Emerging Linux Markets BoP to an Android Beat

Low-cost Android smartphones are quickly supplanting Nokia’s Symbian phones in BoP markets. According to Gartner, Android took 72.4 percent of Q3 global smartphone shipments, up from 52.5 percent the year before while Symbian dropped from 16.9 percent to 2 percent.

Earlier this year, NPD In-Stat projected that by 2015, Android will represent 80 percent of the Indian, African, and Chinese smartphone markets combined. In October, NPD [3] projected that under-$150 smartphone shipments will double every year through 2016, while low-cost Android phones will grow from 2 percent of smartphone shipments in 2012 to 29 percent in 2016.

The Linux contenders believe they can undercut Android pricing with the help of HTML5 and processor optimizations. While they have a better shot at doing so than proprietary systems such as Windows Phone or iOS, Android will be tough to dislodge.