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Open-source handset sales to soar

Android to lead the pack?

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Shipments of smartphones running an open-source operating system will grow by more than 100m units a year over the next few years, Juniper Research forecasts.

Sales of devices such as the HTC Hero – a handset based on Google's Android OS - will increase from 106m units in 2009 to a whopping 223m per year by 2014, according to the analyst firm's latest research.

Sixty per cent of the mobile phone OS market is already open source, the market watcher estimates, and the OS and associated applications now play an “increasingly important role in the differentiation of new smartphones”.

Both elements are a key deciding factor that users turn to before choosing which smartphone to buy, Juniper also said. So much so that a manufacturer’s OS choice "is now critical".

Juniper’s research mirrors recent figures from rival market watcher Strategy Analytics, which forecast that Android smartphone shipments will increase a whopping 900 per cent during 2009 over last year.

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