Within my friends in the telecom industry, it is a common thought that in 2-3yrs time, Android will eventually become mainstream so much so that it will possibly challenge Nokia’s Symbian Leadership in Smartphones. In the same breadth it is expected that Nokia will loose its 40% smartphone market share and fall to around 25%. The same outlook now is echoed by Piper Jaffray who see Android OS aggressively capturing market share in the years ahead.
In a recent study, Piper Jaffray predicts the inevitable dominance of the Android Army beating the iPhone. Android share in smartphones will grow from 14.9% in 2010 to 23.2% in 2012. The Apple in the same time is expected to grow from 15.9% to 17.6%. The loosers: RIM and Nokia because of their lack of core software competency. According to Piper Jaffray, there is little sense for RIM and Nokia continuing to push proprietary software that can’t compete with the market and eventually expect one or both will have to capitulate and move to utilizing third party software.
PJ predicts that ultimately, Android is likely to control over half of the smartphone market in the next five years. Apple’s essentially two phone focus (low price 3GS and higher price 4) will likely limit how much of the market Apple can control and PJ estimates the Apple’s smartphone market share to table out between 20-30%, which still offers significant room to grow.
Android which started out in 2008 and rolled out its first smartphone in 2009, is massifying very handsomely. 2010 has seen Android break some price thresholds to access more and more volumes. Androids earlier were in the proximity of $500 and with some aggressive moves with players like Huawei and Samsung the base prices of Android are beginning to touch $100. We are also beginning to see action at the Chinese white lable manufacturers with the Android and This could be a threshold for Android.
The Big question however is: What after Android? iPhone is a worthy alternate, and would always be exclusive. Is their any other OS which promises as much as the Android. Sadly, there isnt. “Sadly” because, at the going rate Smartphone could become a 50% Android Monopoly which is not good either for the market or for Android.