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Firefox to eat into Android’s market share

Mozilla’s Firefox operating system will eat into Android’s market share in the Middle East and Africa region this year as many manufacturers are gearing up to release it.

With Firefox announcing $25 phone model at the Barcelona Mobile World Congress, pressure is going to pile up on phone makers like Nokia, HTC, LG, Sony and BlackBerry.

“Android may lose some share to Firefox this year but Android will be the top operating system this year also, followed by iOS and Windows,” said Annette Zimmermann, Principal Analyst at Gartner Deutschland GmbH.

Since Middle East is a more matured market now, Zimmermann said that the focus for Firefox will be in North Africa.

Hamza Saleem, senior research analyst at research firm International Data Corporation, said that Samsung and Apple are expected to see growth this year while Windows is expected to become the third operating system by market share.

Windows stands to grow the fastest among the leading smartphone operating systems, with continued support from Nokia as well as the addition of nine new phone partners. Most of these new vendors come from emerging markets and could help bring the Windows Phone experience to customers there.

Nokia is still struggling in mature markets, Zimmermann said.

She said the sweet spot is for less than $100 phones in emerging markets and Android has been able to do that but Nokia is not able to offer in that price range. Nokia phones are priced above $150.

So if Nokia needs to compete with Android phones they should offer “Windows phones for less than $100.”

“Some manufacturers are struggling as they are not able to create value beyond hardware. There are different ways they can do that. Samsung is the only vendor which is trying to differentiate from others to maintain its loyal Android customers,” she added.