From the very beginning we knew Google's Android is going to be something big. Google, open source, cloud, a long list of devices manufacturers supporting this effort - it cannot go wrong.
The first version did not make us too excited (although showed a lot of potential) but the "cupcake" version (1.5) was much better, and then came a few really good handsets as well.
Gartner Inc. predicts that the Android will make the highest jump in the next 2 years, surging from 2% market-share today to 14% of the global smartphone market in 2012.
Gartner forecasts that Android will actually rank second globally, behind the Symbian OS, (which by the way will continue to fall from more than 50% to 39%) in 2012.
The reasons, according to Gartner, are Google's great support for this OS, the range of cloud computing functions, the fact that it's an open source, and of course the manufacturers behind the OS which according to Gartner are expected to release around 40 Android models in 2010, many of them with the new OS version (code-named Donut).
Another interesting point (which I tend to agree with) is that while iPhone is clearly focused on applications, games, entertainment, and Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and Symbian are focused on productivity and tasks, the Android has a nice mixture which somehow manages to grab both areas.
The complete Gartner forecast for smartphones in 2012:
- Symbian: 203 million devices sold (39% of the market)
- Android: 76 million units sold (14.5% of the market)
- iPhone: 71.5 million devices in 2012 (13.7% market share)
- Windows Mobile: 66.8 million units sold (12.8% of the market)
- BlackBerry OS: 65.25 million devices (12.5% market share)
- Various Linux devices: 28 million units (5.4% market share)
- Palm's new webOS: 11 million units (2.1% of the market)
Surprisingly, BlackBerry seems to move down from second place to fifth, while Android will take over the second place by storm (hmm... wrong term... Storm).
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(Thanks for the tip Amir!)