It wasn’t long ago when Garner, the research company, said that by the end of 2014 Symbian will have 31% market share and Android 29%, and predicted that soon after that, Android will surpass Symbian. When they made the prediction Android had 17% market share, while Symbian had 40%. Well, it looks like Android has already surpassed Symbian.
Android’s explosive growth on one side, and Symbian’s fast decline on the other, made it possible that by the end of 2010 Android had 33% of the market, while Symbian has 31% – 4 years earlier than it should’ve had this kind of share. I think even in 2011, there will be plenty of people who will say Android’s success is not guaranteed and Android won’t actually become the “Windows of mobile devices”, as we all know it will become.
The doubt will come from the fact that WP7 may still have some life in it, HP launching new WebOS phones and tablets, RIM transitioning to QNX, and Nokia making its play with Meego. So before everyone will be 100% sure that Android will dominate, all these other platforms will have to fail, thus I don’t think Android’s domination will be obvious to everyone until 2012. I don’t think each of these platforms will need more than one year to show if they can make it or not. It already seems like WP7 is going down after just a few months, so we’ll see how the others fare soon enough.
I think Android will eventually have 70% of the market, iOS 20%, and the others 10%. Android’s huge market share will ensure that it will be the most popular platform from all points of view, including being the one that offers the best games and makes the most money for developers. On the other hand, Apple’s iOS should remain strong enough and still very influencial, which is a great thing for Android, because they will continue to inspire the Android developers and manufacturers to make quality apps and devices.
A 70% market share should probably be the most Android should have, because any more than that, and Android might become closer to the desktop Windows from Microsoft, where everything moves very slow. But I think Android’s open source nature, and competition from Apple will make sure Google continues to innovate with Android.
As for Nokia, I think this should only make them consider more that they should adopt Android as soon as possible, before they lose their top spot as smartphone manufacturer as well, probably to Samsung.