Just when you thought you’d picked which side to back in the smartphone wars—iPhone or BlackBerry?—along comes that darn Google Android to mess up those best-laid plans: Gartner says Android’s market share this year will eclipse that of both BlackBerry and Apple.
From a news story on the mobileburn.com site:
Gartner’s numbers for 2010 put Symbian at a 40.1 percent market share with Android coming in at 17.7 percent. Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS is projected to slightly trail Android, at 17.5 percent, and Apple’s iOS is expected to account for 15.4 percent. Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7 systems are expected to control 4.7 percent of the market.
Beyond just the industry-churn aspect of this story, it’s essential for CIOs to think hard about how this projection might affect their enterprisewide mobile strategies. Since app developers follow the market share, Gartner’s numbers underscore not just some inside-baseball fantasy league but rather the very real odds that huge corporate deals leaning toward iPhone or BlackBerry might now be pulled back in consideration of the surging Android platform.
In a press release announcing the results, Gartner principal research analyst Roberta Cozza said, “Launches of updated operating systems—such as Apple iOS 4, BlackBerry OS 6, Symbian 3 and Symbian 4, and Windows Phone 7—will help maintain strong growth in smartphones in 2H10 and 2011 and spur innovation. However, we believe that market share in the OS space will consolidate around a few key OS providers that have the most support from CSPs [communications service providers] and developers and strong brand awareness with consumer and enterprise customers.”