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Google Handhelds Cellphones Operating Systems Technology

Gartner Predicts Android Most Popular Mobile OS By 2014 180

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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  • Re:Thank you editors (Score:2, Interesting)

    by binarylarry ( 1338699 ) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @10:27AM (#33552484)

    I think it's interesting that Google and co are doing to Apple what Microsoft and co did to Apple back in the day. They've created a similar product and used openness/developer friendlyness to displace Apple from dominance. I wonder how long before the iOS products are relegated to 10% marketshare like their desktop offerings are.

    It's a chink in Steve Job's iArmor.

  • Re:Thank you editors (Score:3, Interesting)

    by alen ( 225700 ) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @10:29AM (#33552502)

    too late for that once apple blinked on the dev kit thing

    iphones and android phones are almost identical right now with 80% or more functionality being the same. unlike the early computer era when everyone seemed to use different CPU's

    android and iphone both use ARM CPU's
    the OS is ^nix in both cases
    almost all of the top apps are available on each platform

    big differences are the form factor with android coming in different form factors.
    iOS is still better for games
    and you need a computer to run iTunes if you have an iPhone where Android phones are stand alone phones

    in both cases they still command a premium for businesses selling them, but in the next year or two i think margins will start falling just like with PC's around 2000. if you look at the teardowns this year there is a lot more integration which means it will be easier to manufacture and source the parts

    up until the iphone 3GS it was a mess in there with chips and wires everywhere. iphone 4 looks a lot cleaner with almost everything integrated on one circuit board. and with android being open source expect to see tier b phones pop up where some company takes the code, puts it into a cheap phone with no new featues and sells it on metro PCS or boost mobile for $50 a month talk, text, email and web

  • 2014? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pedantic bore ( 740196 ) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @10:31AM (#33552516)

    In internet time, predicting what the most popular mobile OS will be in 2014 is like predicting what kind of music our grandchildren will like.

    But as long as we're making predictions, here's mine: in 2014, the most popular popular mobile OS will be whatever the folks at Apple start secretly working on some time next year, and that doesn't get hyped out of all possible hope of satisfying consumer expectations until some time in late 2013.

  • by phillymjs ( 234426 ) <slashdot AT stango DOT org> on Sunday September 12, 2010 @10:33AM (#33552544) Homepage Journal

    ...that the carriers are beginning to resort to their old tricks on the new Android phones? [] Stuff like replacing Google search with Bing and not letting you change it back, loading phones up with unremovable crapware, locking down tethering, banning installation of non-Marketplace apps, etc.

    Before anyone replies, "Well, just root the phone to get around that stuff! Duh!" let me remind you that geeks who are willing and able to do so are far, far outnumbered by normal people who just want to use their goddamn phone, not tinker with it.

  • Re:Thank you editors (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, 2010 @10:49AM (#33552628)

    "iphones and android phones are almost identical right now with 80% or more functionality being the same."

    The problem is that in the remaining 20% lies a good deal of pain. There are inconsistencies with android that are INFURIATING. And they seem like minor quibbles when put on paper. But then again, the difference between OS X and Windows (and even variants of GUI Based Linux operating systems) are minor on paper.

    The problem with the Android is that it just doesn't have any real polish. Things that should just work, don't. And occasionally, someone will put out a product on Android that has the polish, but doesn't seem to work with anything else in its ecosphere...and end up just as restricted as the iPhone.

    Honestly, the ONLY problem I have with the iPhone is the fucking restrictions. At this point, Apple has a virtual monopoly on phones that work and are polished and should move away from the telecoms and open the shit up and allow anything to be installed.

    It is sad that the choices are freedom, but shitty shitty to do whatever you want so long as you are willing to put up with third rate apps and broken infrastructure, verses a mostly benevolent dictator that ensures the trains run on time and vandalism is cleaned away before you see it...but is a bit vindictive when someone crosses him (he won't kill ya, but he will escort your ass to the gates and not let you back in).

    Why is it so hard for someone to just do both???

  • Re:2014? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pedantic bore ( 740196 ) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @10:52AM (#33552652)

    I interpret the evidence differently; Apple seems absolutely delighted with their 80% market share for MP3 players and 70% market share for downloadable music sales. I think they'd love to have a similar position in mobile platforms, although I agree that they will abandon markets that do not permit sufficient differentiation to support their target margins.

  • Re:Thank you editors (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JWSmythe ( 446288 ) <> on Sunday September 12, 2010 @11:08AM (#33552730) Homepage Journal

        No shit. :)

        Just about everyone knows that "predictions" and "forward looking statements" aren't worth the time it takes to read them. 4 years from now? Android isn't even 2 years old yet. It may not have reached it's peak in popularity, but who knows what bigger, better, faster, toy there will be in the next 4 years. At very least, it's added another competitive element in the market place, but that can simply mean that it will push others (existing, or not yet on the market) to put out something better.

        Hell, Google's Nexus One [] direct customer sales only survived from January to July 2010. It's a volatile market, and products come and go very quickly. Look at the Motorola Razr. Kids all thought it was the coolest thing ever. Plenty of them hit the market. They only survived from the end of 2004 to mid 2007.

        I'm still looking forward to the collapse of all this noise towards the end of Q4 2012.

  • 1300% growth rate (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @11:12AM (#33552752)

    Android has something like a 1300% growth rate. If we extrapolate that forever, we can see that Android is going to take over the entire universe in approximately 15 years.


  • Re:Thank you editors (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, 2010 @11:16AM (#33552776)

    Nokia has already leveled their market share -- last four quarters have all been positive for them. The unit price is still a problem of course...

  • Re:And I predict... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) * on Sunday September 12, 2010 @11:23AM (#33552808)

    I actually think that Android won't become super fragmented but will break into 3 main branches

    Don't forget D. Third-party ROMs like Cyanogenmod and others. They have a pretty substantial following (they're the real reason people root their phones in many cases.)

    Ultimately, so long as there are carriers like T-Mobile that will let me go buy an unlocked phone (like the N1) and pop in my SIM card, fragmentation will be less of an issue.

    The problem, for carriers, is that people want advanced network-based services like the so-called "Google Experience", they want the ability to run any application they choose. Carriers that refuse to acknowledge this are nothing but a business opportunity for those that do. Right now, that's why I'm on T-Mobile ... they never gave me any grief whatsoever for using my Android phone any way I wanted to. For the past year or so (since I first got a G1 and flashed it with Cyanogenmod) I've been tethering my laptop to it and running Skype, and doing other things that AT&T wouldn't allow, for example, an iPhone user to do. I pay my T-Mobile bill quite happily each month because they're giving me what I want from my carrier.

    The cell phone market has changed forever now that they're not phones anymore but pocket-sized personal computers. The cellular outfits are rapidly being relegated to their proper role as telecommunications providers: fat wireless pipes, no more. They don't like that, but unfortunately in world where the terminal equipment is smarter than desktop PCs were only a few years ago, they're going to have a harder and harder time justifying such things as "airtime" and 15c per text message. And that's good: I don't expect my home broadband provider to nickel-and-dime me for using specific Internet applications and services, and ideally would rather my wireless provider didn't do anything similar. Yet, that's exactly what they're currently doing.

  • Re:Thank you editors (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tridus ( 79566 ) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @11:29AM (#33552842) Homepage

    That's what I came here to post. I can't believe the editors continue to post crap from Gartner. They're excellent at making very bad predictions, or in this case absolutely meaningless ones. They have absolutely no idea what's going to happen to this market in four years.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, 2010 @11:33AM (#33552878)

    Look, Nokia sells 4 out of every 10 smart phones. Outside North America (5% of the world population), Nokia phones are practically everywhere. It's worth noticing that while the Iphone is considered a nice phone (and even a game changer) everywhere and it sells quite well, it was a smash hit mostly in the US: In most places people already had fairly good smart phones, it just wasn't that big of a deal even if the touch UI was awesome.

    As a comment on this Gartner guesswork: many people dismiss the work Nokia does in the developing countries but they probably shouldn't. China and India are already massive smart phone markets and they are going to be absolutely huge. Nokia is _very_ strong in these countries.

  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) * on Sunday September 12, 2010 @02:50PM (#33554136)

    It's full of opinions masquerading as facts, as well as outright falsehoods. It has now reached +5 Insightful because of the well known Slashdot tendency to mod up anything that bashes Microsoft, no matter how tenuously said bashing is related to the topic. In fact, I suspect that's why you liked it.

    If I misspoke myself, feel free to correct me (with facts, since you brought that up) rather than simply doing the same thing you claim I did. Furthermore, the poster I was replying to made a comparison to Microsoft and IBM that I felt was unwarranted. So your "tenuousness" complaint is likewise unwarranted.

    And one last point, this is a public forum where people go to express their opinions. That's what I was doing. If you are unable to determine when a person is expressing an opinion or making a statement as to fact, I respectfully suggest that you are on the wrong Web site.

  • by VeryVito ( 807017 ) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @02:53PM (#33554154) Homepage
    As a developer on a few mobile platforms, I foresee that Android will be popular for carriers and manufacturers, because it's free. But for consumers, it will, by 2014, be no more useful than any previous handset OS: Your phone WILL be locked into the apps, settings and themes governed by the carrier, and the number of "stellar" apps will dwindle considerably. Unless the carriers subsidize development for their particular handset, there will be very little incentive for major developers to waste time on such a fragmented market.
  • by jonbryce ( 703250 ) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @02:56PM (#33554178) Homepage

    And cellphone penetration in that part of the world is much higher than in the US. For example, 88% of the population of the US has a cellphone, compared with 95% of the population of the EU (source CIA World Fact Book).

  • by zuperduperman ( 1206922 ) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @07:21PM (#33556528)

    No mod points today - but I totally agree. Google has done something very clever which the other vendors have not - they have not tried to take Apple head on, but instead they've picked a bunch of different areas where the iPhone is weak and made Android strong in those areas. They are moving into heavily differentiating Android based on advanced features integrated with Google services (integrated voice recognition / control that is ubiquitous, for example). These are things that are *really*, *really* hard for competitors to reproduce. So you can't go into a store and look at an Android phone next to an iPhone and do a direct comparison - "this one has better graphics, this one has a nicer contacts list, this one has better facebook integration, ... " etc. You have to make a choice between a completely different paradigm. This means that despite the hype, Android is not really competing with iPhone directly, rather only in a secondary sense. Compare with WP7 where it seems that Microsoft is very much going down the line of out-Apple-ing Apple. There are some differentiators but mainly they seem like they plan to take on Apple where Apple is strong - super smooth UI, great gaming, controlled experience. I wish them luck but I strongly doubt anybody can out-Apple Apple. You don't fight an enemy on their home turf, you make them fight you where they are not comfortable.

    It'll be an interesting 12 months, that's for sure.

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