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By 1 February 2011 | Categories: news

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Today is a big day for Google as its Android operating system (OS) for mobile devices has just overtaken Nokia's Symbian OS to becomes the new market leader in the fiercely contested segment.

According to the New York Times, during the three months through to December last year, manufacturers shipped 33.3 million phones running on Android, up from a measly 4.7 million just a year ago. 
 
Shipments for phones running on Nokia's Symbian OS meanwhile jumped 31% during the final quarter of 2010, with the Finnish giant's total coming to 31 million devices, just shy of the new Android number.
 
The rise of Google in the mobile world is expected to continue, with the company investing in new mobile internet services and applications. 
 
Research firm Gartner predicted that Android will have the same overall mobile OS market share as Symbian only in 2014, and that more people will gain access to the internet through mobile devices than through computers this year. 
 
Nokia however remains the leader of the overall mobile phone world, with 1.3 billion Nokia devices in circulation at present (that means one in every six people on the face of the earth has a Nokia). While the Finnish powerhouse still holds a sizeable 31% of the global market, its numbers have been faltering lately as its Symbian OS has struggled to keep up with newer, more modern interfaces.
 
The company's fourth quarter profits fell 21% last year to $1 billion, but new CEO Stephen Elop hinted that some radical changes may be in the pipeline for the company.
 
The bottom line is that if Nokia wants to survive it has to realise that it isn't the biggest kid on the playground anymore. Google and Apple has shown how powerful they can be, and one can do well to remember that RIM and Windows Phone 7 are also lurking in the background. Let’s hope that their new MeeGo operating system, developed in conjunction with Intel, does more to rejuvenate the brand than S^3 did. 
 
For now, congratulations to Android for progressing from the weird new kid in the corner to a respected competitor in the mobile OS market.

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