The smartphone market is growing and causing a massive displacement in the PC market. It is actually a major computing platform right now in the developed world. Users are moving from the PC landscape to the tablet. And this is affecting the operating system geography. According to Ramos Llamas of IDC, an international market research firm,
End-users are becoming more sophisticated about what kinds of experiences are offered by the different operating systems. Taking this as their cue, operating system developers will strive for more intuitive and seamless experiences, but will also look to differentiate themselves along key features and characteristics.
Though the industry is picking up in the developing world as that region can actually distort any view of the global mobile geography, Tekedia thinks that winners are already emerging in the operating system domain. Android is on the rise fueled by affordable phones and tablets from Asia that are shipped daily. That momentum from China could be hard to be matched by the closed iOS and even the Windows Mobile that must be licensed.
IDC projects Android to grow to a market share of 40% in H2 of 2011. It will take about 44% in 2015.
Nokia Symbian which has basically being killed by the new boss, Elop, will shrink from its market share today of about 21% to about 0.1%. But where Symbian loses, Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile will benefit because Nokia will migrate to Windows. Windows Mobile will grow from about 4% to 21%.Yet, it is actually a loss of market share for the combined combo of Symbian and Windows Mobile. If at the end of 2011, both take a share of 25% and in 2015, they have 21%, it is a loss of 4% market share. This means that Nokia has not gained much from leaving Symbian for Windows. The combined numbers is a loss in the market share.
Apple iOS will lose some points and end 2015 with 16.9% while Blackberry will stay at 13.4% in the same time. The case of Apple is simple – it is not huge in the low spectrum of the market, but its revenue is healthy and that is what matters to it.
While these forecasts are good attempts, the global economic situation can swing the pendulum. Android is the OS we think has the best chance of competing and doing well in this space whether the economy does well or not. The reason being the affordability and the open platform which is making it popular in China.
Of course, before 2015, another OS can jump into this mix. This industry is very disruptive and anything can happen.