We have previously mentioned in reports that the emergence of malware for any platform depends on its profitability. Consequently, malware is normally created to target the market-leading platforms, those with a high number of users, in order to justify the time invested by cyber-crooks in R+D worthwhile.

It seemed at one point as though Symbian was likely to dominate the smartphone market, and as such it was the first platform targeted by malware. As new platforms such as iPhone and Android appeared, Symbian’s popularity evaporated, as did the malware designed to target it. Additionally, from version 9 of Symbian, security policies became stricter, which made malware creation and ‘homebrew’ development more difficult. Symbian is therefore no longer cyber-crooks’ main target.

It seems like Android and iPhone will now be in hackers’ sights, but we don’t know which platform they will target most, as it depends on their profitability. There are several arguments for both: Apple or Google, “techie” or general public…

For the time being, all you can do is stay up-to-date on the market and read the reports published. adMob has recently released its monthly report:


Although Symbian still tops markets such as Asia and Africa smartphone markets, the global data paints a different picture:

As you can see, iPhone dominates the global market, thanks to its strength in the principal markets. It is also interesting to take a look at the United States. As one of the most important markets, its trends could be extrapolated to the rest of the countries in the near future:

According to adMob’s data from March, the traffic generated by Android smartphones in the US exceeded that of iPhone smartphones. Bearing in mind the distribution of Android smartphones is not evenly spread around the globe (they are still not available in many countries), and the fact that smartphones based on Linux or on other open platforms are highly successful in Asian countries, Android could well become the mainstream smartphone platform.

However, only time will tell which platforms cyber-crooks decide to target. Even so, you should always keep your guard up in order to remain One Step Ahead 😉