Google and Apple are currently in a heated battle for control of the world’s smartphone market, but which mobile OS will reign supreme down the road?
That’s the question research and analyst firm Gartner is trying to answer. Its most recent prediction is turning some heads, though: Microsoft Windows Phone 7 will overtake Apple iOS market share by 2015. Not only that, but Gartner believes that Android will control nearly 50% of the mobile smartphone market within two years.
In its most recent predictions report, Gartner claims that Android will jump from 38.5% market share this year to 49.2% in 2012. That’s more than double its 22.7% market share in 2010. Needless to say, it’s a shocking conclusion.
Just as mind-boggling is the conclusion that iOS will actually peak in market share this year at 19.4%, then drop to 18.9% next year and 17.2% by 2015. Windows Phone, on the other hand, will grow from 5.6% this year to 10.8% next year and eventually reach 19.5% in 2015, according to the research firm’s estimates. BlackBerry is destined for a slow decline, dropping from 13.4% this year to 11.1% in 2015.
Of course, these are just estimates from one research firm in a very chaotic market. Case-in-point: seven months ago, Gartner predicted that Symbian would be the top OS in 2014 with 30.2% market share, Windows Phone 7 would just have 3.9% of the market in 2014, and Apple would only have 14.9%. Of course, these predictions came before Microsoft and Nokia struck their Windows Phone 7 deal, essentially dooming Symbian.
Some of the firm’s assumptions are tough to swallow as well. As Asymco points out, Gartner assumes Apple is interesting maintaining margins over increasing market share and RIM will migrate from BlackBerry OS to QNX by 2012.
Apple though is testing cheaper phones and seems to have learned from its mistakes competing with Microsoft during the Mac vs. PC years. RIM only acquired QNX Software last year. We believe it will take more time for RIM to fully integrate QNX software into its devices. 2012 is too aggressive.
Still, Gartner’s analysis provides an interesting window into the future of mobile. Android is showing no signs of slowing down, and it’s too early to tell how the Nokia-Microsoft partnership will play out. And there’s always the chance of another acquisition, merger or partnership that shakes up the industry.
Which mobile OS do you think will dominate the market in 2015? Let us know what you think in the comments.