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August 5, 2010

Android to best Apple iOS come 2012

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by Darren Allan

Number crunching outfit iSuppli has produced a report which forecasts that Google’s Android will trump Apple’s iOS considerably when 2012 rolls around.

Although that isn’t perhaps as surprising a conclusion as it would have been a while ago, given the recent NPD figures which show Android accelerating with some incredible pace in the US, where in Q2 it held the largest market share in the smartphone market with 33%.

The firm’s prediction is that Android will be powering 75 million smartphones in 2012, up from a mere 5 million last year. Apple’s iOS, on the other hand, will be used in 62 million smartphones in 2012, up from 25 million last year.

That will mean Android’s global OS market share will be 19.4% in 2012, up from 2.7% in 2009. iOS will carry a share of 15.9% in 2012, iSuppli estimates, up from 13.8% in 2009.

Looking further out to 2014, iSuppli predicts Android’s share growing further to 22.8%, with iOS losing ground slightly to 15.3%.

iSuppli attributes Android’s swift and growing success to the flexibility it offers hardware manufacturers, and appealing business model in terms of revenue sharing.

As Tina Teng, a Senior Analyst for iSuppli states: “Cell phone OEMs representing all tiers of the industry have committed to support Android, including Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG, Huawei, AsusTek and ZTE. This broad industry support will allow the Android OS’s usage and market share to exceed that of its chief rival – iOS – in 2012, just five years after its introduction.”

Apple on the other hand, iSuppli argues, may continue to be the gold standard of the smartphone (antenna issues aside), but Apple’s closed system and business model will obviously limit the number of handsets carrying iOS.

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