Battle of the mobile operating systems: Who’s in the lead?

While there are several major players in the mobile OS space, the battle for market share has really only centered around two operating systems; Android and iOS. Both consistently neck-in-neck for market share, Android has taken a slight lead over the past two years. According to TechCrunch, mobile advertising network Jumptap predicts that this trend will only continue:

“As we and the analysts have noted before, we are continuing to see a two-horse race here (or two horses and two ponies, to be exact). But the growth in market share appears to have now reached a peak. Android, as it has for the past two years, will continue to remain in the lead as the most popular platform, with Apple close behind, but gains are now minor compared to years before.”

The mobile OS battle for market share

While Microsoft and Blackberry are the “ponies” of the OS show,  a recent post in the Software Testing Blog says to keep a close eye on Microsoft:

“It’s still up in the air whether Microsoft/Windows will ever give Apple and Google a real run for their money. Plenty of people out there are naysayers and the OS certainly has a lot of catching up to do. But keep your ear to the ground, if little wins like this keep cropping up, we could have a viable third place in the mobile OS race.”

In addition, several OS debuts at Mobile World Congress this year suggest that there may be more than two “ponies” in the race. In fact, there could be 5. According to Jacqueline Seng of CNET:

“This year’s Mobile World Congress saw the debut of upstart mobile operating systems (OS) from Mozilla, Tizen and Canonical.

The three open-source OSes–Firefox, Tizen and Ubuntu Touch–are all hoping to edge in to Android’s turf and monetize on all the cash Google is making through its app store.”  

While these three open-source operating systems hope to grab some of the market, whether or not consumers will actually feel compelled to make the switch is an entirely different question. How do you think the mobile OS market will shift over the next few years? Share your predictions in the comments section.

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7 Mar 2013, 12:37 p.m.

Seems to be a US only question. Android has more than "a slight lead" on most major markets elsewhere.