Global Mobile Market Trends: Who Will Dominate 2012?

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There were now around 6 billion mobile subscribers worldwide (87% of the global population) at the end of 2011, according to the International Telecommunications Union. Of those, 349 million come from the Arab World, putting mobile pentration across the region at 96.7%.

So which platforms are capturing the majority of these subscribers?

In general and in the Middle East, Nokia continues to dominate the overall mobile market in terms of sales.

In terms of operating systems in the smartphone space, Symbian dominated the global market in 2010, yet its ranking dropped after Nokia dumped Symbian to begin producing the Windows Phone. Android now dominates the smartphone market globally, says Mobithinking.

While Apple appears to take a good portion of consumption in the developed world, according to the below infographic by iCrossing, iPads are replacing PCs as a business tool of choice in the developing world, and Apple products also account for the majority of web browsing in the Middle East and North Africa in 2012, according to gemiusRanking

So in 2012, it will be a mistake to focus exclusively on any one platform at the exclusion of others. While Nokia wil continue to dominate the overall market, expect to see Android and Windows Phone use rise in the smartphone market as Apple use remains steady, says Gartner. Here's a glance at global mobile trends in 2011 (click to see the entire map).


Global Mobile Market Share

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