Bill Hughes of market research firm In-Stat is predicting that 17.1 million Google Android OS based devices will be sold in 2009, nearly double what he is predicting for world-wide Apple iPhone sales. He believes that the Chinese market will be the driving force behind Android adoption, with its 1 billion potential cell phone subscribers. Hughes says that the fact that the Android OS is free will be “very attractive in Asia.”
Hughes also thinks that the Chinese government’s plans to push 3G services based on its largely home-grown TD-SCDMA technology will give Linux powered devices the upper hand over those running proprietary and fee based operating systems. It is worth noting, however, that the Symbian OS will also be free in the not-so-distant future, since Nokia has purchased the remainder of Symbian and is putting the OS and its S60 user interface into open source.
You can read more about In-Stat’s projections over at Forbes.