Google's Android operating system is expected to have a great year in 2009, with shipments predicted to reach 6.5 million units before 2010 is here, and the platform should see an even greater growth in the following years. According to a recent report from Taipei-based Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC), shipments of Android-based mobile phones are forecast to top 31.8 million units in 2013.
The research firm also states that shipment volume CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) for Android smartphones is predicted to be much higher than the CAGR of overall smartphone shipment volume. Not to mention that the Android-equipped product (PC-like products, portable devices and residential products) shipments are expected to reach 126 million units in 2013.
MIC Industry Analyst Kate Huang commented: “Currently products equipped with the Android platform are still mainly Smartphones. Faced with the threat from the Android platform, Symbian could accelerate the opening of its system in order to attract more companies to Symbian. Windows Mobile could lower licensing fees in order to reduce the impact from Android.”
It seems that the launch of Google's Android platform and the creation of the Open Handset Alliance have impacted the mobile industry value chain. The operating system comes with an open character that offers more possibilities for customizations from mobile phone carriers, and also enables the existence of attractive interfaces like the HTC Sense UI and MotoBlur. Moreover, the open-source code attracts more and more PC vendors and consumer electronics makers into using it to power their devices.
However, the platform might also have something to lose due to diversification, as developers might be less attracted towards making investments for the platform, and the performance of application programs is also expected to be limited. The Android Market includes a number of around 13,000 applications at the moment, MIC notes, and both users and developers might be attracted into the equation if Google accelerates the promotion of paid apps in more markets.