Google Android to Outnumber IPhone Worldwide by 2012

Google Android to outnumber iPhone worldwide by 2012
Mobile phones powered by Google Inc.'s Android mobile operating system sit on display during the Google I/O Developers' Conference in San Francisco. Photographer: Kim White/Bloomberg

Google Inc.’s Android software, the operating system that runs smartphones, will outpace Apple Inc.’s iPhone in number of phones in use worldwide by 2012, according to researcher iSuppli Corp.

Android will be in 75 million smartphones in the next two years, giving the platform almost a fifth of the global market for the devices, iSuppli forecast in a note today. The iPhone’s software will be used in 62 million, said the El Segundo, California-based firm.

The Google system has the advantage because it’s available from a number of device makers, including Motorola Inc. and HTC Corp., while the iPhone OS is found only in Apple’s phones, iSuppli said. Androids are already outselling the iPhone in the U.S. after the phones were adopted by Verizon Wireless, AT&T Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp., the three largest mobile-phone carriers, according to Nielsen Co., another research firm.

“Google and Apple are engaged in a fierce battle for control of the wireless market, which represents the most lucrative growth opportunity in the technology world today,” iSuppli said. “Both companies have their eyes on the huge revenue growth expected in wireless data.”

By 2014, the gap will widen, iSuppli said, with Android winning 23 percent of global smartphone market share and the iPhone declining to 15 percent.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, rose $1.78 to $508.10 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading at 4 p.m. New York time. Apple, based in Cupertino, California, fell $1.28 to $261.70.