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War for OS Dominance in the Smartphone Ecosystem

29 июня 2011

The growing importance of the smartphone segment has brought operating systems (OSs) and the ecosystems being created around them to the forefront, sparking a war among different platforms for dominance over the space and making it crucial to understand the influence they have on the future of the industry, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

The smartphone segment has boomed to become a major growth driver of the global handset market. Sales have expanded at a stunning 47 percent CAGR between 2006 and 2010, growing from 59 million to 273 million handsets. Pyramid Research expects this growth to continue at a 29 percent CAGR to reach 982 million devices in 2015 when smartphones will account for 53 percent of sales.

The smartphone segment has become a major growth driver of the global handset market, with emerging markets contributing decisively to the expansion of the segment, notes Luis Portela, Analyst at Large for Pyramid Research and author of the report.

"The OS is one of the most important differentiating factors within the smartphone segment, given its central role in the handset usability experience," Portela says. Properly aligning certain platform characteristics -- such as openness, proprietary nature and support of third-party applications -- with business objectives and strategy is essential to achieving relevance to consumers and to the various players along the value chain.

"Industry players are focusing on mobile data as the main revenue growth source for the future. In addition to network and service investments being made to pursue this opportunity, data services need user-friendly terminals and interfaces to engage customers," he notes.

Several players are fueling the war for OS dominance in the smartphone ecosystem. "The fastest growing operating systems are Google's Android and Apple's iOS, being the second and third respectively in terms of smartphone market share in 2010," indicates Portela.

Nokia's Symbian is the market leader, but will eventually disappear when Nokia adopts Windows Phone as its primary smartphone OS. Microsoft's Windows Phone and RIM's BlackBerry OS complete the list of the most important OS platforms. "The OS ecosystem war will consolidate the application opportunity in the four biggest platforms (Android, Windows Phone, iOS and BlackBerry OS)," he adds.

Источник: Cellular news

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