08 Sep 2010

Uptick in smartphone sales could put pressure on internet security firms

A new report by the research firm IDC found sales of Google's Android operating system will overtake Apple iOS as the third-most used mobile operating system this year.

That comes at a time when some believe internet security firms must shift their focus to protect mobile devices in order to stay relevant. As CNET's Elinor Mills wrote in a recently published report, "rather than being the industry's swan song, mobile devices could be its redemption opportunity."

IDC's report states Android makes up 16.3 percent of market share worldwide. Symbian, used by many Nokia phones, is tops at 40.1 percent with Blackberry OS a distant second at 17.9 percent. IDC also predicts that Android will move ahead of Blackberry OS with an estimated share of 24.6 percent in 2014.

That could put more pressure on internet security firms to develop antivirus software for handheld devices.

But it won't be an easy transition, according to Mills. Though they continue to resemble personal computers, smartphones still lack the processing power and memory storage to run such software.