Consumers seem to love Android phones in WE even if IDC thinks the reverse. IDC says that use of the OS rose to 5.4 per cent from 4.2 per cent from July to September in Western Europe. The Symbian OS is still the main player, with 48 per cent of the market. IDC concludes that “Consumers steer clear of Google’s OS and sell-out is below everyone’s expectations.” says IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo.
It is a 28% growth over one quarter so an annual 114% growth! I cannot imagine what were the expectations with a smartphone market growth of around 10% year to year and a slumping global phone market. From my point of view this is a tremendous success.
Operators in WE are now ranging Android products and Android is becoming a platform of choice along Symbian, Limo and Windows Mobile. Operators applications are ported to the platform. There have been a wait and see period as the intentions of Google weren’t clear for operators. Mobile Operators were quite cautious as they don’t want to become a dumb pipe as their fixed counter parts. In the DSL world operators invest in the infrastructure and Google monetizes its massive audience.
Given the price range and the manufacturers supporting the OS (mostly Asians), Android taps into the customer base of Windows Mobile. This Android growth is a major threat to Windows mobile. Symbian which is far more flexible and open to operators should be safe for the months to come if Symbian manages to keep up in the touch UI race. Blackberry and iPhone are still out of reach from an Android based device as their value proposition and User Experience are still far more stronger than the others.
The next 6 months will be riveting as the war is raging and market shares may be shuffled very quickly.