The mobile market has continued to exceed expectations in many ways. There’s a lot happening this past year, and there were powerful new phones and tablets that were introduced. Software updates also followed across all vendors. A few weeks back, we put up a poll asking you 'our readers', which of the platforms made the biggest impact this year. The poll results are not very surprising and matched the trends we’ve been watching closely. The question we asked was which of the platforms made the biggest impact this year. Thousands responded to the poll.
The clear winner according to our Tech2 poll was Android, and by a huge margin. The biggest majority of users - roughly 68 percent voted for Android. The next platform to make the biggest impact was Apple’s own iOS. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 also appeared in the mix. The least number of votes went to RIM’s BlackBerry OS and Symbian.
There have been new bits and pieces of development for Android this past year, with Gingerbread and the launch of Honeycomb, they have been the driving force for Android. The fact that these Android updates, at least Gingerbread is being made available for cheaper phones under the Rs.15,000 mark has managed to impress users. Android has always had the advantage of having a very flexible approach that allows users to modify it and tweak it to their liking.
Tech2 Poll: Which OS made the biggest impact in 2011?
Apple’s iOS also saw some major updates, the biggest being the iOS5 update, just a few months back. The update brought a whole bunch of new features which bring it closer to Android, in terms of flexibility. Apple probably got a boost when the iPad 2 was launched with some aggressive pricing. Adoption rate of iOS powered devices such as the iPod Touch and iPads has gone up over the year.
RIM’s BlackBerry saw a major shift in users. Many users are making the move to Apple iPhones and Android devices from their BlackBerry phones.The new BlackBerry OS 7 hasn’t added much that can make it comparable to the Android and Apple iOS platforms. Symbian has been facing the same fate as RIM’s BlackBerry phones. As popularity of Nokia’s Symbian phones goes down, those looking at smartphones have Android and iOS to choose from. Nokia’s recent partnership with Microsoft should help both firms, as far as WP7 adoption rates and popularity is concerned.
Windows Phone 7 has been a surprise in comparison. Windows Phone 7 phones still aren’t as mainstream and as popular as Android devices, which account for most of the smartphone sales, these days. There are fewer options in the market as vendors still haven’t been focusing a lot on the new platform. The Mango (WP 7.5) update has brought along some momentum, but the real push should come when Nokia launches their Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 in the market, in mid-December. Aggressive pricing should boost interest in the new platform as well.
The poll also confirms that studies done by research and analysis. It’s predicted that Apple's iOS share will end up in second place behind Android with Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 falling in line. Nokia may not be able to reclaim its former glory, but it should comfortably take the third place.