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Android Becomes Number 1 Smartphone OS

android-_1.gifAndroid’s recent momentum has continued with a key milestone as it has dislodged Symbian from its 10-year reign as the leading Smartphone OS.

According to research company Canalys, Android sold 32.9 million devices during Q.4 2010, overtaking Symbian, which sold 31 million.

This represents a 615% year on year sales increase for Android, and gives it a market share of 32.9% compared to Symbian’s rise of 30% and market share fall from 44.4% to 30.6%.


“As we look forward, we’re going to see a lot of growth coming from Android,” Canalys principal analyst Pete Cunningham told StrategyEye. “Its launch timing was really opportune, because vendors were looking for a platform to compete with the iPhone and neither Symbian nor Windows Mobile offered that. Plus it’s very scalable – you can develop high-end or sub-hundred dollar products.”

This growth is the result of manufactures such as Motorola, Samsung and HTC all opting to use Google’s open source platform in their bids to launch rival Smartphones to Apple’s iPhone.

Android, which was announced in November 2007 and made its debut on a device in October 2008, has steadily been gaining market share over the past few years, and this announcement will not come as a surprise.

At the end of its first year it had a little over 7% of the market share. For it to go from this position to overtaking all their main rivals (Symbian, iOS, Blackberry’s OS and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile) in its second year shows how much it has developed in 2010.

Android is also gaining traction in the tablet market with a recent report from Strategy Analytics showing that while Apple had accounted for 77% of global Tablet shipments during Q4 2010, Android tablet devices represented 22% of global shipments. The Apple share was down from 96% in the previous quarter, with Android taking up almost all of the growth.

All of this is worrying news for Nokia, the once undisputed leader in mobile phone hardware and software, which is losing market share in both domains.

“The important thing is that Nokia is still a market leader, it’s still growing fast, just not as fast as the overall market,” says Cunningham. “CEO Stephen Elop has got a big job on his hands. I think what they may well be doing is looking for a radical move to break into the US market. They could bring out an Android phone, but that brings it slap bang in direct competition with Samsung, Motorola, HTC. Maybe there’s more opportunity with Windows Phone 7.”

09.02.2011    Tags: , , , ,
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