Android to dominate device OS

2013-04-10 10:35
Android software powers most smartphones worldwide as the Google-backed mobile platform dominates the market. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Android software powers most smartphones worldwide as the Google-backed mobile platform dominates the market. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Android will soon become the most globally dominant operating system, research has revealed.

An international survey by research firm Gartner has revealed that Google's mobile operating system overtook Microsoft's Windows as the most common OS in 2012.

According to the research, Android increased its share of devices from 10.9% in 2011 to 22.5%, while Windows remain relatively stable, moving from 15.9% to 15.7% over the same period. Android already commands 35.7% of devices in 2013.

Taking up a lonely third place is Apple iOS and MacOS which increased from 6.7% to 9.6%.

The figures show there were nearly a half a billion activations of Android devices in 2012, versus around 346 457 000 for Windows.

Android is expected to grow to 860 937 000 activations in 2013, but marginal increases are expected for Windows and iOS/MacOS.


"As mobile becomes the growing segment in consumer devices, we see the installed base of devices growing but also a shift toward Android," Gartner said.

The survey is an indicator of the challenge Microsoft faces with the growth in mobile platforms.

The company has been pushing its Windows Phone operating system as an ideal companion to its desktop OS, Windows 8, which has been primarily designed to run on mobile devices.

"Microsoft, the dominating platform in the PC market, will have to conquer consumers and mobile to remain relevant in the consumer device market," said Gartner.

The company predicts that current growth trends in the mobile platforms will continue and Android will command 49.5% of all devices by 2017, Apple 17% and Windows 19.3%.

The research shows that Windows is still the dominant OS on laptops at 94.8% when the device is taken in isolation, but as consumers shift away from the device, it may present a threat to Microsoft.

The traditional PC market is expected to see a 7.6% decline in 2013 to 315 million units and tablet shipments are expected to jump by 69.8%, Gartner recently reported.

Manufactures are racing to ensure that they have mobile offerings for consumers who have become increasingly reliant on mobile smart devices, especially to consume content.

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Read more on:    google  |  microsoft  |  mobile

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