The smartphone revolution has till now come mostly in three flavors: iOS, Android, and Blackberry. Samsung Electronics’ bada powered smartphones, however, are making a major dent in the market. Samsung’s bada phones are gaining ground on their accessible interface, familiar development environment, competitive prices, and wide app selection.
Smartphones are shaking up the global IT industry as the market grows at the expense of feature phones.1 Smartphone sales grew at an annual average of 34 percent, from 123 million units in 2007 to 297 million in 2010, and sales are expected to grow 46 percent year-on-year to reach 630 million in 2012, or 34 percent of the overall mobile phone market. This has led to changes in the rankings of global IT giants: those that entered the smartphone business successfully went up in the list while those that failed to do so declined. Apple, which unveiled the iPhone in 2007, jumped to 2nd place in 2011 from 681st in 2001 in terms of market capitalization. Google, not ranked in the Global 1,000 companies list in 2001, came 17th a decade later, with its Android smartphones (manufactured by Taiwan’s HTC) launched in 2008. In contrast, Nokia, a traditional phone powerhouse, plunged from 20th in 2001 to 273rd in 2011.2
At the heart of these changes are smartphone operating systems (OSes). Mobile phones, whose functions have previously been confined to receiving texts and calls, have evolved into “handheld computers” thanks to these new OSes. Today phone users can surf the web, send e-mails, play games, and shop on smartphones thanks to new phones that can run applications as sophisticated as the ones on their PCs. Both Apple and Google, two of the most successful smartphone beneficiaries, have their own operating system: iOS and Android respectively.
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