Since the mobile phone became a mass market commodity in the early 90s the undisputed king of the market has been Nokia. Nokia held 90 percent of the mobile phone market for most of the 90s. But Nokia’s share has been slowly ratcheting down ever since, to the point where today in 2010 they can only claim just over 40 percent of the market.
One of the big changes, especially in the last 5 years, has been the switch away from focussing on the make of the mobile phone handset over to what operating system it uses—with the main operating systems being (listed in order of market share in 2009):
- Nokia’s Symbian OS.
- Research-in-Motion’s Blackberry OS.
- Apple’s iOS.
- Microsoft’s Windows Mobile OS.
- Google’s Android OS.
According to forecasting models developed by Gartner Research, within a few years Google’s Android operating system is going to dominate. Already in one year from 2009 to 2010 it has gone from 5th to 2nd, and by 2014 Gartner expect Android’s market share to equal Nokia’s at around 30 percent.
Interestingly Gartner are predicting that Apple’s share of the mobile phone market will peak next year at about 17 percent and will then begin to recede falling back to 15 percent by 2014.
There is something missing from Gartner’s chart: Where is Microsoft’s new Phone 7 operating system? Unless Gartner are of the opinion that Phone 7 will not gain enough market share to get itself out of the “other” category. Maybe I shouldn’t be holding off on upgrading my current mobile phone and waiting for the Phone 7 to come onto the market?