16 years back, on 31st July 1995, the first cellular call was made in India and today we stand as the country with second largest mobile phone users (above 865 million) in the world. I was filled with curiosity when I saw a mobile phone for the first time. It was the Nokia 5110, a bulky handset with monochrome display and antenna that made it look like a cordless phone. There were no smartphones at that time, nobody talked about future of cellphones, and the device was considered handy for making calls in emergencies. I never knew that mobile phone industry would soon be going through a revolution, taking mobile phone to smartphone!
Now your phone is capable of doing anything for you: from making calls to booking tickets, making online payments, accessing Facebook, and finding exact location of a coffee shop. And the credit goes to developers who are doing a great job of making new apps, devices, and new hacks for mobile-addicted junkies.
In the past 5 years, there’s no hotter topic in mobile technology than the mobile operating system. Be it Google’s Android, Apple’s iOS or Nokia’s Symbian, every mobile OS has a set of loyal users who just love to play around with their smartphones. So, which mobile OS has got the highest following in the year 2011?
If we look at the 2011 report of Global Stats, Symbian is still the market leader with 31.55% share but has experienced a decrease of 0.74% since last year. Second in the list is Apple’s iOS capturing 22.26% of the global market but the OS had 25.48% market hold in 2010.
Android has gained great impetus over the last 2 years. The open source mobile OS had 8.82% market share in 2010, which has now risen to 18.76%. That’s really a huge achievement for Android because it’s the youngest mobile OS in market. Samsung also received a growth of 2.33% and the OS now holds 5.3% market share, which was just 2.97% last year.
It seems BlackBerry is loosing hold over market. One of the most suited mobile OS for business phones has seen a fall of 4.55% in 2011. The OS is remained with 11.95% share that was 16.5% last year.
The Indian Market Scenario
When we specifically look at the Indian market, Nokia’s Symbian still has 70% share. The share of iOS has reduced at global level, but the OS has become popular amongst Indian users. It has gained 16.8% market share and reason being the success of iPhone 4. RIM is down from 19.7% to 12.9%.
What is surprising is the remarkable increase in the share of Android OS. It was just 5 years ago that nobody even knew about Android because OS didn’t exist in India at that time. The OS had 0.11% market share last year & was placed at ninth position in Indian market. Now the scenario has dramatically changed with Android being fifth most popular OS capturing 1.35% of the mobile OS share in the country.
Is Android Capable Enough of Becoming Future for Mobile OS?
The current market stats clearly show that momentum is certainly with Android, which has doubled its global market share in just one year. So, what is it that is making consumers fall for the youngest mobile OS, Android?
One of the most prominent and obvious reasons behind huge success of Android OS is the flexibility it provides to developers & users. The OS allows rapid development of apps from Google team as well as third party developers that provide consumers with wider options to optimize their handset. According to a report by Google, more than 3,50,000 Android devices are activated everyday.
In the tablet era, Android is overshadowing iPads too. Android Honeycomb is the dedicated OS for tablets, but mobile device makers are also considering other versions of Android such as Gingerbread and Froyo for tablets.
Google has huge plans to become future trend for mobile platform with the open source mobile OS, Android. This is not an easy task as Android would require some killer apps and even better check on malwares, if it wants to dominate the mobile platform category.
2012 is expected to be a competitive year for mobile OS because every player is working hard not only to retain but to expand its market presence. The Windows 7.5 Mango phones by Nokia & Microsoft have already created a buzz in global market. Techies are seeing Windows phones as possible threat to Android devices.
There’s a cut throat competition and nobody can predict which mobile OS will be a show stealer in the coming year. But, for the present year i.e. 2011, Android is the winner.