In a recent report, Gartner predicts that the worldwide mobile operating system (OS) market will increasingly be dominated by Symbian and Android by 2014.

In 2009, Symbian accounted for 46.9% of mobile OS sales to end users while Android was a tiny 3.9%. By 2014, Gartner predicts Symbian and Android will account for 60% of sales.

Symbian will remain at the top of Gartner's worldwide OS ranking due to Nokia's volume and the push into more mass market price points. However, by the end of the forecast period, the No. 1 spot will be contested with Android, which will be at a very similar share level. By 2014, Gartner believers Symbian's share will drop to 30.2% while Androids will climb to 29.6%.

"The worldwide mobile OS market is dominated by four players: Symbian, Android, Research In Motion and iOS," said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Gartner expects manufacturers such as Samsung to launch many new budget Android devices in the second half of this year which will drive Android into mass market segments. The result predicts Gartner is that Android will the Number 2 Mobile OS Worldwide and Number one in North America by the end of 2010.

The firm predicts the other two major players: Research in Motion (RIM) and Apple will see their Mobile OS market share drop or remain flat over the next four years. Gartner predicts RIM will fall from 19.9% in 2009 to 11.7% in 2014 while Apple will remain relatively unchanged from 14.4% in 2009 to 14.9% in 2014. Microsoft Windows Phone OS is expected to fall to a paltry 3.9% in the next four years.

Mobile OS Share 2009 Actual / 2014 Gartner Prediction
  • Symbian - 46.9% / 30.2%
  • Android - 3.9% / 29.6%
  • RIM - 19.9% / 11.7%
  • iOS - 14.4% / 14.9%
  • Windows - 8.7% / 3.9%
  • Others - 6.1% / 9.6%

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