Android is currently the fastest growing operating system in the mobile sphere. But can Google’s popular OS maintain its accelerated momentum and fend off challenges from iOS and Symbian?
Well, senior IDC research analyst Kevin Restivo believes there is both "ample room" and opportunity for multiple mobile players to increase their respective market shares.
"[Clearly], no one smartphone OS will dominate mobile phones in the way that Microsoft has with Windows on the personal computer," he opined.
"[As such,] we believe the market will comfortably support up to five OS players over the next five years."
According to Restivo’s projections, Symbian will maintain its number one standing throughout the forecast period with approximately 32.9% share in 2014.
Nevertheless, he predicted the OS would inevitably shed some of its market share - primarily to Android - which is poised to increase rapidly over the forecast period, rising from 16.3% to 24.6%.
Meanwhile, Windows Mobile is expected to regain some of the ground it has lost over the past two years, with BlackBerry’s share remaining relatively constant and iOS gradually (but gracefully) declining.
Restivo’s Android-positive assessment was closely echoed by senior IDC research analyst Ramon Llamas, who termed the mobile OS a successful "wild card" deserving "close" observation.
"Phone vendors have been drawn to Android because it allows them to present their own approach to what a smartphone experience can be. Users have [also] quickly warmed to Android, comparing it to iOS due to its ease of use and a growing mobile application storefront.
"[And] now that HTC and Motorola have leapt out in front with their own respective devices, other vendors such as Dell, Kyocera, LG Electronics, and Samsung will soon help grow the Android market."