IDC: Android to surpass Symbian in Europe next yearNovember 29, 2010: 4:11 PM ET
Losing Europe would pretty much end Nokia's run as the world's leading mobile OS.
The Android news lately is starting to feel like the end of a game of Risk. First North America falls, then Asia, now Europe. Bloomberg quotes IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo who thinks Android is poised to own 2011 in Europe.
"The iPhone was last year's hot device and now people are looking for something different," said Jeronimo, who is based in London. The Galaxy S is seen as offering similar feel, function, and third-party applications to an iPhone for a lower price, he said.
Without a major competitor and with startling growth rates, it is hard to imagine any other platform slowing down Google's (GOOG) mobile OS. This is a huge business, with smartphones expected to be almost half (49%) of all phone purchases in Europe next year according to IDC.
Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's (MSFT) latest try at the smartphone OS, is seeing one-fifteenth of the uptake in the UK (where it is available on multiple platforms) as Android, even with an expensive launch push, according to one retailler.
Nokia (NOK) fired a lot of its leadership this year and looks to be rebooting Symbian with its Meego OS. Even so, Nokia's N8 flagship Symbian handset is still handily beating all of the Windows Phone 7 devices by a 3-1 margin, according to the same report.
The windows phone 7 handsets -- as nice as they are -- are by and large generic phones from well known manufacturers, and in most cases an almost identical model is available from the same manufacturer with Android, and given the choice people seem to be picking Android.
That's something Fortune talked about before the Windows Phone 7 launch.
Asia is seeing the same Android takeover
GFK reported last week that Android handsets had already passed Symbian in market share in Asia, though GFK's report somehow didn't include China or India's markets in Asia.
"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," highlighted Mr. Tan.
The global takeover is made that much more remarkable by the fact that Android just launched two years ago, while Microsoft, RIM and Nokia have been building phone OSes for a decade.