Google’s Android has surpassed Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS and others to become the second most-used mobile operating system behind Nokia’s ubiquitous Symbian, according to a report by Gartner. Android and Symbian will together account for about 60 percent of all mobile operating systems sold with phones by 2014, when Android will likely take on Symbian for the top-seller title.
Symbian, the software that helped push Nokia to the top of the heap in the previous generation of mobile phones, has been on a sharp slide down since the smartphone exploded in both popularity and affordability — led largely by the efforts of Apple’s iPhone operating system, iOS, and Google’s Android mobile operating system.
Nokia still maintains a commanding lead in terms of market share from the sheer volume of phones they produce, but Gartner predicts its market share will fall to 30.2 percent by 2014. The company recently rolled out a few changes to challenge the upstart Android, including its new N7 and N8 smartphones and a new CEO, Microsoft’s Stephen Elop.
Meanwhile, adoption of the Android device exploded between 2009 and 2010, with Android’s market share growing by a whopping 13.8 percentage points to capture 17.7 percent of users based on current sales and projected sales for the remainder of the year.
Research in Motion continued to slip after an underwhelming launch of its iPhone-killing BlackBerry Torch last month. Sales of phones equipped with the BlackBerry operating system still accounted for 17.5 percent of all sales, though down 2.4 percentage points from last year.
Adoption of Apple’s iOS also continued to grow, with Apple acquiring 15.4 percent of the market share in 2010, up a percentage point from a year earlier. Predictions from Gartner, however, show Apple’s market share dipping to 14.9 percent by 2014 as Android continues to gain momentum.