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Symbian named as most popular mobile OS in 2011 as BlackBerry falls away, reports StatCounter

Android and iOS neck and neck
Symbian named as most popular mobile OS in 2011 as BlackBerry falls away, reports StatCounter

When Nokia announced it was effectively pulling its long term support for Symbian at the start of 2011, most predicted the platform would quickly lose relevance.

However, according to StatCounter's look at the most popular operating systems in 2011, the much maligned platform is still dominant, its share actually growing from a base of 30 percent at the end of 2010 to finish 2011 just short of 34 percent.

The big three

What makes such prominence all the more impressive is, Symbian's steadfast refusal comes during the year when Apple enjoyed a post iPhone 4S surge and against a backdrop of an industry increasing shifting towards Android.

Indeed, Google's OS enjoyed a strong 2011 according to StatCounter, growing from around 14 percent market share to around 22 percent year on year.

Android even edged ahead of iOS in August, StatCounter reports, before iPhone 4S gave Apple the global surge iOS required.

Global differences

However, playing around with StatCounter's territorial settings helps highlight the differences between Europe, North America and Asia.

In Europe, StatCounter claims Apple boasts 40 percent market share, with Symbian in fourth spot on 10 percent.

Android is a much closer competitor in North America, with both Google and Apple's platforms hovering around the 40 percent mark, while Asia is where Symbian gains most of its strength, with the OS holding a mammoth near 60 percent of the market.

BlackBerry bombing

On a global basis, BlackBerry proved to be the big loser of 2011.

Mirroring the platform's on-off decline in the US, RIM's global share almost halved from 15 percent at the end of 2010 to 8 percent a year later, leaving the top three Symbian, iOS and Android well clear of the rest of the field.

Nokia's commitment to Symbian, however, means the platform's stay at the top of the tree comes with a limited shelf life, though the Finnish firm's platform of choice Windows Phone is a notable absentee from StatCounter's rundown.

[source: WebProNews]