back to article Android to overtake iPhone in 2012 - analyst

Google’s Android will have more than quadrupled its market share by the end of 2012, market watcher Gartner has claimed. But Symbian looks set to remain the dominant smartphone OS for several years to come. Android’s market share stood at a paltry 1.6 per cent during Q1 2009, but will grow to 14.5 per cent by the time Q4 2012 …


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  1. Bassey


    So, with the exception of Symbian, he's grouped his figures so closely together that, with a margin of error of just +/- 1% he could move any of those four OSs to any of the four positions and claim he was right. Genius.

  2. Jerry Masterson

    Gartner to publish something relevent in 2039

    "The main reason for Android’s market share growth will, Gartner VP Ken Dulaney told website AppleInsider, be because “unlike Apple, they [Google] license their OS to multiple OEMs”."

    Oh, so like Palm did? Or Microsoft? What's their market share now?

    "Windows Mobile's share will grow from 10.3 per cent to 12.8 per cent during the same quarters, Gartner added, which will see it remain as the fourth most popular phone-based OS."

    The only operators selling WM are ones that couldn't get the iPhone and needed an alternative to Palm. The only people buying WM are wintards that think having Windows on their phone is more important than usability.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    The percentages are far too accurate - this is absolute rubbish.

    The tone of the article was somewhat negative (I guess this is not unexpected from a site that labelled the iPhone the Jesus Phone), for a premium product Apple have done well to get the market share they have.

    Android is free, manufacturers like that. It may well get more market share than iPhone because manufacturers don't have to pay royalties - indeed were it not for the more expensive hardware I'm sure Symbian would have lost more customers. I'm wondering why PC manufactures don't ship Linux on their PCs instead of Windows... perhaps it's not as good a user experience ?

    BMW will never sell as many cars as Ford. Nothing wrong with BMW for being way down the market share league compared to Ford, GM, Nissan etc.

  4. Thomas Davie
    Thumb Down

    Doesn't sound likely

    Predicting a 1% market share per year gain for a platform that's been gaining 5% a year so far... Doesn't sound so likely, does it?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    BlackBerry going down? Not surprised...

    After seeing the catastrophe they call BES 5, I'll be surprised if they can hold on to 5th place. The monopoly they hold and attitudes of the staffers makes Microsoft look like downright nice people to deal with.

    I have my reasons for being Anon today, deal with it.

  6. jdavidlove

    Content is King

    This projection is wrong. After useability, and performance, which Android is still lacking as it doesn't control the platform - you've then got content. It's hard to catch up on such a software development lead, just ask Apple during the apple vs. Microsoft wars of the past. I expect android and the cell phone manufacturers will always be second fiddle because their management didn't see the value of digital contnet, didn't think ahead on how to take advantage of that, didn't take any kind of significant risks, and didn't deliver with conviction with nothing held back. I hope the "senior" managers at Motorola who are getting paid well and are still running that company into the ground get a chance to read this. Motorola - see: how not to run a company. Android, see Linux wars.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    @ Jerry Masterson

    First up Windows Mobile is not 'Windows' at all, despite what the brand might suggest. I don't use a single Windows PC in my house or at work, yet I love my WinMo phone. I have a strong feeling many of those who bash WinMo haven't actually used it and simply bash the name. Given Windows' reputation as a desktop OS, that doesn't surprise me at all.

  8. Periquet dels Palots
    Jobs Horns

    iPhone bites the dust?

    Funny how iPhanboys have jumped at the chance to bite at the heels of Android. Poor things, it will be hard to endure watching how the Apple of their i's loses its stardom. But unlike WM, Android does not suck, and is free, which makes defeat but inevitable.

    Anyway, be happy, my friends: the less of you that have It, the more special it will make you feel, compared with the unwashed and unenlightened masses that will do with Android. And His Highess will be able to control you even more tightly. And you will never, ever forget those ego trips you enjoyed when flashing your 2G iPhones in the train. Ah, those were the times!

    You can also rest assured that, even if the iPhone had but half the users of Android, it is just one manufacturer, and at the prices it charges it will still be siphoning titanic masses of your cash into their pockets. So all is not lost!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    They all grow?

    They must all be using Enzyte! (After all - everyone seem to claim that smart phones are just male enhancement.)

    PH - well cause if you can't figure it out...

  10. Catherine Keynes

    Half the market to become smartphones?

    >based on an estimated 522m smartphones shipping worldwide during the period.

    This is a crazy figure. Smartphones might be growing as a share of the market but they are still under 20% and the growth is significantly slowed by contracts getting longer. When the iPhone first shipped 18 months was a long time, now it's the norm.

    The vast majority of the 1bn phones sold each year are under $100.

    So everything else in the reasoning is flawed. In Barcelona lots of people were showing Android phones that were 'shipping soon'. So far only HTC has handsets in the shops. Smartphones are dreadful for product slippage.

    Predicting market shares and timescales?



  11. Gil Grissum


    Where is Symbian the most popular Smartphone OS? Europe? Asia? It certainly isn't the most Popular Smartphone OS in the USA. Try and find yourself a Symbian OS based Smartphone that ranks number 1 in the USA. Who paid for this so-called analyst projection? Symbian? That would account for the scewered numbers. I agree that Android will rise based on being licensed to Multiple OEM's and the desire of many people to avoid AT&T like the plague, but this nonsense of Symbian being the most popular Smartphone OS can't possibly have included or be based on sales in the USA.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Android is growing!!

    Very easy to understand. The Android phones are getting better and the OS is growing in popularity with both users and developers, who don't have to pay a tax to Apple.

    The iPhone is locked into Apple, bloatware that is iTunes, crap updates and awful contracts. Apple know that Android is growing in popularity and is pushing out through as many pedallers as possible.

    Apple - for iDiots.

  13. David Webb


    "BMW will never sell as many cars as Ford"

    Didn't you get the memo? BMW sold more 5 series than Ford sold Mondeo, same type of car, BMW outselling Ford. That's even before getting into the BMW Mini. You could have gone Ferrari I suppose, but that's unfair as Ferrari do not make enough cars to outsell Ford, the same with all the other prestige models, however, people were willing to pay the extra for the BMW which led to BMW selling more 5 series than Ford sold Mondeo.

    What is interesting in this article is that it doesn't include Nokia. If Nokia start porting their future mobiles to their other OS, where would that place them?

  14. Robert E A Harvey

    What a fine bit of Hokum

    "10.8 per cent to 13.7 per cent"

    Astonishing bit of precision in predicting the future. Perhaps the authors would like to tell us what the stock market will be standing at, where the hurricanes will make landfall, and who is planning to assasinate president Obama?

    It all sounds a bit beery to me:

    "Now yer cell phones right?. I reckon..I reckon.. People are going to buy more of them. Right? Not a lot more, obviously, 'cos they've got shedloads already. But more. And shiney ones. Wiv software, and everything. Cos that's what they like. And those Finnish blokes, wot-they-called, Yes Nookey, that's them, they will sell most of them. Stands to reason, dunnit. Are you buying? I'll have one of them Groslch things with the funny top. No, make it two while yer there, I'll give you..."

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Content is the midden-cleaner

    The only content I want is the sound of other people's voices when I dial their number. My experience of iPhone users is that that's pretty well all they want too, but they want to be able to show off that they can afford 400 quid for the privilege. There's only so far you can push the market in that direction.

    There's an app for everything? Who the hell cares?

    Having said all that - this report's a crock. Gartner simply predicts everything they can think off and only ever mention the guesses that they got right to prospective clients.

  16. Anonymous Coward


    If analysts had ever predicted this market accurately in the past this would be of interest. As it is I don't see any purpose for this report except as an effort on Gartner's part to seem credible in this area.

  17. TeeCee Gold badge

    @Jerry Masterson

    Actually, the best reason for buying a WinMo handset right now is that you can pick up a "vanilla OS" one for fuck all. For a paltry few shekels you can then add the shell of your choice, the apps and comms of your choice, a bit of this, a bit of that and end up with something that'll do what any bloody Android device'll do at half the cost.

    The 'tards here are those paying 400+ quid for a bloody phone purely 'cos it's got a brand stamped on it. Call me when full-featured Android units with a keyboard, GPS, WiFi, 3G, multitouch screen and all the trimmings are under 200 notes a pop unlocked.

  18. jai

    stating the bleeding obvious

    this isn't a market analysis, it's just stating the obvious

    Android is a platform that's available to any hardware manufacturer that wants to use it. iPhone is only available to one. it's not economics that tell you that Android has the potential to be in more people's phones, it's basic, junior school mathematics

  19. WinHatter

    OS doesn't matter

    iPhone because iLove when peephole are looking at iMe

    Android because iM broke and iStill want to look cool.

    Symbian because iDontCare TM because a majority of people doesn't give a toss as long as it works.

    IT'S JUST A PHONE not a window on my pathetic existence.

  20. zanto

    Linux will be dominant by 2011

    Simply because it's better. It may be fragmented, but linux on your smart phone is the way forward.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Jerry Masterson

    "The only people buying WM are wintards that think having Windows on their phone is more important than usability."

    Actually I use WM because I value having a platform that isn't locked down and controlled by someone else.

    Personally I'm not a Windows fanboi (Unix admin from way back), and I will gladly use Android as soon as they bring out some handsets that don't look like they come from some 1980's B grade sci-fi movie. I may be a geek, but that doesn't mean I have to look like one.

  22. amondata

    Content is bling

    People forget that while Android is currently a little lacking, the projection in the article is for 2012. So its got basically 3 years to improve and spread. Once you're got a large number of cheap mobiles running android, doing effectively the same as iPhone without the single manufacturer or lock in, then choosing Android will be pretty much a no brainer for most people. The original ibm pc didn't succeed because it was tided to a single manufacturer, it succeeded because of the open and cheap nature of the hardware (open and cheap). Once you subtract the iphone touch generation from the iphone stats, there really isn't much thats different (apart from image), and in may ways Android is certainly superior from a technical perspective (although that doesn't sell phones).

    You can't compare this situation to linux v windows wars, which basically revolved around a large incumbent monopoly quashing anything seen as a threat, while providing financial incentives for people to NOT take up Linux.

  23. Alain Moran

    Windows Mobile

    I'm not sure you could call Windows Mobile 'popular' ... ok, so my Xperia/X1 runs WM at the moment, but that's only because there isnt currently an Android rom out for it ... you can bet as soon as they start releasing the X2 Android roms that someone will hack them into running on the X1 and I can finally cease contributing to the 'popularity' of WM6 :s

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Android is free?

    Try telling that to the guy who got the cease-and-desist for distributing a modified version.

    OK, the core is free, but there are also key apps like E-mail which Google are keeping proprietary, and the manufacturers will have to licence.

  25. sun_god
    Thumb Up

    Android + 2012 = Apocalypse

    Now we know what will bring about the end of the world in 2012 - GOOGLE! My, how amazing the Mayans were with their foresight... if anybody knows evil, they certainly did. Way to go Mayan astrological boffins!

  26. Nathen Fredrick


    Look at all the apple sympathisers defending their poor choice of phones!

    Windows Mobile unfortunatly is dead. At least until 8 comes out.

    HTC have made a good stab of making the latest 6.5 useable, although the previous WM incarnations weren't that bad either. Depends what you want to do with the phone, Productivity or Pose.

    I've left my WM ways behind for now, as the OS feels a little dated on modern hardware. I've jumped to Android, and I can say it's the best OS i've ever used on a phone.

    iPhones are like your typical model, pretty but not much up top.

  27. John Chadwick

    BMW & Ford

    Actually it was the Series 3 that outsold the Mondeo in the UK market. The Mondeo was the archetypal Sales Reps. fleet car, making it as attractive as leprosy to private buyers.

    I doubt that Apple will be particularly worried by Android taking a bigger market share, especially when it's not at its expense.

    I do find it funny that this kind of subject attracts so much vitriol and one upmanship, bit like buying cars really. Get over it guys, they are mobile phones, and there are more important things in life.

    Oh and Z4, Golf, iPhone and Nokia 6310i before you ask, and I also have an SE 630T and an O2 XDA Exec (Blech), but I don't use them any more.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    It's amazing how quickly..

    The comments turn from a discussion of the article to a fanboi slanging match about phones..

    Clearly Gartner has been paid a shed load of money by someone to pluck some figures out the air. How can anyone predict any market this accurately three years down the line?

  29. Number6

    @Gil Grissum

    The US is actually only a small part of the world market for mobile phones. This is not helped by having the incompatible standards which means that the US is a bit of a niche market. The attitude of the operators is a bit feudal as well, not enough serious competition, probably helped by the standards split.

    I made the effort to get an S60 smartphone because it wasn't an iPhone and didn't run Windows Mobile, having had chance to try both of those options before parting with cash.

  30. HKmk23

    What they do not understand.....

    1/. Do you want to buy a phone that is designed by people who think it is fun to; take off their clothes and pile into a wooden hut where they throw water onto the barbecue until they cannot stand it anymore, then rush outside into the snow and beat each other with birch twigs?

    2/. Or would you rather buy a phone designed by a world leading company who make computers that even jounalists can use?

    For 1/. read Nokia, for 2/. read Apple.

    I bought the Apple because I just wanted a PHONE.....not a wannbe computer with a menu system more convoluted than my intestine.

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