Gartner’s Prediction on Mobile OS Top Market Shares

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Sep 11 2010
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Just after Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ, stock) fired its CEO Mark Hurd who was later welcomed by Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL, stock) CEO Larry Ellison as co-president and board member, Nokia Corp (NYSE: NOK, stock) axed its CEO and replaced it with Stephen Elop, a 46-year-old Canadian, who resigned as Microsoft Corp.’s Business division president to join the world’s largest mobile phone maker.

Will Microsoft Corp.’s (Nasdaq: MSFT, stock) CEO Steve Ballmer experience sleepless nights now that he has to look for a replacement or he’s actually freaking grateful that Nokia has done him a great favour by getting rid of Elop? Critics said Stephen Elop’s migration to the Finland-based company may not be able to help much since Elop was not really performing when he was with Microsoft. Nokia has lost as much as $61 billion (or 60%) in market value ever since Steve Jobs introduced iPhone.

However investors welcomed the news sending Nokia’s stock up as much as 6.9%. The fact is Nokia’s revenue has been going up but the same cannot be said about its profit. Facing competition from Apple Inc.’s (Nasdaq: AAPL, stock) iPhone and Google Inc.’s (Nasdaq: GOOG, stock) Android, Nokia’s stock had fallen tremendously with current market value of only €30 billion versus €203 billion during its peak period in 1999.

 Symbian Anroid iOS Competition

The question is can the new CEO Stephen Elop reverse Nokia’s plunging profit and ensure the Symbian Operating System remains relevant, not to mention maintains it’s current top position, before it’s too late? Unlike Apple iPhone, Nokia’s multiple devices with different configurations made designing more difficult, time consuming and expensive. But if the latest research by Gartner is anything to go by, Nokia may still be the number one mobile phone until 2014.

According to researcher Gartner Inc. the worldwide mobile operating system (OS) market will be dominated by Nokia’s Symbian and Google’s Android, as the two OSs will account for 59.8% of mobile OS sales by 2014. Thanks to Nokia’s huge volume, Symbian will remain at the top of worldwide OS (30.2%) ranking follow closely by Android (29.6%) but post-2014 it’s an open contest for both giants.

 Mobile OS Market Shares 2014

Apple fanatics may be screaming bias research but it seems Apple iOS would be stagnant and will command only about 14.9% of worldwide mobile OS market by 2014. It’s a different fate for Research In Motion Limited’s (Nasdaq: RIMM, stock) OS of which the market share is expected to plunge to 11.7% by 2014.

Mobile OS Market Leaders 2014 

Gartner predicts that by 2014, open-source platforms will continue to dominate more than 60% of the market for smartphones. Single-source or proprietary platforms, such as Apple’s iOS and Research In Motion’s OS, while will increase in unit terms, their growth rate will be below market average and not enough to sustain share increase.     

The writing is already on the wall that Google’s Android is gaining ground against Apple’s iOS. With some 60 Android-based devices and more than 60,000 apps available, the operating system is adding more than 100,000 users daily so it’s not that hard to see how Android will eventually beat iOS. Furthermore giant manufacturers such as Samsung, Motorola, Sony, Toshiba, HTC and whatnot have already swung their supports and directions towards Android. Anyway Steve Jobs can still turn the table around with more open-system. 

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