In 2012, 14% Of Smartphones Could Be Android


It’s hard to project numbers, statistics and percentages in such a rapidly evolving industry but when its your job to do that sort of thing, you don’t have much of a choice. Ken Dulaney from Gartner took a crack at predicting market share for each Smartphone OS and he estimated that Android could own a staggering 14% of the market by 2012.

The report has been making the rounds, appearing on sites like ComputerWorld, MobileCrunch and GigaOM as they agree – 14% would be HUGE. That would make Google’s Android the #2 Smartphone OS, second only to Symbian which is currently hemorrhaging customers. Even so, they would still have 39% of the market in 2012, more than double that of projected Android share.


Here is the full projected breakdown:

  • Symbian – 39% (203 million devices shipped).
  • Android – 14.5% (76 million devices shipped)
  • iPhone – 13.7% (71.5 million devices shipped)
  • Windows Mobile – 12.8% (66.8 million devices shipped)
  • BlackBerry OS – 12.5% (65.25  million devices shipped)
  • Various Linux devices – 5.4% (28 million devices shipped)
  • Palm webOS – 2.1% (11 million devices shipped)

Call me crazy, but I think 14.5% is a MODEST prediction and in reality I think that number could be much higher, much sooner. Of course it will depend on the speed of production and adoption by manufacturers and carriers, but all the ingredients for a complete shift in the market already exist.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Android at 20% to 30% market share by 2010 but of course that also largely depends on how the competition reacts. While Google seems to have the best idea/concept/product with Android, they don’t have a monopoly on ideas and anyone can come up with a competing software that eats away at Android’s market share. I just don’t see that happening.

So when 2012 rolls around we’ll link you back to this post to remind you of how right (or how wrong) we are… don’t let us forget.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. What happened to the front page?

  2. Gartner is a totally unbelievable source. They make shit up just so they can sell their nonsensical figures to nonsensical marketing pukes and trade rags.

    Sorry, that’s just the way it is.

  3. My friend and I have a bet for slaps on the face regarding which will be in the lead. iPhones or Androids in the next couple of years. Go Android!

  4. can’t wait for
    chrome OS to take over the world… LOL muaaahhahahaha

  5. I agree that this claim is seriously lo-ball. Let’s stop and review:

    1. The iPhone novelty is beginning to wear off, especially with AT&T’s track record.

    2. The Palm Pre hardware leaves something to be desired. It’s still just one device (okay, Pixi, but it’s even lesser in hardware than the Pre), and apps are sorely lacking. WebOS is intriguing, but it seems to be aimed more at general consumers, not so much business/power-users, which limits its marketability. It’s got a lot of maturing to do before it’s a serious contender.

    3. The Windows Mobile 6.5 launch was supposed to arrive with a big bang, but it was more like a bottle rocket (small noise, over quick). The US has the fewest WinMo 6.5 phones of anyone, and with Verizon’s/Samsung’s failure to bring the Omnia II out on 10/6, there isn’t really a “good” option there, hardware-wise.

    4. At the same time the WinMo 6.5 launch fizzled, the mobile phone scene exploded with announcements about Android Devices. The Moment for Sprint, the Beyond II for T-Mobile, the Motorola CLIQ, not to mention Verizon/Google’s big announcement showing the Motorola Sholes and an unnamed HTC Android device. I’m sure I’m forgetting some others too. Android is simple enough to be friendly to consumers, but also powerful enough to keep up with business and power users. It’s just a well-balanced platform.

    Let’s face it, Android is the next big thing. It definitely has some maturing to do as well, but I would say it’s a lot closer to overcoming WinMo/iPhone than WebOS is, and Symbian simply isn’t designed to power smartphones. I may be incredibly optimistic, but if the cards are played right, Android could very well have 20-25% of the market share by the end of next year. I also wonder how long the mobile marketplace can sustain 6 unique platforms. The next year may see some significant changes in this arena.

  6. Regardless of how the figures were derived…

    Android having 14% of the market in over 2 years from now is absolutely reasonable. Look at the rest of Google’s projects, like GMail or Chrome, they continue to increase their user base and never let up, because they’re amazing products.

    I tell everyone, who has never heard of my G1, that my operating system will be bigger than the iPhone soon enough, and they’re like “whatever”. But 2012 is a long time from now. The original iPhone came out in 2007, it’s 2009 now. Android came out in 2008, and we’re already pushing 20 different phones in the works. I imagine there will be hundreds of Android phones by 2012, and how many iPhones will be marketed then? 1.

    Notice I don’t mention beating Symbian, but, who cares.

    Sholes is going to blow people’s minds.

  7. Umm is it me or don’t you guys think Maemo 5.0 definitely needs its own category and would definitely be big since they have Nokia backing them up.

  8. Android for mobile, Chrome OS for my computer. What else will we need but Google?

  9. Rob im with you, the only possibility is that google beats iphone very soon. Iphoners tell me google reads my emails to send me personalized ads (which they do). Thats the only knowck they can come up with, and its hardly a knock.

    But c’mon no multi-tasking? Forget the iphone

  10. It depends a lot on what they mean…are they talking phones sold in 2012, or devices in hand? Phones sold could be easily higher than that, particularly with the lower end, boring devices expected to be coming. And by 2012 I’m sure they will have improved Android to the point where it watches your kids for you and makes you breakfast. As for phones in hand…I think it’ll take longer; I know too many people with 4 year old phones.

  11. I don’t trust those Symbian numbers. Most of those phones are probably in a drawer or in the garbage somewhere and not in everyday use.

  12. Definitely before 2012. We already see many major manufacturers coming out with Android devices. And keep in mind, the mobile carriers like Verizon, ATT, Sprint, etc all have an extra incentive push Android phones.

    With Android, the mobile carriers share revenue when apps are sold thru the Android App store. That’s not the case with iphone – with iphone, only apple and the developer share the revenue.

  13. Yeah, the only way I see Apple stopping the bleeding is going to be them “opening up”. It may be a little late but it could help them. I think Apple and Microsoft will both start “opening up” over the next 10 years.

  14. I agree with Rob. 14.5% is reasonable but the potential is higher depending on manufacturers and carriers. I hear friends with iphones saying: I have this app and this app and this app. But I say… so do i . So do I. So do I. Time is running out for the overrated iphone.

  15. It will all come down to the hardware.
    And maemo could be bigger… who knows, wait and see

  16. The problem with Apple’s iPhone is that the shape, resolution, experience has not changed. You CAN NOT compete in the market if you dont innovate. Im sorry but cut and paste or camera with video support is not innovation its requirement!!! and it took 2 years to get. 3G took for ever… The novelty will wear off and I can see the sales tapering off. My wife has one… Its nice they have hit some major points but after a mount of playing with it I can say… I would not trade it for my MyTouch… and lets face it the MyTouch has lots of drawbacks. I CAN NOT wait for the Dragon/Zoom2… That will be truly epic device. It looks even better than the Sony’s X3. At least resolution…
    Nokia and Maemo 5 looks outstanding and it will be truly a phone I would like to have but I dont see them having the same app store that Android would.
    I do pray that Google steps in and starts managing the App Store little better its geting way to crowded and it is hard to find truly full featured and good apps. There is lots of junk in there we need to get around it somehow..
    Lastly Google, Manufacturers and Carriers need better ad campaign to get the word out. Most people dont know anything about android… We need ads that show the capabilities of the phone not a bunch of celebrities that dont make any sense. The phone is nothing special in the consumer eyes. Show them the Flash Support in Hero (soon all Androids), Multiple screens, Widgets, Google Voice, Maps, GMail sync, GTalk, Google Sky view, APPS, APPS, APPS…. Apple got it right… That is how you win consumers.

  17. I’d have to say that Android has a lot more going for it then a lot of people think. As said in the article, there are people who wouldn’t even want a touch screen in their phone! The wonderful thing about Android, it can be bent and changed for any phone. If you felt like it, you could even make it just a d-pad and keypad phone! Android has THE biggest future in phones. Simply put, because it can be manipulated for any phone. :)

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