Symbian’s loss is Android’s gain in smartphone market

Tags: Knowledge
The Android operating system has globally gained about 20 per cent market share over the last one year. The loss of Symbian, popularised by Nokia, has been Android’s gain in the mobile phone and tablet PC markets. The former has been banking only on its tried and tested user interface while others are catching up with better innovations.

“In the smartphone market, Android continued to increase its market share, up 19.9 percentage points in the third quarter of 2012. Although RIM lost market share, it climbed to the No. 3 position as Symbian is nearing the end of its lifecycle,” said

Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Android’s share stood at 72.4 per cent with sales of over 1.2-lakh phones to end users in the third quarter of this year. Symbian on the other hand, lost about 14 per cent share with sales of 4,404 units. Smartphone sales continue to bolster growth in the mobile phone segment and Samsung has been consistently gaining market share. Despite having its own operating system Bada, Samsung has been launching several new devices in the Android OS due to its increasing popularity. Bada had 3 per cent share with global sales of about 5,000 units during Q3.

“During the year, Samsung launched its latest Galaxy, Note and S3 ranges and all were super hits. Apart from the effective communication by the company, increasing popularity of Android was also a reason,” says D Satish Babu, founder of UniverCell, a large mobile phone retailer in South India.

Symbian’s prime patron Nokia has also migrated from the OS to Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS after the former lost popularity. The Nokia Lumia series was the first to be launched with Windows OS. However, Nokia has an agreement with Accenture for an outsourcing programme through which the service provider would offer Symbian-based software development and support services through 2016.

India has been no different in disowning the Symbian platform. According to CyberMedia Research, Android was the leader in the Indian market during the first half of the year with 56.4 per cent share followed by Symbian at a distant 17.4 per cent and BlackBerry at 12.1 per cent. Windows mobile had only 2.6 per cent share.

Android is also reigning supreme in the tablet PC market in the country. It has over 85 per cent share in the segment. Faisal Kawoosa, lead analyst at CyberMedia Research’s telecoms practice, says: “As Android devices become increasingly popular with users across the world, competition is increasing in the Indian Tablets market with more and more vendors launching devices based on it. However, the share of devices based on other operating systems like Windows, iOS and QNX are expected to rise in future in view of the recent announcement of the Microsoft Windows Surface Tablet, the global launch of the Apple iPad 3 and reduction in BlackBerry Playbook prices.”

shyamalaseetharaman@mydigitalfc.com

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