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Android usage poised to pass Symbian in Nokia’s backyard; iOS already No. 1

Usage of Android-based devices has exploded in Nordic countries over the past few months and is set to push Symbian into the No. 3 spot among mobile platforms in the region. Apple’s iPhone managed to knock Symbian out of the top spot some time ago, and according to data from mobile analytics firm CEM4Mobile Solutions, Android usage has grown 6.2% in the region since May while Symbian usage slid 1.7%. Based on the firm’s monitoring of usage in the region, iOS held a 33% share in September while Symbian sat at 29% and Android followed closely behind with 28%. In August, Android briefly surpassed Symbian before usage of the latter gained two points last month. CEM4Mobile Solutions says Android usage across the Nordic region will overtake Symbian in October, and iOS will be the next to fall by the end of December despite the launch of Apple’s next-generation iPhone 4S in multiple Nordic countries later this month. The firm’s full press release follows below.

CEM4Mobile: Android on Track to Take the Pole Position

ESPOO, Finland, October 24, 2011/PRNewswire/ —

New Research and a Forecast: iOS Leading, Android and Symbian Head to Head

Over the past several years Finland’s and the world’s leading supplier of Mobile Analytics and Customer Experience Management (CEM) for mobile content and value-added services, CEM4Mobile Solutions, has been monitoring the different trends in the mobile market. The past year has shown extremely strong growth for the market share of Android OS based devices when analyzed from usage of mobile services. Prior to the forthcoming significant product launches from Nokia, Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, Google and others, it was time to revisit and update our research on mobile platform market shares.

The previous research was carried out earlier this year. The research included data from week 4 / 2010 to week 5 / 2011 by using a sample based on 97 million mobile transaction page loads from Nordic mobile services. The research analyzed actual mobile traffic collected by CEM4Mobile analytics. The survey was done and published because reliable market data is essential for companies developing and distributing mobile services. Further to this, the insight shed light on how different mobile platforms encourage people to use mobile services.

Back in February, we predicted that Android will become the market leader in the Nordic countries. We also forecasted Android to overtake Symbian in August 2011, and it did for couple of weeks, but Nokia has managed to resist the decline in its market shares with new handset releases and improved versions of Symbian. Nevertheless, iOS has managed to obtain the lead position particularly due to the platform’s high popularity in Denmark and Sweden leaving Android and Symbian at even market shares in September. However, all operating systems are in the same ballpark having 28-33% of the market share.

Through all of the competition, Android has shown in the last five months a strong average market share change increase of 6.16% per month. This combined with Apple iOS’s slight drop of -1.46% and Symbian’s drop of -1.70% per month suggest that it won’t be too long before Android climbs to the top position.

The changes in operating system market shares

This update was based on 21 million transaction sample of mobile browsing services page loads from May to September 2011 from Nordic countries. The research revealed that the operating system market shares have evolved during the last months as follows:

   Platform       May   June  July  August September  Avg. % Change

   Apple iOS      35 %  35 %  32 %   34 %    33 %       -1.46 %
   Symbian OS     31 %  30 %  29 %   27 %    29 %       -1.70 %
   Android        22 %  24 %  26 %   28 %    28 %        6.16 %
   Nokia OS        5 %   5 %   5 %    5 %     5 %       -0.77 %
   SonyEricsson    3 %   3 %   3 %    3 %     2 %       -5.47 %
   Samsung OS      2 %   1 %   2 %    1 %     1 %       -2.49 %

Table 1. Mobile Operating System Market Shares from Scandinavian Mobile Browsing Services (Source: CEM4Moible Solutions Ltd. 2011)

The results are showing all platforms are continuing to lose market share to Android which is showing steady strong growth on mobile services. Despite the trend, Apple iOS still had a 4% lead on the other platforms as of September. The graph attached and the article in our blog at depicts the same values visually over the 5 month period.

“It remains to be seen how much the unfortunate recent loss of Apple’s founder Steve Jobs will impact Apple’s performance, how much the recent patent disputes will slow down the adoption of Android and at which point Nokia’s and Microsoft’s effort on Windows Phone 7 start impacting the trends”, comments Janne Aalto, the CEO of CEM4Mobile Solutions Ltd.

Forecast: Android to overtake Symbian in October and Apple iOS in December 2011

A forecast was made based on the trend in page loads over the past 5 months from May to August 2011. The average percentage changes for this period were as follows:

    Operating system    Change
    Android OS           +6.16%
    Symbian OS           -1.70%
    Apple iOS            -1.46%
    Nokia OS             -0.77%
    SonyEricsson OS      -5.47%
    Samsung OS           -2.49%

If this trend continues unchanged, Android looks set to overtake Symbian again in October 2011 and Apple iOS by the end of December 2011. Without any major movements in the OS market, Android will continue to grow towards our forecast of nearly 38% of the market by the end of Q1 / 2012.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.