Home Industry Strategy The future is Android says Gartner, and Telecom NZ
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On the eve of Microsoft's launch in Australia, in conjunction with Telstra, of the first devices powered by its new Windows Phone 7 platform, Gartner is forecasting Android to increase its share of the market at the expense of every other major platform. Meanwhile Telecom New Zealand is backing Android heavily, announcing plans for four new devices by Christmas.

According to Gartner, Windows Phone 7 demonstrates Microsoft's desire to re-establish itself as the platform of choice for mobile developers and users worldwide, and its success or failure will influence Microsoft's ambitions as an electronic content and service provider, and its ability to drive customer demand in its direction.

Gartner expects Windows Phone 7 devices to attract end-user interest, but says Microsoft will have to overcome Apple's and Android's leads, as well as renewed efforts by Nokia to reinvigorate Symbian. It expects the new Windows Phone 7 platform and ecosystem to take 18 months to mature.

Meanwhile Gartner is forecasting the global smartphone market to grow from annual sales of 172 million devices in 2009 to 876 million by 2014. Android had a mere 3.9 percent in 2009 but Gartner forecasts it will have 29.6 percent in 2014.

In the same period Apple's iOS will hover between 14 and 17 percent, declining to 14.9 after a 2013 peak of 17.1 percent. Symbian, Gartner says, will decline steadily from 46.9 percent in 2009 to 30.2 percent in 2014. Likewise Research in Motion will decline from 19.9 percent to 11.7 percent and Windows from 8.9 percent to 3.9 percent.

Meanwhile Telecom New Zealand is singing Android's praises against Apple and says it will increase its range of Android smartphones to nine in the coming months.

Telecom's fifth and latest Android phone, the Motorola Backflip, was introduced in late September and the company plans to have an additional four Android handsets available, including the "much anticipated" Samsung Galaxy Si9000, in time for Christmas.

General Manager of Marketing at Telecom, Kieren Cooney, said Android was increasingly becoming the connected device operating system of the future. "Android is driving a revolution in mobile - in fact it's the world's fastest growing mobile operating system, outselling even the Blackberry and the iPhone. The key difference with Android is that it's an open platform, which means leading manufacturers such as Motorola, Sony Ericsson, LG and Samsung are all able to freely produce their own Android phones.

"What this means for the customer is that there is an Android for everyone, no matter what style or brand of phone you prefer, or how much you want to spend."

 

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Stuart Corner

 

Tracking the telecoms industry since 1989, Stuart has been awarded Journalist Of The Year by the Australian Telecommunications Users Group (twice) and by the Service Providers Action Network. In 2010 he received the 'Kester' lifetime achievement award in the Consensus IT Writers Awards and was made a Lifetime Member of the Telecommunications Society of Australia. He was born in the UK, came to Australia in 1980 and has been here ever since.

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