Google Android Set To Take Off, Apple OS Second

2009 could be the year of the Google phone, says a well-placed research company

A report out of the US by research company, Strategy Analytics, states that Android smartphone shipments will grow a whopping 900 percent in 2009.

Strategy Analytics believes support from operators, vendors and developers is driving the Google OS into the stratisphere. The company also believes that the Apple iPhone OS will be the next fastest-growing smartphone operating system in 2009, with a relatively6 modest 79 percent growth rate.

“We forecast global Android smartphone shipments to grow an impressive 900 percent annually during 2009,” said Tom Kang, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics. “The Android mobile operating system from Google gained early traction in the United States in the second half of 2008 and it is gradually spreading its presence into Europe and Asia during 2009. Android is expanding from a low base and it is consequently outgrowing the iPhone OS from Apple, which we estimate will grow at a relatively lower 79 percent annually in 2009.”

All this must send out alarm bells to Microsoft, who has dominated the mobile OS for so long.

“Android has fast been winning healthy support among operators, vendors and developers,” said Neil Mawston, Director at Strategy Analytics. “A relatively low-cost licensing model, its semi-open-source structure and Google’s support for cloud services have encouraged companies such as HTC, Motorola, Samsung, T Mobile, Vodafone and others to support the Android operating system. Android is now in a good position to become a top-tier player in smartphones over the next two to three years.”

The full report, Global Smartphone Vendor Market Share by Region: 2008, is published by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Smartphone Strategies service.