Google’s #Android ‘to take half of smartphone market by end of 2012’ | Technology |

Samsung's Nexus S smartphone using Android 2.3 Gingerbread

Samsung’s Nexus S smartphone using Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

About half of the world’s smartphones will be using Google’s Android operating system by the end of 2012, according to the research firm Gartner.

Google will lead the race with Apple, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) and Microsoft by the end of this year and take 49.2% of the market in 2012, Gartner forecast on Thursday.

Nokia’s tie-up with Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 operating system would also be a success, Gartner predicted, with a 19.5% share of the smartphone market by 2015 – leapfrogging its rivals to the number two spot. That finding concurs with forecasts from analysts IDC and Ovum.

Worldwide smartphone sales are expected to reach 468m units in 2011 – a 57.7% increase on 2010. The explosive growth in affordable smartphones will see annual sales top 1.1bn by 2015, Gartner said. Sales of PCs, by comparison, will reach 387m this year, a 10.5% increase on 2010, the research firm predicted last month .

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