Among the leading mobile operating systems today, only Google Android experienced a steady monthly growth particularly in the Southeast Asia market over the past twelve months. Sales volume of Android – based smart phones in key countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, and Vietnam saw an unwavering growth especially in the last quarter. Android operating system even went up two spots over the past two quarters seizing the apex in smart phone OS standing. Market research company, the GFK Group reported this occurrences citing that the main reason why the SEA market is attracted to Android based devices is due to its affordability without sacrificing product quality and key features.
The improvement in Android’s market position jumped to third in the first quarter of 2011 and it later on achieved the top position in the third quarter, according to the report release by GFK Asia. This market action overtook Research in Motion (RIM) and Nokia’s Symbian. GFK Asia tracked the sales of smart phones in South East Asia and the findings were astounding. Android based devices increase over the last two quarters reaching approximately forty percent of the overall market share. “Despite the differences, one particular trend is obvious across every country in the region—the Android smartphone market is on a roll. From just over 50 models of Android smartphones available in the market a year ago, the figure has swelled to almost 170 models in the last quarter,” commented Mr. Benedict Hong, Regional Account Director for Telecommunications of GfK Asia.
Within the SEA region, Android, BlackBerry, and Symbian are among the top operating systems pooling an overall market share of up to ninety percent. Hong further added that sale for Android phones remained consistently healthy and Android is the only operating system with an “unwavering month to month growth” within the past twelve months. Mr. Hong further noted that “With the ongoing engagement and partnership model between Google and major manufacturers, we can expect more innovative Android smart phones to swamp the marketplace; at least, until there is another major breakthrough that can shake the dynamics of the smart phone OS industry.” This results to the increase in mobile phone manufacturing and the number of handset models that are running in Android. From 50 Android based phone models last year, this jumped to 170 models within the last quarter.
However, even if Android becomes the top operating system in the region, there are several potential markets that rival OS companies still rule. Indonesia for example is one of SEA regions biggest market for smart phones and RIM OS still maintains a sizeable margin over the last five successive quarters while other rival operating systems are struggling to build their own substantial market share. On the other hand, the consistent growth of Android will remain a threat to other operating system as more and more handset manufacturers are opting to create Android based devices.