After its spellbound success in America, Google’s mobile platform Android is now casting its magic on Asia as well. It overtook the mighty Symbian OS as the clash of the titans (mobile operating systems) continues in the continent.
Globally, Symbian OS still rules the roost though Android is closely following it. It occupies about 25.5% of the entire smartphones market. And in North America, Android is growing faster than iOS and BlackBerry.
GfK RT Global conducted a research in Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, where Android has let the mobile phones manufacturers to think beyond hardware manufacturing to succeed in Asia.
The report also indicates that smartphones saw a sea rise in their sales in Asia during July 2009 to June 2010, the period when the research was conducted. If we talk in terms of numbers, it is about 4.7 million units of smartphones, which is a 270% growth, and worth over $ 1.48 Bn in Q3 this year.
According to, the market research firm, “Our Q3 report shows that Android has recently overtaken Symbian as the most popular smartphone OS in the context of Asia as a whole, in both value and unit sales. However, it is interesting to note the difference in OS trends when we look at findings in North and Southeast Asia separately.”
In Southern Asia, Symbian OS is seen ruling the market though there has been a gradual decline in its sales figures. Steadily, the smartphones manufacturers are shying away from making Symbian based phones. Whereas in Northern Asia, the mobile OS war is getting more intense due to the fluctuations in the Mobile OS market shares, probably due to the changes in game plans of the smartphones manufacturers. Incidentally, Android, RIM (BlackBerry) and iPhone OS have been gaining in the smartphones market from the spending of Symbian OS.
According to Ben Wood, Head of Research, CCS Insight, a British consultancy, “Google’s success in Asia was not limited to the region covered by the study. We have noted rapid adoption of low-cost Android devices in India and China Mobile’s oPhone flavor of Android is clearly gathering momentum,” Wood said.”
What’s Up In India?
In India, Nokia promoted Symbian OS still holds a majority of the market, quite closely followed by BlackBerry. However that does not Android is lagging far behind. Perhaps, it is thought to be as a game changer now. If we compare between Android and Symbian, the former has about 50 smartphones built on it from about eight manufacturers, while the latter has only 30 smartphones based on it. Nokia may lose out soon if it continues to patronize Symbian as the smartphone revolution is now on the prowl.
Google- The Ultimate Gainer?
This ever increasing popularity of Android is due to the patronage of Samsung and HTC, which are the ones which have put in so much of money at stakes to roll out high-end powerful smartphones. Erich Schmidt should definitely be grateful to these two global mobile giants.
Whatever happens, if Android continues to rule the Asian market, the main beneficiary would be none other than Google. At this age when smartphones have overtaken computers and with more and more manufacturers vying for taking a plunge into Android OS, the search engine giant’s ream of roping in $ 1 Bn every year from its mobile OS does not appear to be a mirage anymore.