Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Google Android Will Grow 900 Percent in 2009, Analysts Say

Google’s Android mobile OS is expected see a growth rate of 900 percent in 2009, Strategy Analytics is predicting in a new report. The Apple iPhone OS will follow behind it, as the second fastest-growing smartphone OS, and the RIM BlackBerry is also in good shape, as the second-largest overall smartphone OS in the U.S. in 2008.

Google’s Android operating system is expected to grow by 900 percent in 2009, encouraged by vendors, developers and operators, a May 11 report from research firm Strategy Analytics is predicting.

The report, “Global Smartphone Vendor Market Share by Region: 2008,” breaks down smartphone market growth by region and operating system.

“The Android mobile operating system from Google gained early traction in the United States in the second half of 2008 and it is gradually spreading its presence into Europe and Asia during 2009,” wrote Tom Kang, the author of the report, in a statement.

Kang additionally expects the iPhone OS to grow 79 percent in 2009—outpaced only by Android, which is expanding from a lower user base.

Neil Mawston, director at Strategy Analytics, also remarked in the statement that Android’s “relatively low-cost licensing model, its semi-open-source structure and Google’s support for cloud services have encouraged companies such as HTC, Motorola, Samsung, T-Mobile, Vodafone and others to support the Android operating system. Android is now in a good position to become a top-tier player in smartphones over the next two to three years.”

Despite the global economic climate, global smartphone shipments reached 152 million units in 2008, and Kang’s report states Asia Pacific is still the biggest market for smartphones, followed by North America and then Western Europe.

Core markets for Symbian have been sluggish Kang additionally writes, but the RIM BlackBerry has also seen success, pulling ahead of Microsoft Windows Mobile to become the second largest smartphone OS in 2008.