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Mobile OS Rankings for 2009

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Mobile OS Rankings for 2009

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Although worldwide mobile phone sales had about a one-percent decline in 2009 according to Gartner,  the year ended on a positive note with an 8.3% increase compared to Q4 of 2008.  A survey of the worldwide mobile OS market share shows Symbian maintaining a comfortable lead with the iPhone OS and Android OS gaining significant ground.  A survey of the mobile phone vendors' worldwide market share shows that the combined share of the top five vendors has decreased, likely due to the iPhone Gartner says.  The average selling prices of mobile devices were also down slightly in 2009, but Gartner expects that average to stabilize in 2010, assuming the economic environment improves.

iPhone and Android

The Android and iPhone OSes had some serious gains in market share along with RIM BlackBerry.  Compared to 2008, RIM gained about 3% more market share to solidify its #2 worldwide ranking.  Android also climbed 3% and is now about 1% below mobile Linux, which Android is expected to pass in 2010.  The iPhone OS had the most growth in 2009 with a 6% gain that allowed it to leapfrog the downward-moving Windows Mobile.  

Windows mobile fell 4% in 2009, but you can expect Microsoft to rally in late 2010 with the release of Windows Phone 7 Series.  Symbian lost 6% market share in 2009 but still maintains a substantial lead over the other competitors.  We don't know how long that will last though, with Nokia shifting its resources to the new MeeGo OS.  Linux lost about 3% share in 2009.  From top to bottom, the top seven mobile OSes were Symbian (46.9%), RIM (19.9%), iPhone (14.4%), Windows Mobile (8.7%), Linux (4.7%), Android (3.9%), and WebOS (0.7%).

Mobile Vendors
The competition is also tight in Gartner's worldwide mobile terminal sales results.  Nokia still has a commanding 17% lead over the next highest company even though the Finnish company dropped 2.2% in market share last year.  However, they should have a tough start to 2010 since improvements to Symbian and the debut of MeeGo will take some time.  Samsung had the best year, with 3.2% growth.  Samsung plans on introducing a new operating system this year called Bada.  LG had some light growth in 2009 with a 1.7% jump in market share.  Motorola experienced a sharp 4.8% drop in market share last year, but they expect growth this year with their new Droid lineup.  Motorola is still struggling outside of North America.  From top to bottom, the top five mobile vendors were Nokia (36.4%), Samsung (19.5%), LG (10.1%), Motorola (4.8%), and Sony Ericsson (4.5%).

Source: Gartner (Feb. 2010)

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