When the first Android smartphone hit the market in the UK a few years ago, overtaking the iPhone as the most popular mobile platform seemed unlikely. While the T-Mobile G1 was a decent handset and Android showed signs of promise, the sheer dominance of the iPhone seemed to rule out the possibility of major success for Google’s open source mobile operating system.
Skip forward a few years and not only has the iPhone’s popularity began to fade but Android has continued to evolve, and the range and quality of Android handsets available grows constantly stronger. In many ways Apple could be to blame for the fall in popularity, complaints over antenna problems on the iPhone 4 and a lack of real innovation recently could be the some of the reasons why customers customers appear to be growing tired of the iPhone.
A recent poll conducted by YouGov indicates that 28% of the smartphone market in the UK is now in the hands of Android, the iPhone isn’t too far behind with 26% but it appears that gap may continue to grow over the coming months. BlackBerry doesn’t look to challenge the big two any time soon holding only 14% of the market, while Windows Phone 7 doesn’t appear to be taking off very quickly with only 5% compared to the 6% of Nokia’s Symbian OS.
With over a quarter of the market still in Apple’s hands the iPhone doesn’t look to be going away any time soon but Android now appears to have a greater appeal to customers. There are a number of factors contributing to the success of Android but it seems likely that the range of Android handsets available could be having a big impact.
While Apple only produce higher-end handsets the range of Android models available starts at well under £100 and climbs up to high-end models such as the Google Nexus S which look to compete directly with the iPhone. With Google releasing a new version of the operating system which is more geared towards being used on tablets, Apple may also be getting a little bit worried that the iPad will be next to fall.
The future is looking good for Android but with a new iPhone expected this year Apple could regain the top spot if there new handset is up to scratch. The first Windows Phone 7 handsets from Nokia are also just around the corner and as a result WP7 may gain enough popularity to sit along iPhone, Android and BlackBerry as one of the top mobile platforms. Of course if you feel like jumping on the Android bandwagon you could also sell your old mobile to a mobile phone recycling company to put towards buying a new Android handset.