SAN FRANCISCO, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Google's Android will become the most popular smartphone operating system worldwide and will account for 49 percent of the market by 2012, IT research and advisory firm Gartner said Thursday.
According to Gartner's projections, worldwide smartphone sales will reach 468 million units in 2011, a 57.7 percent increase from 2010.
The company predicts that Apple's iOS will remain the second biggest platform worldwide through 2014 although its share will decrease slightly after 2011, on the assumption that "Apple will be interested in maintaining margins rather than pursuing market share by changing its pricing strategy."
Microsoft's Windows, driven by its partnership with Nokia, is expected to move into the mid-tier by the end of 2012 and become the third largest in the worldwide ranking by 2013.
Some analysts raised doubts on Gartner's forecasts, saying that its assumption on Apple's price strategy contradicts statements by Apple's chief operating officer Tim Cook and the cooperation between Nokia and Microsoft will not have that much of an impact on smartphone market share by 2012.