell, this is sarcasm.

    Please show me a model where open source has successfully surpassed a commercially available option.

    Linux still represents what... 3% of all home computers?

    Linux servers is the best example I can think of.

  1. gambit-7

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2001

    +3

    On the plus side...

    I guess that means Apple will dominate for the next three years!

  1. gambit-7

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2001

    -4

    On the plus side...

    I guess that means Apple will dominate for the next three years!

  1. gambit-7

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2001

    -4

    echo

    echo

  1. carloblackmore

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005

    +4

    where is the puck?

    These analysts need to talk with Wayne Gretzky - they're constantly skating to where the puck USED TO BE instead of where it WILL BE.

    No one with any vision cares how Android phones will compare to the iPhone in 3 years - in 3 years the iPhone will be nothing like it is today. I think, if previous Apple revolutions are any indication, an open-source platform created this year will be clumsily obsolete by 2012.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    -11

    carlomblackmore

    You're flawed argument seems to assume that while Apple will continue to update the iPhone over the next few years, the Google OS will not be updated.

    I think this is a valid, but useless prediction (like every prediction published on this blog). Apple isn't competing for huge numbers. Their goal is to deliver a great phone owned by people that appreciate it. Google's OS is an opensource OS that can be ported to both cheap and expensive phones... It is the cheap phones that will result in it overtaking the iphone.

    However, with this being said, I do not believe the Google OS won't be a great OS. An open source OS is much more suitable for a phone than a desktop. Open source is the Apple of tomorrow.

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