Symbian Savors 2005 Success While Windows & Linux Predicted to Achieve Mobile Market Parity by 2010

Symbian Savors 2005 Success While Windows & Linux Predicted to Achieve Mobile Market Parity by 2010

February 14, 2006 (Dallas, Texas) – At 3GSM in Barcelona, Symbian announced that shipments of its mobile operating system almost tripled from 14.4 million units in 2004 to 33.9 million units in 2005, the fourth consecutive year that Symbian enjoyed a growth rate in excess of 100%. At the same time, a new report from The Diffusion Group suggests that Symbian’s market share of advanced mobile operating systems will decline from 51.4% in 2005 to approximately 22.1% by 2010, placing it third behind both Windows (28.7%) and Linux (26.6%).

“Demand for more robust mobile devices is accelerating at a phenomenal rate,” noted Lee Allen, lead mobile analyst with The Diffusion Group. “With next-generation networks being operationalized throughout the world, mobile carriers are pushing a variety of sophisticated applications which place greater demands on device operating systems. As this happens, more advanced operating systems such as those offered by Microsoft and Linux will become more attractive to handset vendors and mobile carriers.”

Allen notes that mobile Linux has already experienced a sizeable boost in shipments during the second half of 2005, something which few forecasters were expecting but a trend which TDG believes will continue as the Palm OS evolves to a software layer running on top of Linux. Microsoft is expected to enjoy robust growth in the advanced mobile OS space by leveraging tight integration of Windows Mobile 5.0 with Microsoft Office and Exchange 2003 SP2.

According to TDG, “advanced mobile devices” are distinguished by the use of operating systems with functionality similar to those found in notebook and desktop PCs. They provide true multitasking environments, thus allowing simultaneous operation of multiple applications and inter-application communication. According to this definition, approximately two-thirds of Symbian’s 2005 mobile OS shipments could be accurately characterized as “advanced.”

TDGs latest research report, Advanced Mobile Operating Systems: Analysis & Forecasts, offers an extensive examination of the various drivers for advanced mobile device adoption; a detailed discussion of the key components of the various advanced mobile operating systems; an analysis of the forces at work behind pending market share shifts among mobile OS vendors; and global forecasts for mobile OS through 2010.

The report is available at TDG’s website or by contacting the firm at 469.287.8050.

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