Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Gartner Predicts Android Most Popular Mobile OS By 2014

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the four-years-out dept.

Google 180

mikesd81 writes "According to Gartner research firm, Google's Android smartphone operating system will in a single year have leapfrogged competitors like Apple's iPhone, Research in Motion's Blackberry and Microsoft Windows phones in global popularity, and will challenge Nokia to become the world's most popular mobile OS by 2014. Gartner says that the explosive growth of Android will give it 17.7% of world wide sales by the end of 2010. ... Analysts also say there are number of things that could derail Android's growth, including Oracle's lawsuit over Java patents."

cancel ×

180 comments

Android overlords (4, Funny)

Linsaran (728833) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552390)

I for one welcome our new android overlords

Re:Android overlords (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33552934)

I'd prefer to welcome our Gynoid overlords...

Re:Android overlords (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33553518)

I'd prefer to welcome our Gynoid overlords...

Why would you want your phone to bleed for three days every month get really bitchy?

Re:Android overlords (2, Funny)

mestar (121800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553348)

Gartner can predict, but will Netcraft confirm it?

Re:Android overlords (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553406)

How useful are Gartner anyway? What's their track record like for useful accurate predictions. Where useful = nonobvious.

Re:Android overlords (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33553462)

How useful are Gartner anyway? What's their track record like for useful accurate predictions. Where useful = nonobvious.

Not that great, actually. I think they said a few years back that the iphone sucked. While I agree, they were very wrong on how popular it would become.

There's a whole list of stuff like that.None of which I can remember off the top of my head at the moment, but I can tell you that I start getting a feeling of quiet, building rage everytime I read "Gartner says..."

Thank you editors (5, Insightful)

klingens (147173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552396)

for putting the most important words of this "news" right at the beginning: "Gartner predicts". From that point onwards, everyone knows one can safely disregard anything that follows unless a good laugh is needed.

Re:Thank you editors (1, Informative)

uncanny (954868) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552420)

not only that, but it's like comparing windows to apple OS, you can put windows on anything, but aos can only be put on apple made machines.

Re:Thank you editors (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33552444)

So? That's Apple's choice. If they want to keep their divvy OS to themselves, that's their problem (or not).

Re:Thank you editors (2, Insightful)

uncanny (954868) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552464)

well mr oversensitive, all i was saying is that they chose to make it so it's a lot easier to get a competitors product, and unless they stay a "must have" product, they are eventually going to lose market domination.

Re:Thank you editors (4, Informative)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552434)

The Wall Street Journal also had analysis; they said that Apple can afford to lose a chunk of market share (in a growing market) and instead should worry about the competition driving the price down. Here's the story [wsj.com] (do the google-the-URL thing to get a good Referer: if it doesn't show the whole thing).

Re:Thank you editors (3, Interesting)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552484)

I think it's interesting that Google and co are doing to Apple what Microsoft and co did to Apple back in the day. They've created a similar product and used openness/developer friendlyness to displace Apple from dominance. I wonder how long before the iOS products are relegated to 10% marketshare like their desktop offerings are.

It's a chink in Steve Job's iArmor.

Re:Thank you editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33552640)

iPhone share on global smartphone market has hovered around 13-15% for some time now, and there's no signs of it actually getting higher - so, 10% or less can happen pretty soon. As smartphone market is pushed towards more and more third-party-application-friendly direction (through more developer-friendly APIs, better hardware, better networks and reduced operator strangulation on devices), Apple begins to dwindle on this segment. This doesn't kill Apple by any sense, considering their absurd per-unit profits, but it can eventually draw most developer interest out of their ecosystem. Their shuffling of app store policies certainly shows they're feeling the heat.

Even worse fate probably awaits RIM - they're just too small to have an upward trend. Android is almost certain big winner on 3-year scale, but how do the markets fare for Symbian^3, Symbian^4, MeeGo (all with Qt for developers and facelift for users) and Windows Phone? Much harder to say about them - but both Nokia and Microsoft have their strengths while Apple has to concentrate on keeping their brand image on the same level as their device price is, and obviously being unable to spread their platform beyond their own, pricy devices.

It's also obvious that Nokia has the biggest potential for loss - but it also has considerable potential for at least leveling their smartphone market share and unit price. It's not a question if they have good technology and talent - it's a question if they are capable of bringing it to the market better than Google, Microsoft, and the manufacturers on these ecosystems.

Microsoft has the potential to surprise the whole market, although I see much uncertainty there.

Re:Thank you editors (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33552776)

Nokia has already leveled their market share -- last four quarters have all been positive for them. The unit price is still a problem of course...

Re:Thank you editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33552794)

Microsoft has the potential to surprise the whole market, although I see much uncertainty there.

EVERYONE has the potential to surpise - they just have to do something different to what everyone else is expecting. If in Microsoft's case the potential for surpise lies in them being successful then that's not saying much for their chances.

Re:Thank you editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33553116)

As smartphone market is pushed towards more and more third-party-application-friendly direction (through more developer-friendly APIs, better hardware, better networks and reduced operator strangulation on devices), Apple begins to dwindle on this segment.

Developer friendly?

When I release to the AppStore, I am fairly sure that 90% or more of iOS users can run my app. Furthermore, unless I am dependent on a recent API change, I can make that almost 100% easily.

Compare that to the fragmented Android ecosystem where, not only do you have to deal with the major releases (1.6, 2.1, 2.2, etc), but you have to deal with the segmented nature and customizations of the individual provider releases. So, for anything but the most basic of Android app, the target market will probably be, at best, the same size as the iOS ecosystem.

Apple goes beyond smart phone market (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553806)

iPhone share on global smartphone market has hovered around 13-15% for some time now, and there's no signs of it actually getting higher - so, 10% or less can happen pretty soon.

Things are a little more complicated, looking only at smart phones is a little limiting. Apple's iOS is not merely a phone operating system. Note that the iPod touch is displacing the iPod Classic and iPod Nano, the later being somewhat downgraded into a touchscreen version of the iPod Shuffle. Also note that the iPad is displacing net books to some degree. Finally, return to the iPod touch again and notice that with a back facing camera and the FaceTime app you basically have video calling wherever you have wifi, both parties need to be using an iOS device but if a Skype type application is approved for the iPod touch that could change. Apple is not really in the phone business, rather the mobile device business. I doubt they care much if they sell an iPhone or an iPod touch or iPad.

Could Android be used on non-phone devices? Certainly. That would make things a little easier to compare iOS and Android.

Re:Thank you editors (0)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553826)

You seem to have the idea that Apple desires to dominate the market, for reasons I can't really understand. Why do you think that's their goal? They've never really done anything that would indicate it is. I guess it's easier to say they fail to meet your goals for them, but that doesn't really have any meaning outside of the "must bash Apple" crowd.

Re:Thank you editors (3, Informative)

thammoud (193905) | more than 3 years ago | (#33554146)

Before introducing any products, Steve Jobs always puts up the numbers of how dominant Apple is. I would say, they do care.

Re:Thank you editors (2, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552502)

too late for that once apple blinked on the dev kit thing

iphones and android phones are almost identical right now with 80% or more functionality being the same. unlike the early computer era when everyone seemed to use different CPU's

android and iphone both use ARM CPU's
the OS is ^nix in both cases
almost all of the top apps are available on each platform

big differences are the form factor with android coming in different form factors.
iOS is still better for games
and you need a computer to run iTunes if you have an iPhone where Android phones are stand alone phones

in both cases they still command a premium for businesses selling them, but in the next year or two i think margins will start falling just like with PC's around 2000. if you look at the teardowns this year there is a lot more integration which means it will be easier to manufacture and source the parts

up until the iphone 3GS it was a mess in there with chips and wires everywhere. iphone 4 looks a lot cleaner with almost everything integrated on one circuit board. and with android being open source expect to see tier b phones pop up where some company takes the code, puts it into a cheap phone with no new featues and sells it on metro PCS or boost mobile for $50 a month talk, text, email and web

Re:Thank you editors (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33552628)

"iphones and android phones are almost identical right now with 80% or more functionality being the same."

The problem is that in the remaining 20% lies a good deal of pain. There are inconsistencies with android that are INFURIATING. And they seem like minor quibbles when put on paper. But then again, the difference between OS X and Windows (and even variants of GUI Based Linux operating systems) are minor on paper.

The problem with the Android is that it just doesn't have any real polish. Things that should just work, don't. And occasionally, someone will put out a product on Android that has the polish, but doesn't seem to work with anything else in its ecosphere...and end up just as restricted as the iPhone.

Honestly, the ONLY problem I have with the iPhone is the fucking restrictions. At this point, Apple has a virtual monopoly on phones that work and are polished and should move away from the telecoms and open the shit up and allow anything to be installed.

It is sad that the choices are freedom, but shitty shitty freedom...free to do whatever you want so long as you are willing to put up with third rate apps and broken infrastructure, verses a mostly benevolent dictator that ensures the trains run on time and vandalism is cleaned away before you see it...but is a bit vindictive when someone crosses him (he won't kill ya, but he will escort your ass to the gates and not let you back in).

Why is it so hard for someone to just do both???

Apple may not lose market share with Android gains (4, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553716)

The Wall Street Journal also had analysis; they said that Apple can afford to lose a chunk of market share (in a growing market) and instead should worry about the competition driving the price down. Here's the story [wsj.com] (do the google-the-URL thing to get a good Referer: if it doesn't show the whole thing).

It is not a given that Apple will lose market share. Apple may not be the player that is displaced by Android. Android is more likely to displace all the in-house operating systems being used by the handset manufacturers. For example Nokia could announce that they have dropped Nokia OS and Symbian OS and will use Android for all upcoming handsets.

The situation is not unlike Linux and Microsoft. Despite Microsoft being widely perceived as the competitor to Linux, it was really Sun Microsystems and other traditional Unix vendors that were displaced. Similarly I expect it will largely be the traditional handset operating systems that will be displaced, not necessarily Apple.

Re:Thank you editors (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 3 years ago | (#33554030)

This is the PC Clone wars redux. Apple should study what happened to IBM and the IBM PC since it is playing that role, with its fully proprietary system. Android is the new MS-DOS. The intense competition among lots of hardware vendors for both price and power unified by the new MS-DOS will be more heat than IBM... I mean Apple... can handle.

Re:Thank you editors (1)

nloop (665733) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552480)

I see you own an iPhone

Re:Thank you editors (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33554020)

I see you own an iPhone

This comment is precisely why this story made it to Slashdot.

Re:Thank you editors (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33552526)

Extrapolation can predict almost any outcome. Just find however small a period that has the percentage growth you want, cut, paste, extrapolate.

Take a look at Chrome browser's 1-day growth...people were predicting it would be #2 in a matter of weeks/months...

"oh look, it downloads have increased by 200,900% in 3 hours!!, let's extrapolate...OMG, it will have 17 billion users by TUESDAY!!!"

Re:Thank you editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33552608)

That's about how accurate analysts' predictions are. I have another one: since I never died before, I will never die.

Re:Thank you editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33552850)

"oh look, it downloads have increased by 200,900% in 3 hours!!, let's extrapolate...OMG, it will have 17 billion users by TUESDAY!!!"

Oblig xkcd:

http://xkcd.com/605/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Thank you editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33553544)

OMG, it will have 17 billion users by TUESDAY!!!

Funnily enough, that's only about half of the number of estimated pirates according to the RIAA.

Re:Thank you editors (0, Troll)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552572)

Given Gartner are Microsoft shills, this pronouncement should hardly be surprising given the sheer amount of Win7 mobile hype we've been seeing lately. Hell, I'm surprised it took them this long...

Re:Thank you editors (2, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552730)

    No shit. :)

    Just about everyone knows that "predictions" and "forward looking statements" aren't worth the time it takes to read them. 4 years from now? Android isn't even 2 years old yet. It may not have reached it's peak in popularity, but who knows what bigger, better, faster, toy there will be in the next 4 years. At very least, it's added another competitive element in the market place, but that can simply mean that it will push others (existing, or not yet on the market) to put out something better.

    Hell, Google's Nexus One [google.com] direct customer sales only survived from January to July 2010. It's a volatile market, and products come and go very quickly. Look at the Motorola Razr. Kids all thought it was the coolest thing ever. Plenty of them hit the market. They only survived from the end of 2004 to mid 2007.

    I'm still looking forward to the collapse of all this noise towards the end of Q4 2012.

Re:Thank you editors (4, Informative)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553616)

"Hell, Google's Nexus One direct customer sales only survived from January to July 2010. It's a volatile market, and products come and go very quickly."

That was very much a one off experiment by a single vendor in direct sales, so it's hardly a great example of a trend in the mobile industry.

"Look at the Motorola Razr. Kids all thought it was the coolest thing ever. Plenty of them hit the market. They only survived from the end of 2004 to mid 2007."

Might I suggest the take a look at how the RAZR did? I'll give you a hint- it achieved over 3 times the number of handset sales the iPhone did in a it's first 3 year period. Hardly a good example of a failed phone, it was one of the most succesful phones in history, coming only behind Nokia's ultra cheap handsets like the 1100 which have been lapped up by countries like China and India, as well as African nations.

If you're going to criticise mobile phone marketplace predictions it's generally a good idea to have a clue about it first. Citing one of the most succesful mobile phones of all time as an example of something that didn't do as well as predicted because it only lasted 3 years is silly because it clearly was a phenomenal success.

There's a good basis to the idea that Android will continue to grow and that's because it's got the support of so many vendors, and certainly it faces issues, but right now it's growth is incredible. Sustainable? who knows, but it's a better bet as the next contender to the crown in the mobile phone industry compared to other mobile phone OS' who are pretty much stagnant or are even in decline. Perhaps the best thing Android has going for it though because by nature of it's relative openness it's a candidate to replace the next generation of phones lapped up by the poorer markets like India, Africa, and China, whilst things like iOS and RIM's Blackberry OS, possible even Windows Mobile have no real cheap hardware platforms- effectively right now other than perhaps MeeGo or whatever Nokia is calling it this week, Android is the only real contender to Symbian dominated markets without detriment to being a strong player in the high end smartphone market too.

Re:Thank you editors (-1, Troll)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553982)

Maybe this restatement will help you not miss the point so wildly.

Suppose, two years into the RAZR's amazing streak of popularity, you predicted that in four years it would be the most popular phone in the world. How big of a jackass would actual events make you out to be?

But please, don't let logic and understanding stop you from writing long point-missing rants in the future. That's 90% of what I love about Slashdot nerds.

Re:Thank you editors (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553802)

I'm still looking forward to the collapse of all this noise towards the end of Q4 2012.

Me too. By then Nokia will have perfected their 'mobile computing devices' and we'll all be thinking how crap those old smartphones were, with our new mini-PC we dock at our desks or to our TVs. Times, they are a-changing, the old desktop PC dinosaur is dead, it just doesn't realise it yet.

Re:Thank you editors (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552746)

Popularity is about marketing, not about merit. I suspect Gartner knows all about marketing.

1300% growth rate (4, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552752)

Android has something like a 1300% growth rate. If we extrapolate that forever, we can see that Android is going to take over the entire universe in approximately 15 years.

 

Re:1300% growth rate (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 3 years ago | (#33554098)

If we extrapolate a puppy's growth rate from the first month of its life, we can conclude that it will be a 400-foot-tall trashing downtown Tokyo by age four.

Re:Thank you editors (4, Interesting)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552842)

That's what I came here to post. I can't believe the editors continue to post crap from Gartner. They're excellent at making very bad predictions, or in this case absolutely meaningless ones. They have absolutely no idea what's going to happen to this market in four years.

Re:Thank you editors (4, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553528)

But they're very useful in finding out what businesses will believe. It's amazing how much pull a Gartner article like this can have during a sales cycle.

Don't look at Gartner articles as truth, but as as an indicator of business beliefs. They're actually useful in that way.

Re:Thank you editors (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553376)

"Gartner discovers linear interpolation"

2014 is finally... (3, Funny)

ELCouz (1338259) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552438)

the year of linux mobile desktop!

Deja vu? (1, Insightful)

wiresquire (457486) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552514)

Google will be (or already is?) the new Microsoft.

Just as Microsoft was the new IBM.

Re:Deja vu? (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552724)

Google will be (or already is?) the new Microsoft.

Just as Microsoft was the new IBM.

That always sounds like a reasonable comparison, but under Google's current leadership, and their current business focus, that probably won't ever be the case. Microsoft got where it is by committing a whole host of illegal, anti-competitive acts (still are, actually) and can be legitimately said to have retarded progress over the past thirty-odd years. Google isn't really doing anything of that nature, and if anything is pushing the state-of-the-art. Google's external operations are also very standards-based and, so far as I'm aware, Google hasn't pulled anything like what Microsoft did with the ISO approval process.

Google isn't charging an arm-and-a-leg to phone makers for Android, matter of fact, it isn't charging anything. It also offers a remarkable suite of online services ... also for free. Of course, there's a reason for that: the only thing Google really "sells" is ad space, and that will only make money for them as long as they can attract eyeballs. I look at Google's rather massive investment in R&D and outpouring of free cloud-based services as being very future-oriented: they know that they may not be able to subsist on ad revenue forever, and would like to have other options. Microsoft has been doing the same thing for the same reason for many years, but Microsoft generally fails at anything outside its core competency of operating systems and office suites. Likewise, Google isn't making much money, directly, from its online services (other than its bread-and-butter ad views) but in the meantime we get to play with some cool stuff and they get to sell some more advertising. Some of that nifty online stuff may stick, and eventually start making Google some serious money. Only time will tell.

But they're far from a monopoly, illegal or otherwise (as of now, anyway), and any comparison to Microsoft or IBM in terms of ethics or monopolism is really undeserved at this point. Not saying that will always be true: companies do change, but in this case I think we'll have to wait until Brin & Page retire. Hopefully their successors will be at least as good, business-ethics-wise (well, better than Gates' replacement, anyway, which wouldn't be too hard.)

Parent is not a troll (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553562)

I'm not new here, but I'm sad to see that cognitive arguments such as above are marked troll. Wish I had some mod points to fix this.

Re:Parent is not a troll (-1, Offtopic)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#33554002)

It's full of opinions masquerading as facts, as well as outright falsehoods. It has now reached +5 Insightful because of the well known Slashdot tendency to mod up anything that bashes Microsoft, no matter how tenuously said bashing is related to the topic. In fact, I suspect that's why you liked it.

Re:Parent is not a troll (2, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33554136)

It's full of opinions masquerading as facts, as well as outright falsehoods. It has now reached +5 Insightful because of the well known Slashdot tendency to mod up anything that bashes Microsoft, no matter how tenuously said bashing is related to the topic. In fact, I suspect that's why you liked it.

If I misspoke myself, feel free to correct me (with facts, since you brought that up) rather than simply doing the same thing you claim I did. Furthermore, the poster I was replying to made a comparison to Microsoft and IBM that I felt was unwarranted. So your "tenuousness" complaint is likewise unwarranted.

And one last point, this is a public forum where people go to express their opinions. That's what I was doing. If you are unable to determine when a person is expressing an opinion or making a statement as to fact, I respectfully suggest that you are on the wrong Web site.

Re:Deja vu? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553840)

I look at Google's rather massive investment in R&D and outpouring of free cloud-based services as being very future-oriented: they know that they may not be able to subsist on ad revenue forever, and would like to have other options. Microsoft has been doing the same thing for the same reason for many years

1 thing about that, Google is milking the ads like they'll be nothing eventually, and looking to the future for potential alternatives (or additives). Microsoft is only just jumping on the ad bandwagon and trying to slap them everywhere they can. I can imagine Microsoft putting ads into Office soon and alienating its users, while Google moves on to something even more profitable (probably a % of subscription services, micro-paid for from your mobile contract or somesuch).

but Microsoft generally fails at anything outside its core competency of operating systems and office suites.

oh, you beat me to it :)

but you missed one important thing: developers. There is a very good reason MS courts them so much, and its something Google would do well to look at.

Re:Deja vu? (2)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33554024)

1 thing about that, Google is milking the ads like they'll be nothing eventually, and looking to the future for potential alternatives (or additives). Microsoft is only just jumping on the ad bandwagon and trying to slap them everywhere they can. I can imagine Microsoft putting ads into Office soon and alienating its users, while Google moves on to something even more profitable (probably a % of subscription services, micro-paid for from your mobile contract or somesuch).

Hard to say, but you're probably right that Google will find something to replace or substantially augment their current model. They're still capable of looking forward: Microsoft (in spite of the considerable sums it spends on Microsoft Research) spends more effort trying to maintain the status quo. Oh, Google is a big operation now and certainly has a significant level of inertia, but I think its longer term prospects are better. You're also right about something else: when Google releases something it's usually executed competently from a technical perspective. Even when they do buy up a company (like, for instance, Grand Central) it usually ends up pretty well integrated.

but you missed one important thing: developers.

Well, that's true of course, but there's an important difference. Because Google is implementing their externally-facing services in a standards-compliant way (hell, they're a Linux shop through-and-through) they don't really have to worry too much about courting developers. Microsoft, on the other hand, has always gone its own way in terms of programming methodologies, languages and tools, and thus has an uphill battle to keep Web developers interested. Google just has to use the tools everyone who codes for the Internet and the World Wide Web already knows and keep doing really nifty things with them.

Android, now, is something of a hybrid but it is something that Java devs can get into fairly quickly. I've often wondered why Google chose to base Android development around a bastardized Java, but if anything it was probably to attract enterprise-level Java developers. Google obviously wants to break into the enterprise market, because a. the Cloud's the Word and b. there's serious money there. Using a language with which in-house corporate developers are already familiar and already runs a lot of heavy-duty back-end stuff was probably a smart move. I don't know: I'm not exactly on first-name terms with Larry and Sergey.

I'd go so far as to say that if the Year of Linux on the Desktop ever happens, it will likely be because of Google.

Re:Deja vu? (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553334)

Microsoft became the new IBM by being more evil and being even more absent of any morals than even the Nazgul. They managed to trick IBM and that in itself is not an easy feat.

Microsoft was bad from the very first day, they did not suddenly turn into assholes. From the first day when they tricked themselves to Qdos that was an illegal copy of CP/M and sold it before they owned it, they have been nothing about customers and all about making money no matter who gets maimed in the process. Their least important bit of all is the end customer.

2014? (1, Interesting)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552516)

In internet time, predicting what the most popular mobile OS will be in 2014 is like predicting what kind of music our grandchildren will like.

But as long as we're making predictions, here's mine: in 2014, the most popular popular mobile OS will be whatever the folks at Apple start secretly working on some time next year, and that doesn't get hyped out of all possible hope of satisfying consumer expectations until some time in late 2013.

Re:2014? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33552578)

That would be different from Apple's whole approach. They don't want a majority of the market - they want a niche market with big margins. Apple's goal is never really more than 20% of the market.

Android is quite likely the biggest winner over the next few years. What I'm personally watching for is what RIM does. While RIM has the corporate market, they've been trying to break out of that. I'd expect the major battles to be between Android, RIM and Windows 7 Phone.

Re:2014? (3, Interesting)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552652)

I interpret the evidence differently; Apple seems absolutely delighted with their 80% market share for MP3 players and 70% market share for downloadable music sales. I think they'd love to have a similar position in mobile platforms, although I agree that they will abandon markets that do not permit sufficient differentiation to support their target margins.

Re:2014? (1)

anandrajan (86137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553380)

Android is quite likely the biggest winner over the next few years. What I'm personally watching for is what RIM does. While RIM has the corporate market, they've been trying to break out of that. I'd expect the major battles to be between Android, RIM and Windows 7 Phone.

Yes, I'm watching RIM and Android carefully as well. Currently, I get crappy EDGE service at home (in Gainesville, FL) and have to resort to UMA (WiFi-based cell service) on T-Mobile in order to make/receive calls. Since Android should support SIP natively (eventually), there ought to be a Google Voice/SIP combination that replicates my UMA/Blackberry experience. Unfortunately, it looks like things will go backward for a bit before moving forward as T-Mobile plans to deprecate UMA and does not offer it on Android. It also does not look like Google Voice/SIP on Android is ready for prime time at present.

Re:2014? (3, Insightful)

jo42 (227475) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552912)

predicting what kind of music our grandchildren will like

That's too easy. Something that you can't stand.

And I predict... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33552520)

I predict that Android will get so fragmented and so over-controlled by the carriers that in the end it won't matter because Android programmers will get tired of all the conditional programming required to code for the damn things.

Re:And I predict... (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552564)

I actually think that Android won't become super fragmented but will break into 3 main branches

A) The "dumbphone or device" branch, devices that barely support their current version of Android loaded on them. (things running 1.5 that aren't phones like the Nook would be an example of this)

B) The "Stables" branch, everyday devices running a simi-current Android release (things running 2.1 right now would be an example)

C) The "bleeding edge" branch, high powered devices either easily rooted or pre-rooted that run the newest Android available (devices like the Nexus One would fall into here)

So developers would probably use branch A to make basic applications, use branch B to make things like games and branch C to make tech demos.

Fragmentation will be less and less of an issue the more phones that get rooted and the slower Google releases OS updates.

Re:And I predict... (3, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552808)

I actually think that Android won't become super fragmented but will break into 3 main branches

Don't forget D. Third-party ROMs like Cyanogenmod and others. They have a pretty substantial following (they're the real reason people root their phones in many cases.)

Ultimately, so long as there are carriers like T-Mobile that will let me go buy an unlocked phone (like the N1) and pop in my SIM card, fragmentation will be less of an issue.

The problem, for carriers, is that people want advanced network-based services like the so-called "Google Experience", they want the ability to run any application they choose. Carriers that refuse to acknowledge this are nothing but a business opportunity for those that do. Right now, that's why I'm on T-Mobile ... they never gave me any grief whatsoever for using my Android phone any way I wanted to. For the past year or so (since I first got a G1 and flashed it with Cyanogenmod) I've been tethering my laptop to it and running Skype, and doing other things that AT&T wouldn't allow, for example, an iPhone user to do. I pay my T-Mobile bill quite happily each month because they're giving me what I want from my carrier.

The cell phone market has changed forever now that they're not phones anymore but pocket-sized personal computers. The cellular outfits are rapidly being relegated to their proper role as telecommunications providers: fat wireless pipes, no more. They don't like that, but unfortunately in world where the terminal equipment is smarter than desktop PCs were only a few years ago, they're going to have a harder and harder time justifying such things as "airtime" and 15c per text message. And that's good: I don't expect my home broadband provider to nickel-and-dime me for using specific Internet applications and services, and ideally would rather my wireless provider didn't do anything similar. Yet, that's exactly what they're currently doing.

Choice is bad? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552710)

Ah, the "choice is bad" argument. All of Android's competitors have to argue this because it's the feature of Android that they don't have and can't get. Good luck selling that to people who expect 15 different kinds of bottled water at their corner store.

Re:And I predict... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33553668)

Have you ever written anything for any pre-iPhone mobile devices? You don't even know what fragmentation is if you think Android has it.

Is symbian even used? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552530)

Is Nokia's Symbian devices every actually used outside of Europe/Asia? Because I really haven't ever seen one for it being the "number one" smartphone platform. I've seen tons of Blackberries, lots of Android devices, multiple iPhones of every generation, a few Windows Mobile devices, even a few Palm Pre/Pixis but I don't think I've seen a single Nokia smartphone with the exception of the N900 which doesn't run Symbian. So where are these? Just hiding outside of the US?

Re:Is symbian even used? (5, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552590)

"Is Nokia's Symbian devices every actually used outside of Europe/Asia?"

Europe and Asia's population is around 4.6 billion people, or 70% of the worlds population. Anything used in "only" those areas of the world is pretty damn close to ubiquitous, whether it reaches every corner of the world or not.

Re:Is symbian even used? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33552814)

Anything used in "only" those areas of the world is pretty damn close to ubiquitous, whether it reaches every corner of the world or not.

How so? I mean, e.g. Semai [wikipedia.org] is used in "only" those areas of the world, and it is far from ubiquitous. I'm sure you mean that anything in widespread common use in Europe and Asia but nowhere else is still pretty damn close to ubiquitous. But then you should just substantiate that Symbian use is widespread and common in those regions instead of being a snarky smartarse.

Re:Is symbian even used? (0, Troll)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552902)

Only in America would this be modded "insightful"...

Re:Is symbian even used? (1)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553234)

"Oh yeah, the rest of the world, I've heard of them. Were they the ones that gives you quarters if you put teeth under your pillow? Or do you just stake them in the heart to make sure they don't suck your blood and make you one of them?"

Re:Is symbian even used? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553404)

To be fair to the parent, Symbian and Nokia products in general are becoming less popular in Nokia's own back yard.

What business types need to consider is whether or not it's going to be worth it for Nokia to keep pumping out Symbian/MeeGo/$futureOSHere or to just jump ship and start shipping Android or Windows Mobile.

Sure, market share's a great number to consider but it's only one factor when you also consider profit margins and consumer enthusiasm.

Re:Is symbian even used? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33552878)

Look, Nokia sells 4 out of every 10 smart phones. Outside North America (5% of the world population), Nokia phones are practically everywhere. It's worth noticing that while the Iphone is considered a nice phone (and even a game changer) everywhere and it sells quite well, it was a smash hit mostly in the US: In most places people already had fairly good smart phones, it just wasn't that big of a deal even if the touch UI was awesome.

As a comment on this Gartner guesswork: many people dismiss the work Nokia does in the developing countries but they probably shouldn't. China and India are already massive smart phone markets and they are going to be absolutely huge. Nokia is _very_ strong in these countries.

Re:Is symbian even used? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33553032)

Dude, before iDevices, something like 90% of "smartphones" were Symbian. Nowadays, I wouldn't count them as smartphones at all, just dumbphones with some theoretical smartphone features no-one bothers to use. But perhaps ^3 will change it, time will tell.

Re:Is symbian even used? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33554054)

NOOO!!!

Those phones were and are awesome. You must be a dumb American to not recognize the automatic Euro-superiority of the Nokia experience. I only wish my countrymen were smart enough to bow down to the meaningless feature bloat Nokia offers.

Re:Is symbian even used? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553118)

You probably just don't notice them. People with iPhones like to show them off, and phones that look like the iPhone are still sufficiently novel that they catch the eye. Blackberries also have a distinctive look. Nokia smartphones look like phones. Unless you are actively looking for them, you won't notice them. I'm not sure about the US market - it's relatively small and the carrier lock-down makes it largely uninteresting to handset manufacturers - but over here I see far more Nokia phones than anything else, and most of them qualify as Smartphones (although a lot are older-generation ones).

i agree with the analysts (4, Funny)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552536)

Android will become the most popular OS by 2014, or it will not.

Re:i agree with the analysts (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552840)

Android will become the most popular OS by 2014, or it will not.

Android handsets are already outselling iPhones. I don't think it will take until 2014 until it's eclipsed just about everyone in the market. It's even shipping on devices that don't even have cellular access, so sales are probably much better than we are being led to believe. About the only thing I see slowing it down at all would be Oracle's lawsuit, but that won't have much effect outside the U.S. if it goes badly for Google. The open source daemon is pretty hard to stuff back in the bottle once it's out, trademark and patent concerns aside. All that may happen here is that we can't get an Android phone in the U.S. for a while.

Does this take into account... (5, Interesting)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552544)

...that the carriers are beginning to resort to their old tricks on the new Android phones? [techcrunch.com] Stuff like replacing Google search with Bing and not letting you change it back, loading phones up with unremovable crapware, locking down tethering, banning installation of non-Marketplace apps, etc.

Before anyone replies, "Well, just root the phone to get around that stuff! Duh!" let me remind you that geeks who are willing and able to do so are far, far outnumbered by normal people who just want to use their goddamn phone, not tinker with it.

Re:Does this take into account... (2, Insightful)

TyFoN (12980) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552576)

You still have the choice of buying an unbranded phone. Why anyone would buy a phone that is locked to one carrier is beyond me, but it might be different over the pond in the US.

Re:Does this take into account... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33552624)

Because it's cheaper!

Re:Does this take into account... (5, Informative)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552660)

A short explanation of the US mobile market is in order.

There are four national networks, and they are owned by AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint. Verizon and Sprint use CDMA rather than GSM, and they won't activate each other's devices. You want Verizon, you have to buy a Verizon phone; same for Sprint.

If you want to activate an unlocked phone on AT&T or T-Mobile, you can. However, each of them has different frequencies assigned for 3G service. As a result, you can only get EDGE data rates if your phone isn't designed for their network.

In other words, since you have to buy a phone that only works on one carrier, and since only T-Mobile offers a lower-cost plan if you bring your own phone, there is a strong incentive to buy a new phone every two years with the carrier subsidy - you won't get cheaper service if you forgo it.

Re:Does this take into account... (1)

Seto89 (986727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552704)

Also an important difference from Europe - Verizon and Sprint don't use SIM cards.

Re:Does this take into account... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33553110)

Uh... the GP very clearly stated that "Verizon and Sprint use CDMA rather than GSM," and SIM cards fall under the GSM standard.

Re:Does this take into account... (2, Informative)

TyFoN (12980) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552894)

Ugh, that sounds horrible and extremely anti-competitive. AFAIK we have about 50 different mobile operators for soon to be 5 million people in Norway. And they all use GSM. If you want to switch to another operator you can use the same phone and telephone number.
It would explain the operator locked phones you have though, thank you :)

Re:Does this take into account... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33553070)

To be fair, I think those 50 Norwegian operators are either regional operators grouping up into couple competing provider organisations, or virtual operators buing the capacity from bigger players. At least the market in Finland isn't so fragmented - there are four or so big operators that mostly redundant networks, and sub-branded operators and virtual operators that piggyback these. Well, they all use the same frequency bands, though, and the biggest nuisance in changing an operator is the latency number mobility causes (worse if one has accidentally made 12- or 24-month contract). Still, it's trivial, and the prices are low enough especially in comparison to average income.

Especially delivering different frequency bands to different operators in the US fashion sounds like a well-lobbied success story for operators, making consumers extremely unlikely to switch networks on a whim like they can do in Europe, or pretty much any other competetive operator market. I have a hunch that all the standardization and most of the criteria for operator licenses were intentionally set in Europe in a way that consumers could switch from one network to another without a need for getting a new device... I don't have an authoritative source at hand, though.

Of course, FCC and such would speak of creating market opportunities, efficiencies and incentives and whatever to the operators by this frequency band distribution. Surprisingly enough, completely opposite strategy has produced at least as good results across the pond... at least for consumers options.

Re:Does this take into account... (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552712)

I would say that sim-free handset owners are in the minority, mainly because it is geeks who want the handset totally unlocked and unbranded. Geeks are still a minority or Linux's market share would be much higher.

Regardless of the potential cost savings, people just look at the money they have to pay up front and just go for a contract.

Re:Does this take into account... (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552744)

I think verizon has a few customers

Re:Does this take into account... (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553066)

If you are talking UK, sure. If you are talking US, no. Not by a long shot. An unlocked handset does a geek about zero good in the US because the other carrier you might want to switch to either uses another technology, or another frequency than the carrier you were with before.

Re:Does this take into account... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552896)

You still have the choice of buying an unbranded phone. Why anyone would buy a phone that is locked to one carrier is beyond me, but it might be different over the pond in the US.

It is. Many carriers simply don't allow phones not purchased from them on their networks. But I agree: why we put up with that is ridiculous. I'm on T-Mobile here (e.g. Deutsche Telekom) and they've been by far the best carrier I've used (I don't know if any Germans would agree with that assessment) but that's probably because they're the underdog next to AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Still, if there was any reason to believe that competition is good for the consumer, this is it. I've been on AT&T (voice service was spotty in my area, no customer service issues), Sprint (good service, damn near criminal billing practices and unintelligible CS reps), U.S. Cellular (decent at the time) and now T-Mobile. So long as they keep it up, I'll stick with them.

What do you mean "old" tricks? (1)

kervin (64171) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552736)

Stuff like replacing Google search with Bing and not letting you change it back, loading phones up with unremovable crapware

How is that different from the IPhone or the other incumbents? I agree, I really hate these tactics, but I just don't see what's new about them.

Re:What do you mean "old" tricks? (1)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553148)

Perhaps it's different outside of North America, but here (US and Canada) carriers were notorious for taking a phone with all the latest whiz-bang features (Bluetooth, wifi, tethering, etc) and loading them with custom firmware that crippled them. You had to either pay an ridiculous monthly fee to re-enable them, if they even allowed you.

Another neat trick was making a physical button on "dumb" phones launch the web browser to the company's website. This button would be right near the Call or End-Call button so you could easily hit it accidentally--bang, instant $5 extra for "web access without a plan" for the month, because few were dumb enough to actually include a web access plan on such crap phones. And you couldn't de-program the button either. The aforementioned crapware you couldn't uninstall or hide.

You would also likely never see a carrier-specific firmware update to fix any of the problems with the phone.

Apple was the first phone manufacturer in NA market to remove the carrier's claws from the user experience of post-paid plans. No carrier logo when starting the phone. No carrier-disabled features, tethering aside on AT&T. No 3rd party crapware you couldn't get rid of. Free firmware updates--the second-generation model (iPhone 3G) has seen two major OS updates and several minor ones.

Granted there are features Apple doesn't offer that other phones do (wifi station being my occasional gripe), and sometimes AT&T's inadequacies limits iPhone capabilities beyond USA borders (just because AT&T is crap doesn't mean the rest of the world's carriers can't handle video chat and high-quality Youtube over 3G), but to date the carriers have no real say as to what goes on the iPhone, or what features to disable.

With Android, carriers are free to return to their old ways unchecked.

Re:What do you mean "old" tricks? (1)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553818)

Before I argue how it's different, could you clarify how it's the same? (because it's not)

Not Android's fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33552798)

This is a problem with buying a subsidized phone from US carriers--it's going to be crippled in some way, not Android itself. Europe doesn't have this issue and you can still buy unlocked phones on the internet.

Re:Does this take into account... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33553050)

Before anyone replies, "Well, just root the phone to get around that stuff! Duh!" let me remind you that geeks who are willing and able to do so are far, far outnumbered by normal people who just want to use their goddamn phone, not tinker with it.

Those "normal" people will not care if their phone is hobbled by the carrier. As long as some form of functionality is accessible (some search, some real browsing, some media playback, some versions of other software functionality), they will be happy.

The difference is in the development ecosystem. With Apple, they will always have their boot on the neck of anyone who develops for iOS, protecting not only their profits, but their brand image and their vertical integration strategy. There seems to be no such counterpart with Android. If one handset mfr. or carrier is a money grubbing control freak with their implementation, innovation can still take place elsewhere and reach a critical mass where it is a "must include" feature on all Android devices.

Re:Does this take into account... (0)

coryking (104614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553154)

Those "normal" people will not care if their phone is hobbled by the carrier.

I don't know if that is true anymore. The market for mobile apps might have shifted just enough that people will want "killer apps" on their phone. If the cell companies start locking stuff so that you can only buy through their app store, people won't buy the phone.

Now, all the crapplets and custom branding? Just look at how much of that shit is on the average laptop. The average buyer either doesn't care, or does care but thinks it is too much of a hassle to remove.

Even if the way americans buy cell phones changes, and we start buying unlocked phones, the crapplets will remain—they will just be from the vendor that sold the phone.

But locked down app stores (in the "must be signed by and bought in the AT&T / Verison mega-mall to run on this phone sense, not the apple app store sense") days are numbered.

hogwash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33552550)

needs to be qualified to read "most popular 'SMARTPHONE' operating system". globally, ordinary mobiles ("non smartphones") will still rule the roost in 4 years.

Re:hogwash (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552908)

needs to be qualified to read "most popular 'SMARTPHONE' operating system". globally, ordinary mobiles ("non smartphones") will still rule the roost in 4 years.

Well, sure. I thought that was implicitly stated, since by definition a non-smartphone isn't going to run Android.

Poor Oracle (1)

Phucilage (83738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552774)

Poor Oracle, they file a silly greed based lawsuit that may or may not even be valid. How stupid are they going to feel in court when the Jury, whose never heard of Oracle, but all love Google (read: helps them find pr0n, food, everything...) stare dumbly at them and wonder why they're picking on their friends!

But seriously, I highly doubt this is going to set Android back much, if at all. Even with an injunction (and however much time it would take them to get, sometimes quick, sometimes not at all), if what I've read is accurate (who knows?), they shouldn't stand a chance. As for Android, the lawsuit's gonna bring more attention to it, hurrays for free advertising!

I'm not impressed... (1)

Godskitchen (1017786) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552844)

If they had "predicted" this 12 to 18 months ago it might be a different story.

Who is dumb enough to trust Gartner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33552882)

Isn't it universally accepted that Gartner is full of crap. They either sell corporate advertisement as objective study, or repeat things people already know. The non-techie consumer doesn't care if it's Android underneath. They just want a phone that looks great and does what they want. Gartner should just come out and admit their a bump of cheap whores.

Most Deployed != Most Popular (1)

Above (100351) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552992)

When the carriers have as much, or more to do with the selection than the consumer...

Why bother? (1)

MelodicMotives (724089) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553026)

Why anyone ever bothers predicting technological domination three years out is beyond me. Will Android even exist then? Will there be another technology in its place? Three years is a long time in the software world.

How accurate are Gartner Group predictions? (1)

serutan (259622) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553230)

After some online research into Gartner Group accuracy I haven't been able to find any analysis whatsoever. A couple years ago one of their analysts commented that they periodically review their accuracy and issue reports listing some of their hits and misses. Given the number of managers who take Gartner's word as gospel, that doesn't seem like enough. I'm surprised that this question hasn't come up more often.

And Apple... (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 3 years ago | (#33553724)

Will be making bumper profits as having the largest market share has nothing to do with being profitable.

"Popular" and "Useful" not nearly the same thing (2, Interesting)

VeryVito (807017) | more than 3 years ago | (#33554154)

As a developer on a few mobile platforms, I foresee that Android will be popular for carriers and manufacturers, because it's free. But for consumers, it will, by 2014, be no more useful than any previous handset OS: Your phone WILL be locked into the apps, settings and themes governed by the carrier, and the number of "stellar" apps will dwindle considerably. Unless the carriers subsidize development for their particular handset, there will be very little incentive for major developers to waste time on such a fragmented market.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...