This is interesting timing for me personally regarding the release of a report from Gartner regarding its predictions for the future of smart phones once Android finds its stride. I have noted here before that I am a BlackBerry Storm user on the Verizon Network and I am underwhelmed. I like the network and chuckle regarding the AT&T lapses in service that I hear iPhone users gripe about. At the same time the Storm is just not that great.
It’s so ‘not that great’ that I went out and bought a 32GB iPod Touch just so I could enter the world of apps. At the same time Verizon announced its offering of Android phones in the near future. I got a little giddy at the thought of having the Touch for Apple apps and then the Android phone for all things Google because I suspect that the offering will be on par if not better than Apple’s.
Well, along comes Gartner and makes me feel like some kind of prophet (in a pretty insignificant way but a way nonetheless)! According to Computerworld
While the Google-backed Android mobile operating system currently runs on less than 2% of all smartphones, Gartner Inc. predicts it will surge to 14% of the global smartphone market in 2012 — ahead of the iPhone, as well as Windows Mobile and BlackBerry smartphones.
In that year, Gartner forecasts Android will actually rank second globally, behind the Symbian OS, which is used in Nokia devices that are highly popular in Europe and many countries outside the U.S. Symbian now runs on about half of all smartphones, but will fall to 39% in 2012, Gartner says.
As I surmised prior to this report, since Google is behind the Android there is a serious likelihood that it is going to be integrated near seamlessly into a lot things I already do with Google. Trouble is that just as I typed that last sentence I got the chills. I felt like I was being assimilated into the Goog. It wasn’t even as if I gave it a second thought. I just went along with the fact that I, like millions of others, are somewhat owned by the collective computing conscience that is Google. Well, I’m over it.
Bring it on I say. Competition is good and now some of the iPhone glitterati will have to see if hey really do have the coolest toy on the playground.
The Gartner forecast gives Android such an enormous surge in popularity because of a variety of factors, but chiefly because of Google Inc.’s backing of Android and the range of cloud computing functions and related applications that Google will make available in coming years.
Right now the market is split with the Symbian OS currently has 50% share world wide due to the popularity of Nokia devices in Europe (does anyone in the US still use a Nokia phone?) with Blackberrys and iPhones taking the next spots. What Android phones look to do is provide some of the best features of it’s competitors in a more all inclusive platform
And because Android and Google operate in an “integrative and open environment, [they] could easily top … the singular Apple
The final indicator of the potential game changing influence that Android could have is the prediction that BlackBerry OS’s will drop from number 2 today to 5th as of 2012. If that holds true there are going to be some interesting times ahead for the smart phone world and the folks like us that depend on them.