Egham, U.K. – Google’s (NASD: GOOG) Android will become the most popular
smartphone operating system by year’s end, and will account for half (49%) of
the world smartphone market next year, according to a report from market
research firm Gartner.

"As vendors delivering Android-based devices
continue to fight for market share, price will decrease to further benefit
consumers," said Gartner analyst Roberta Cozza.

"Android’s position
at the high end of the market will remain strong, but its greatest volume
opportunity in the longer term will be in the mid- to low-cost smartphones,
above all in emerging markets."

Garnter predicts that Apple’s (NASD: AAPL) iOS will
remain the second-biggest platform worldwide through 2014.

But, come 2015,
Microsoft’s (NASD: MSFT) Windows Phone platform will leapfrog Apple to claim the second
spot, spurred by its recent distribution deal with Nokia (NYSE: NOK).


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