Will Android dominate the smartphone market by 2014?

Image source: mobileshop.com

Google’s Android platform will overtake Nokia’s Symbian OS by 2014, according to a new report compiled by Analysys Mason.

The report states that global smartphone units will top 1,7 billion by 2014, representing 26% of the world’s handsets, writes Total Telecom.

This major increase is fueled by emerging market growth and efforts to promote multimedia and sharing experiences in low-income countries, said the researchers.

Currently, there are around 600 million smartphones shipped worldwide and only a 1% of them are supported by Google’s Android platform. Interestingly, the research showed a sharp increase of 30% in Android-powered smartphones by 2014, whereas Nokia’s Symbian OS is set to drop from 50% to around 29%.

“Android will find a niche in both developed and emerging markets, while Symbian’s scale will come largely from the growth markets Nokia has said it would target”, noted the report.

On the other hand, Windows Mobile, iPhone OS and BlackBerry OS “are likely to be relatively successful in either developed or emerging markets, but not in both”, gaining a stronger presence in developed markets.

Jim Morrish, author of the report and principal analyst at Analysys Mason’s mobile content and applications unit, said, whereas smartphone markets in the developed world remained highly competitive, operators are tapping into emerging regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, emerging Asia-Pacific, central and Latin America, where growth rates are estimated between 52% and 65%.

“Key handset manufacturers such as Nokia and Samsung are lining up to tap a new opportunity in emerging markets”, said Morrish, adding that the iPhone won’t be among the data mobile propositions in these markets, in his opinion.

The research firm advised operators in Africa, Asia and Latin America to upgrade their networks to support the growing number of smartphone subscribers and mobile data users.