Android Should Become Top Mobile OS in North America This Year

Android soon will rank as the No. 2 mobile operating system worldwide, as more communication service providers focus marketing and vendor support on the Google-developed platform, research firm Gartner Inc. said on Friday.

But in the United States, Android should take over as the top mobile OS in North America by the end of 2010.

Androids growth came much faster than Gartner originally expected. A year ago, analysts said Android wouldnt achieve such heights until about 2012.

Meanwhile, Nokias Symbian will retain its top spot through the end of this year, Gartner said. However, together, Symbian and Android will make up 59.8 percent of mobile OS sales by 2014.

Market share in the OS space will consolidate around a few key OS providers that have the most support from CSPs and developers and strong brand awareness with consumer and enterprise customers,” Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a prepared statement.

Over the next few years, single-source platforms as opposed to the open nature of Android and Symbian will lag. To that end, Research In Motions OS and the Apple iOS will come in third and fourth, respectively, by 2014, Gartner found. Much of that has to do with operators business-model needs.

"CSPs and mobile device manufacturers alike will need to revisit their platform strategies and balance the need to pursue platforms with the highest current demand against the need to maintain differentiation with unique devices," Cozza said. "CSPs will likely reduce the number of platforms they offer, to reduce their support costs and clarify their propositions to market."

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