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Android to overtake iPhone in 2012 - analyst

Symbian still on top, but BlackBerry down

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Google’s Android will have more than quadrupled its market share by the end of 2012, market watcher Gartner has claimed. But Symbian looks set to remain the dominant smartphone OS for several years to come.

Android’s market share stood at a paltry 1.6 per cent during Q1 2009, but will grow to 14.5 per cent by the time Q4 2012 rolls around, Gartner forecast, based on an estimated 522m smartphones shipping worldwide during the period.

As a result, Android will move from its current position as the sixth most popular operating system for smartphones to become the second most popular, Gartner said.

The main reason for Android’s market share growth will, Gartner VP Ken Dulaney told website AppleInsider, be because “unlike Apple, they [Google] license their OS to multiple OEMs”.

Dulaney said many handset makers are betting their futures on Android, while Apple is just one company.

Speaking of Apple, its share of the smartphone OS market will also grow - but only from 10.8 per cent to 13.7 per cent, Gartner said.

Symbian will remain the most popular OS. However, its market share will drop from 49.3 per cent during Q1 2009 to 39 per cent by Q4 2012.

Research in Motion’s BlackBerry OS is currently the second most popular handset OS, Gartner said, with a Q1 2009 market share of 19.9 per cent. But it will slip to fifth place by Q4 2012 with market share of just 12.5 per cent.

Windows Mobile's share will grow from 10.3 per cent to 12.8 per cent during the same quarters, Gartner added, which will see it remain as the fourth most popular phone-based OS. ®

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