Google to take on iPhone in smartphone war

APPLE’S iPhone will likely dominate the high-end smartphone market in the next five years but is set to face very strong competition from handsets using Google’s Android platform.

By 2015, total mobile application downloads in the Asia-Pacific are forecast to reach 5.3 billion, of which 597.15 million, or about 11%, will be for the iPhone, technology industry consultancy Ovum said.

Downloads of iPhone applications are estimated at 62.16m in 2010, rising to 597m downloads in 2015, Ovum said in an analysis released four days before the launch of the new-generation iPhone 4 in another 17 countries and cities worldwide on Friday.

The iPhone 4 is expected “to face much stiffer competition than its predecessors”, Ovum principal analyst Adam Leach said.

“The rise of Google Android over the last two years has been phenomenal and is allowing manufacturers to create appealing alternatives to the iPhone, critically at cheaper prices,” Leach said.

Handsets using the Android operating platform are more than just clones of the iconic iPhone, he said.

“The risk to Apple is that these devices offer greater freedom with available content and may prove more appealing, if it offers the right user and developer experience, than a device with Apple-approved content only,” said Leach.

“This may ultimately be what puts the brakes on unlimited iPhone growth.”

From July 30, customers can purchase the iPhone 4 online in countries including Ireland, Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Sweden.


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