Gartner Predicts Android Will Own 49% of the Smartphone Market by 2015

Posted by at 9:07 am on April 7, 2011

Gartner on Thursday release a report with a long-term prediction of its own for smartphone share that gave Android nearly half of the market. It expected Google to jump to 38.5 percent of the market this year to reach 48.8 percent in 2015, or 539.3 million phones. The company would be riding the back of an open OS wave where the devices were “democratized” and would cost $300 or less off-contract, principal analyst Roberta Cozza said.

Unusually, its definition of an open OS included any one where a developer could write a native app, rather than posting source code or allowing any hardware manufacturer to use it. The figure as a result included closed-source platforms like BlackBerry and iOS.

The study contrasted sharply with ABI’s data and saw the iPhone gradually losing share. It would spike up to 19.4 percent share this year by adding carriers before gradually sinking to 17.2 percent in 2015. Gartner presumed that Apple would be more interested in keeping its profit margins and would be willing to sacrifice some market share to make that happen.

Microsoft might have the most to gain, but at a cost, the analysts said. Windows Phone would help it leap from 5.6 percent share this year to 19.5 percent in 2015, but much of that would come at the expense of Symbian through the deal with Nokia. Symbian would collapse from 19.2 percent to just a tenth of a point four years from now.

RIM would stand to lose the most. Along with dropping to 13.4 percent share in 2011, its switch to the PlayBook’s QNX-based OS for BlackBerry 7 wouldn’t be enough to stop a gradual decline to 11.1 percent share, even as its phone shipments went up.

Gartner added that it saw the rise of tablets being “more as a driver than an inhibitor” for devices since users often wanted to buy the same OS for their tablet as on their phone. The claim, however, would at least temporarily favor Apple.

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