Android will become the second most popular mobile operating system globally in 2010, behind Nokia's Symbian, analysts claim.
Gartner's projection that Google's open source system will overtake Apple iOS and Blackberry OS in 2010 is almost two years earlier than it predicted last year.
The company also issued forecasts for Windows Mobile, including Microsoft's soon to be launched Windows Phone 7. Apparently unconvinced at the prospects of Microsoft's new entry, Gartner predicted Microsoft mobile market share would rise to only 5.2 per cent in 2011 up from the current 4.7 per cent but falling to 3.9 per cent in 2014.
"Launches of updated operating systems — such as Apple iOS 4, BlackBerry OS 6, Symbian 3 and Symbian 4, and Windows Phone 7 — will help maintain strong growth in smartphones in 2H10 and 2011 and spur innovation," said Gartner analyst Roberta Cozza.
"However, we believe that market share in the OS space will consolidate around a few key OS providers that have the most support from CSPs and developers and strong brand awareness with consumer and enterprise customers."
Nokia's Symbian remains the dominent OS on the basis of lower end mass market handhelds. Gartner said that it expects manufacturers such as Samsung, LG and Motorola to launch many new budget Android devices and that this trend "should help Android become the top OS in North America by the end of 2010" and potentially overtake Symbian to become number one worldwide in 2014.
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