Europeans shy away from Google Android phones

Sat Dec 5, 2009 7:49pm EST
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By Tarmo Virki, European technology correspondent

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Operators pushed market share of cellphones running Google's software a little higher in September quarter in Western Europe, but consumers showed little interest toward them, research firm IDC said on Saturday.

Android has won attention in the mobile industry lately, with Motorola and Sony Ericsson choosing it for their new top models.

Market share of smartphones running Google's Android operating system (OS) rose to 5.4 percent from 4.2 percent in July-September in Western Europe, a key area for the smartphone market.

"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 said in a statement.

"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," Jeronimo said.

Last month Gameloft, one of the largest cellphone game makers, also bashed Android saying it and other software developers were cutting back investment in developing games and other applications for the platform.

Global market leader Symbian -- used extensively by Nokia -- continued to be the leading operating system also in Western Europe, controlling 48 percent of the market.


<p>The new Droid phone, a Motorola Inc. and Verizon Wireless phone based on Google Inc's Android 2.0 system, is shown at a media event in New York October 28, 2009. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid</p>