IMHO, the area where Symbian excells is in the basic (dumb) cell phone. You know, where a camera and very basic browsing is about all you get. I think the number of these phones will drop, as LTE combines both voice and data into a seamless data-stream. There will cease to be a 'penalty' for a data-plan and the apps will continue to tempt those new customers to opt for the neat stuff (weather, theater show times, gas prices, where did I park my car?).
I think LTE is going to be a big game-changer. I can't speak to the foreign language support as I only speak English (and even that skill is not as good as it should be). But, you point is well taken.
There is a lot of inertia to overcome with RIM. There are a lot of corporate systems that have been built around RIM for secure emails, messages and phone calls. This is going to take a while to dismantle, and RIM is certainly going to try to grow this segment.
I do think Android will continue to grow - but the problem with Android is the Open Source and loose management of the OS. Apple is 'safe' in that because it's a 'closed garden' viri and malware is screened. Android has already had some malware and ID theft issues. Unless Google tightens the reigns, this insecurity could be their demise. No one wants their credit card numbers stolen by their phone.
Personally, I really do like Android. I think Google really has a winning product - they just need to put some controls on it - which is pretty much anti-Open Source.
But, you bring up some very good points with the open language support in emerging markets. How many smartphones will be sold in China and India. IMHO, these cultures are more interested in functionality than status. Apple's main thrust is that their phone is an elegant, functional and status symbol. You can get similar performance off a cheaper alternative phone - and IMHO that's where India and China will focus.
It's going to be intersting; It appears we are within range on Android and RIM; but have exchanged Symbian and iOS.
Those numbers are US-only, right? Worldwide, Symbian commands 40% of the Smartphone market. RIM is second at about 25%. Android is about tied with iOS, and is continuing to gain marketshare.
iOS will end up being a player in the US only, probably retaining a domestic number 2 spot to Android.
The Gartner report is about total worldwide sales, and it shows that Symbian IS the dominant Smartphone OS worldwide. Remember, Nokia is a bit-player in the US, but they ship 110 million phones A MONTH; in 10 days, Nokia will ship the same number of phones as ever sold by Apple. They’re a MONSTER overall.
US-centric, yeah Apple will stay a bit higher, in 2nd or 3rd place (behind Android, and maybe behind RIM). Worldwide, though, it will be Symbian and Android battling it out for the lead.
I do think Android will continue to grow
Android has already passed iOS in the US, in terms of new sales. iOS is now in 4th place worldwide, and falling (in terms of marketshare) - behind Symbian, RIM, and Android.
- but the problem with Android is the Open Source and loose management of the OS.
That's what allowed Windows to explode and dominate - making the OS and API open for anyone to buy and use and build upon. It's a winning strategy; closed systems lose every time.
Apple is 'safe' in that because it's a 'closed garden' viri and malware is screened.
Really? In just the last few months we've seen multiple security holes (ACE - arbitrary code execution - holes) like the jailbreakme.com one which completely rooted and reloaded the ROM in your iPhone from simply visiting a website, and "malware" like the flashlight app that was really a WIFI router (and was sold in the App Store until users tattled on it - completely violated Apple's App Store rules, and their "screening" didn't catch it at all).
In fact, Apple once again patched a bunch of ACE holes just yesterday. There's a reason that iOS is jailbroken as soon as new versions are released - it's very vulnerable to ACE exploits which is how it's jailbroken.
Android has already had some malware and ID theft issues.
And those would be?
Unless Google tightens the reigns, this insecurity could be their demise. No one wants their credit card numbers stolen by their phone.
How is it worse than iPhone? And in fact, most companies like to have control over their assets and platforms; Apple's attempt to lock-you-in to their own little restricted garden and app tools doesn't help.
Windows owns the desktop/laptop market because it's APIs are public, and control and use of the OS is unrestricted, and versions are supported for more than 3-4 years. Long term support for even 15-20 year old products (I run a few Win95-only apps on Win 7 x64 without a problem) and the open-use nature of the OS wins every time. Create what you want, in the language you want, for distribution as you see fit, without any interference from Microsoft.
Android has the same freedom, and you even get the source code so - if you're an enterprise - you can make changes as desired (like full encryption of everything - including communications - if you want), and support it forever, since you have the source code.
Extensibility and support are critical to the enterprise, and Android excels at that compared to iOS.