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Android gains traction in the mobile OS game

Alex T.
6

In a recent report, Nielsen showed that Android is moving in on RIM and Apple fast in the race for the #1 spot in smartphone OS share. Android's got almost 26%, RIM just barely over 26% and Apple's just shy of 29% - a good start. Also interesting is the share among recent acquirers, where Android beats Apple and RIM by a wide margin. 

 

Now the graph above just shows a 6 month period, but considering the holidays aren't included, that's a pretty good return Google's seeing on their purchase of Android in 2005. What's also interesting is the numbers Flixster, who have a movie-related app in most mobile OS-es, shared with Techcrunch about downloads of their app through Christmas:

iOS on the iPhone and iPad combined got about 60% of total downloads, with Android confortably getting 30%. In essence, that's a good number, but considering that Android unofficially topped Apple in number of handsets activated a day, I think we can do better. I guess all those fart apps for iPhones are paying off for Apple this time around. 

This one example does of course not tell a reliable story overall, but it's a start show that Android is getting some serious interest. However, Wirefly released their list of the top sold cell phones (not smartphones) yesterday to reveal that 9/10 were Android powered (they don't sell the iPhone, so it's safe to assume it'd be 8/10 otherwise) - a clear indication that people are going for smartphones more and more and that Android is their top choice. I'd be interested to see some more concrete numbers on holiday sales but I'm sure they'll confirm that Android is advancing ever further in the mobile game.

 Pictures: NielsenWire, Techcrunch

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  • Martin Krischik Jan 4, 2011 Link

    [USA only] I though this international site. So please none of those USA only statistics. Or at least mention it it the text.

    And it is a USA only statistic. Because not mater how much NOKIA tries to wreck there own operating system by in-action: internationally Symbian is still the number one.

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    Alex T. Jan 4, 2011 Link

    You're absolutely right. I do have some reservations about how Symbian market share is determined, however.
    I think Symbian is mostly popular because of the E-series appeal to tweens that want to text and to small/medium businesses because of lower costs compared to Blackberrys. Also, Nokia's still chuning out some solid pieces of hardware, though increasingly less so, and many people are just brand-loyal from when Nokia was where it was at. I know few people that would actually buy a Symbian device for the OS as opposed to price/brand. But if you ignore the fact that Symbian is present on a slew of dumbphones with limited features this is what you get:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone#Rise_of_Android_and_iPhone
    It is still number one but even after Q4 2010 number will be released the gap's gonna be pretty slim. I had an E63 for 6 months and have seen how backwards Symbian is so I'm pretty much ready to write them off.

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  • Martin Krischik Jan 4, 2011 Link

    Symbian itself is actually quite nice OS. And as Real-Time OS much better suited for phones then Linux or BSD.

    But NOKIA has added some rather nasty GUI to it. And you are right: I would not consider the S60E3 devices to be Smartphones at all. If you take those out of the statistic Symbian would not be place one any more.

    However Symbian may or may not have a comeback with Qt as GUI. It all depends if NOKIA get's some devices out the door fast enough.

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    Alex T. Jan 5, 2011 Link

    What I did like about Symbian v3 was the fact that it had multitasking and decent speeds, but the app offering was lacking. I haven't checked to see what v5 got because all early touch-based Nokias were pretty horrible.

    From a demo of Qt I saw, it looked to have the power to get some nice work done, but the UI design looked like Windows 95 all over again. The app demos for AccuWeather and Angry Birds look neat though, and if they ported the latter in just a few days, it's got potential - unless Nokias own OS design stays the same in which case you'd have nice apps on a boring and backwards platform.

    Also, the longer they wait to actually release more handsets with Maemo or Symbian built on Qt, the less people will actually care when they do. They need to quit yapping and get to work.

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  • Martin Krischik Jan 5, 2011 Link

    @Alex T.: Spot on. And I think that NOKIA already missed there window of opportunity.

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    Alex T. Jan 6, 2011 Link

    Thanks! I think they missed a few too many windows already. The got in the color display on phone game late, they were late in the camera game (but they and Sony Ericsson are pretty much dominating that side), they took over a year to release their first netbook - a halfassed one too - and now with iOS, Android and webOS (expected) dropping tablets on the market, they will get in that late too.

    Actually, you bring up a very valid point. Qt could be what could save them, maybe not on the phone front, but in tablets. If apps are really as easy to port and it brings as much performance as it claims it could well be the next thing. They already proved that 3.5" isn't enough space for them to design a non-cluttered OS, maybe tripling that diagonal space would do them good. Unfortunately, I doubt that will happen before everyone else is already on their second or third iteration of their tablet OS'.

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