Google Android will be the second most used mobile operating system in the world by 2012, according to a new report. Research group Gartner predicts that Android will overtake Research in Motion’s BlackBerry OS, the iPhone OS and Windows Mobile to capture 14.5% of the smartphone market in three years. Simbian will remain the top OS in world, which runs on most Nokia smartphones, with 39% of the market. This would mark a significant fall from the ner 50% market share it enjoys now.
Apple will maintain its third place and Windows Mobile will stay in fourth. However, RIM’s BlackBerry OS will fall from second place to fifth, according to Gartner’s forecast.
Android is currently installed on just 2% of the world’s smartphones, but a raft of devices running the OS are due for launch in coming months. A range of handset makers are lined up to make Android-based phones and Gartner estimates that as many as 40 Android handsets will ship in 2010.
Gartner attributed the growing popularity of Andriod to its balance between the app-focused approach of Apple, and the more communications-oriented route taken by the likes of Symbian and Windows Mobile.
The mobile market is hitting the biggest change since SMS arrived. The battleground is moving to apps and the device manufacturers are expanding the scale and scope of their services. Gartner may describe a world where Google lever their might to push the Droid up the ranks but don’t underestimate the other players. Blackberry’s initial lead deserves to be eroded: their model is now overtaken by th revitalised competitors and while iPhone may have won hearts in London and New York, they’re unknown in most markets. In mobile, everything is to play for.