2011 will be Android’s year. And it looks to be the year Windows’ ailing platform began to bounce back. Look out Steve Jobs as there’s a smartphone shakeout on its way.
2010 for many was the year of the iPhone 4. But it seems tech consumers have short memories as Google Android platform is set to outstrip the iPhone, which just last year held the top spot with 36.5 percent of the market whereas Nokia had 30.5 percent.
But this isn’t the only surprise to emerge from today’s findings. It appears more of us will be talking out of Windows-based devices, with a 51 per cent surge in growth expected in the next five years.
This is according to analysts Ovum, who see the Google platform set to double its marketshare, and “emerge as the dominant platform, dramatically outperforming Apple,” taking a 38 per cent slice by 2016.
Analysts IDC also corroborate with these predictions: “Android is expected to overtake Symbian and become the number one smartphone OS in Australia within the next few months and its market share will stabilise around 40%,” it said today.
Apple iOS will have just half of Google share at 19 per cent and Windows Phone, with 22 per cent market share by 2016, with Nokia’s Symbian nowhere to be seen. Blackberry will hold on to a 9 per cent slice, Ovum expects.
The partnership between Nokia and Microsoft has redrawn the smartphone market and will reduce Nokia’s Symbian-based handsets as it swtiches to Windows Phone as its primary platform.
However, Nokia still expects to ship 76 million Symbian-based handsets over the next five years.
“For Microsoft the deal provides a committed handset partner that has the potential to make Windows Phone a mainstream smartphone platform,” says Ovum analyst Adam Leach. Steve Ballmer’s software giant was said to have paid the Finnish handset giant $1 billion love money to keep them on side.
However, “the risk to Microsoft is that other handset makers may choose not to compete with Nokia and may turn their backs on Windows Phone,” adds Leach.
And as for Android, it’s all in the price. Smartphone lovers are now turning their nose up at pricey options as a slew of easily affordable devices running on Android have come on stream.
HTC and Samsung recorded 700 per cent growth of handsets sales on the back of the platform by the close of last year.
The success of the Google owned platform is being driven by “the sheer number of hardware vendors supporting it at both the high and low ends of the market.” And Amazon have now joined the app content race opening up its own Android app store, giving the ecosystem another boost.
Leading names like Samsung and Nokia are now slashing prices to keep in the game, with the former cutting its prices by more than 50 per cent in the last year, says IDC analysts.
One other factor that could impact on phone market this year is the events in Japan, which could hit supplies of memory, batteries and other components and is “likely to lead to increased prices, which will likely be passed on to consumers.”
Over the next five years smartphones will grow by 12.5 per cent, Ovum predicts.