Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Android conquers the UK

Maybe conquered is too strong of a word to use but it's been named as the most popular smartphone OS, overtaking iOS (iPhones). Android phones now account for 28% of the market, iOS 26%, Blackberry OS 14%, the rest being made up of Windows, Symbian and other phones. This is remarkable achievement, taking into account the market dominance of Symbian and the first Android phone (Google G1/HTC Dream) was released nearly 2 years after the first iPhone.


Android's dominance has spread far and wide, it's officially the most popular in Europe and, according to latest ComScore figures, in the US as well. Having taken over Blackberry phones as the market leader, it's now 4.1% above the number 2, a greater gap than in the UK. IDC a leading marketing intelligence firm predict that by 2015 Android will be the world's most popular smartphone OS, and by a long way, being run on nearly 50% of the world's smartphones. Check out a video of Android activations worldwide.



What exactly makes Android phones more popular than iPhones or BlackBerrys, or any other phone? Most probably the wide range of choice. You have your standard run of the mill Android handsets to your blazingly fast, dual core, 3D, i-don't-know-how-many megapixel handsets made by many many manufacturers. With iOS, there's only Apple, BlackBerrys only RIM and most Symbian phones are made by Nokia. Another major factor and Android's prime selling point is that it's so easy to do what you want with, it's open source and the possibility to do what you want with it is there. However a rather large downfall of Android is fragmentation. A major new version of Android will undoubtedly need new hardware. You're HTC Dream isn't going to run Gingerbread. This makes app creation pretty difficult for devs, as of now there are 3 major Android versions, 2.1 (Eclari), 2.2 (Froyo) and 2.3 (Gingerbread). Despite only a 0.1 increment in version number, each is very different in terms of battery life, functionality, speed and most of all the hardware needed to run it. However this doesn't look like it's stopped Android becoming the most popular phone OS, heck it's even running on tablets, music players and car stereos!

Omran, CeX UK Contributor.

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