Apple is sticking with their own operating platform with the iPhone and iPod models as its steady success calls to mind the old adage, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Though sales were still going strong, Research in Motion Ltd. of Canada couldn't keep up with Apple's incredible growth last year. Even still RIM is going to stick with its own software for its BlackBerrys and will not license it to others.
Windows Mobile, the once pioneer in smart phones, is struggling to keep up with the new kids. Manufacturers like Motorola and HTC have been shifting away from Windows Mobile toward Google's Android. Last year, fewer Windows Mobile phones were sold than the year prior, a sad fact in a market that grew 35 percent! Microsoft is scheduled to show off a new version of its mobile software platform in the hopes of gaining back the market share it lost.
Google's Android software has been the biggest mover and shaker of the lot, racking up some serious manufacturer support. Consider this: There was just one Android phone in 2008. At the end of 2009, there were more than a dozen, with more company's joining in daily.
Palm Inc., like Microsoft, was a pioneer in smart phone development. To many, Palm may as well be credited with inventing the entire concept! Last year, Palm made a clean break with their new webOS (running on two phones, the Pre and Pixi). Despite very favorable reviews, sales have been less than stellar. Palm is expected to continue developing this OS.
Filed in archive by on February 15, 2010
"Mobile operating systems have become the key ingredient in the highly competitive mobile device market. Although the overall look and feel of the device will still play an important role in the buying process, the wrong choice of operating system coupled with an awkward user interface can mean the difference between success and failure," says Stephen D. Drake, vice president, Mobility and Telecom.
Key findings from a new IDC market outlook include the following:
- Symbian will retain its leadership position worldwide throughout the forecast period. Due primarily to the strength of Nokia in markets outside of the United States, Symbian continues to lead all other mobile operating systems.
- Android will experience the fastest growth of any mobile operating system. Starting from a very small base of just 690,000 units in 2008, total Android-powered shipments will reach 68.0 million units by 2013, making for a CAGR of 150.4%. Android will benefit from having a growing footprint of handset vendors supporting it and will finish second to Symbian in shipments by 2013.
- Linux and webOS shipments will struggle throughout the forecast period. Shipments of Linux-powered devices will trend down due to greater emphasis on the Android platform but will not disappear entirely as some vendors will continue to support it. Palm's webOS, despite growing steadily, will capture limited market share due to limited deployment and availability of devices across multiple carriers.
The recently published IDC study, Worldwide Mobile OS 2009-2013 Forecast and Analysis (IDC #220733), reviews each of the major mobile operating systems, including drivers, opportunities, and potential challenges. The report also profiles the principal high-level operating systems (HLOS) platforms and features an updated market share forecast through 2013.
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