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Google Handhelds Cellphones Operating Systems Technology

Gartner Predicts Android Most Popular Mobile OS By 2014 180

Posted by timothy
from the four-years-out dept.
mikesd81 writes "According to Gartner research firm, Google's Android smartphone operating system will in a single year have leapfrogged competitors like Apple's iPhone, Research in Motion's Blackberry and Microsoft Windows phones in global popularity, and will challenge Nokia to become the world's most popular mobile OS by 2014. Gartner says that the explosive growth of Android will give it 17.7% of world wide sales by the end of 2010. ... Analysts also say there are number of things that could derail Android's growth, including Oracle's lawsuit over Java patents."
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Gartner Predicts Android Most Popular Mobile OS By 2014

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  • Thank you editors (Score:5, Insightful)

    by klingens (147173) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @10:10AM (#33552396)

    for putting the most important words of this "news" right at the beginning: "Gartner predicts". From that point onwards, everyone knows one can safely disregard anything that follows unless a good laugh is needed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, 2010 @10:16AM (#33552444)

    So? That's Apple's choice. If they want to keep their divvy OS to themselves, that's their problem (or not).

  • by uncanny (954868) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @10:22AM (#33552464)
    well mr oversensitive, all i was saying is that they chose to make it so it's a lot easier to get a competitors product, and unless they stay a "must have" product, they are eventually going to lose market domination.
  • Deja vu? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wiresquire (457486) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @10:31AM (#33552514) Journal

    Google will be (or already is?) the new Microsoft.

    Just as Microsoft was the new IBM.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, 2010 @10:32AM (#33552526)

    Extrapolation can predict almost any outcome. Just find however small a period that has the percentage growth you want, cut, paste, extrapolate.

    Take a look at Chrome browser's 1-day growth...people were predicting it would be #2 in a matter of weeks/months...

    "oh look, it downloads have increased by 200,900% in 3 hours!!, let's extrapolate...OMG, it will have 17 billion users by TUESDAY!!!"

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @10:38AM (#33552564)
    I actually think that Android won't become super fragmented but will break into 3 main branches

    A) The "dumbphone or device" branch, devices that barely support their current version of Android loaded on them. (things running 1.5 that aren't phones like the Nook would be an example of this)

    B) The "Stables" branch, everyday devices running a simi-current Android release (things running 2.1 right now would be an example)

    C) The "bleeding edge" branch, high powered devices either easily rooted or pre-rooted that run the newest Android available (devices like the Nexus One would fall into here)

    So developers would probably use branch A to make basic applications, use branch B to make things like games and branch C to make tech demos.

    Fragmentation will be less and less of an issue the more phones that get rooted and the slower Google releases OS updates.
  • by TyFoN (12980) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @10:40AM (#33552576)

    You still have the choice of buying an unbranded phone. Why anyone would buy a phone that is locked to one carrier is beyond me, but it might be different over the pond in the US.

  • Re:2014? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, 2010 @10:40AM (#33552578)

    That would be different from Apple's whole approach. They don't want a majority of the market - they want a niche market with big margins. Apple's goal is never really more than 20% of the market.

    Android is quite likely the biggest winner over the next few years. What I'm personally watching for is what RIM does. While RIM has the corporate market, they've been trying to break out of that. I'd expect the major battles to be between Android, RIM and Windows 7 Phone.

  • by JanneM (7445) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @10:43AM (#33552590) Homepage

    "Is Nokia's Symbian devices every actually used outside of Europe/Asia?"

    Europe and Asia's population is around 4.6 billion people, or 70% of the worlds population. Anything used in "only" those areas of the world is pretty damn close to ubiquitous, whether it reaches every corner of the world or not.

  • Re:Deja vu? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Sunday September 12, 2010 @11:07AM (#33552724)

    Google will be (or already is?) the new Microsoft.

    Just as Microsoft was the new IBM.

    That always sounds like a reasonable comparison, but under Google's current leadership, and their current business focus, that probably won't ever be the case. Microsoft got where it is by committing a whole host of illegal, anti-competitive acts (still are, actually) and can be legitimately said to have retarded progress over the past thirty-odd years. Google isn't really doing anything of that nature, and if anything is pushing the state-of-the-art. Google's external operations are also very standards-based and, so far as I'm aware, Google hasn't pulled anything like what Microsoft did with the ISO approval process.

    Google isn't charging an arm-and-a-leg to phone makers for Android, matter of fact, it isn't charging anything. It also offers a remarkable suite of online services ... also for free. Of course, there's a reason for that: the only thing Google really "sells" is ad space, and that will only make money for them as long as they can attract eyeballs. I look at Google's rather massive investment in R&D and outpouring of free cloud-based services as being very future-oriented: they know that they may not be able to subsist on ad revenue forever, and would like to have other options. Microsoft has been doing the same thing for the same reason for many years, but Microsoft generally fails at anything outside its core competency of operating systems and office suites. Likewise, Google isn't making much money, directly, from its online services (other than its bread-and-butter ad views) but in the meantime we get to play with some cool stuff and they get to sell some more advertising. Some of that nifty online stuff may stick, and eventually start making Google some serious money. Only time will tell.

    But they're far from a monopoly, illegal or otherwise (as of now, anyway), and any comparison to Microsoft or IBM in terms of ethics or monopolism is really undeserved at this point. Not saying that will always be true: companies do change, but in this case I think we'll have to wait until Brin & Page retire. Hopefully their successors will be at least as good, business-ethics-wise (well, better than Gates' replacement, anyway, which wouldn't be too hard.)

  • Re:2014? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jo42 (227475) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @11:36AM (#33552912) Homepage

    predicting what kind of music our grandchildren will like

    That's too easy. Something that you can't stand.

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @01:10PM (#33553528)

    But they're very useful in finding out what businesses will believe. It's amazing how much pull a Gartner article like this can have during a sales cycle.

    Don't look at Gartner articles as truth, but as as an indicator of business beliefs. They're actually useful in that way.

  • by perpenso (1613749) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @01:41PM (#33553716)

    The Wall Street Journal also had analysis; they said that Apple can afford to lose a chunk of market share (in a growing market) and instead should worry about the competition driving the price down. Here's the story [wsj.com] (do the google-the-URL thing to get a good Referer: if it doesn't show the whole thing).

    It is not a given that Apple will lose market share. Apple may not be the player that is displaced by Android. Android is more likely to displace all the in-house operating systems being used by the handset manufacturers. For example Nokia could announce that they have dropped Nokia OS and Symbian OS and will use Android for all upcoming handsets.

    The situation is not unlike Linux and Microsoft. Despite Microsoft being widely perceived as the competitor to Linux, it was really Sun Microsystems and other traditional Unix vendors that were displaced. Similarly I expect it will largely be the traditional handset operating systems that will be displaced, not necessarily Apple.

  • by ekhben (628371) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @09:18PM (#33557318)

    Apple keeping the carriers out of the phone operating system was by far the greatest contribution of the iPhone to the mobile market place, in my opinion. I'll take slavish obedience to Apple over slavish obedience to my carrier.

    (And my carrier has never let me get away with anything so cheap as US$99/yr to develop and install whatever the hell I like on my phone - remember, Apple's restrictions all apply at the App Store's gates, as a tinkerer, I have no issues and no need to jailbreak my phone).

  • by TheLink (130905) on Monday September 13, 2010 @01:51AM (#33558490) Journal
    Can't remember that, because normally when I hear "Gartner", I think "Bullshit". But that's my personal bias, so I was just wondering if my bias is unfounded :).
  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday September 13, 2010 @01:56AM (#33558508) Journal

    Good point. You're basically right that the real problem in U.S. isn't so much lack of regulation as it is regulation in the interests of the big business (rather than society). The point, anyway, is that it's not regulation per se that is bad - but rather its abuse.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.

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