Android 'below expectations' in Europe

Analyst slates Google's early OS growth

Android not showing top growth in Europe

Google's Android mobile OS is showing slow growth in Western Europe since its launch, according to analysts.

Noted analyst firm IDC has stated that while Android's market share has grown in this region, from 4.2 per cent to 5.4 per cent in the July- September period, consumers are still shying away.

"Consumers steer clear of Google's OS and sell-out is below everyone's expectations. Consumers recognize the Google brand, but still do not understand what Android is," IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo.

Lack of awareness

"The lack of devices available didn't help to raise awareness, though this is expected to change, with more handsets from LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and other vendors hitting the market soon."

It's worth noting that Android is still pretty nascent compared to other operating systems - it's barely a year from release, and in relative terms, a 1.2 percentage point increase in three months can be interpreted in a number of ways.

However, the number of 'headline' handsets has been minimal, with the Hero the main phone consumers will be familiar with. Android is still also early in the development stage, meaning elements consumers take for granted in other phones, such as full Bluetooth support, aren't added until later in the development cycle.

Symbian - the operating system used for years by Nokia in its smartphones and more recently in Samsung and Sony Ericsson models - has 48 per cent of the market in Western Europe, but many predict this to decline as other competitors raise their game.

Windows Mobile is still the mainstay of the business market too, and although the iPhone and Android handsets are growing, it will take a larger range of more compelling devices to properly take on the established players and move Android from 'Geek Chic' to a genuine contender.

Via Reuters