Android Gobbles Smartphone Market Share

By Cindy Waxer November 02, 2010

Google’s Android is fast grabbing market share away from high-tech titans including Apple and Research In Motion, according to new reports from two research firms.

The NPD Group reported that thanks to continued high-profile handset introductions, the Android smartphone operating system (OS) significantly grew its lead in the U.S. consumer smartphone market in the third quarter. Android’s OS was installed in 44 percent of all smartphones purchased in the third quarter, an increase of 11 percentage points since the second quarter. Apple’s iOS, on the other hand, held relatively steady versus last quarter, rising one percentage point to 23 percent. Unfortunately, RIM’s OS slipped to third position, declining from 28 percent to 22 percent.

“Much of Android’s quarterly share growth came at the expense of RIM, rather than Apple,” said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD. “The HTC EVO 4G, Motorola Droid X, and other new high-end Android devices have been gaining momentum at carriers that traditionally have been strong RIM distributors, and the recent introduction of the BlackBerry Torch has done little to stem the tide.”

Similarly, data from Canalys reveals that the combined sales of Android handsets now give Google’s OS an eye-popping 44 percent market share.

Once again this quarter, Canalys showed that devices running the Android platform proved the greatest driver of growth in the worldwide market, up 1,309 percent year-on-year from 1.4 million in the third-quarter of 2009 to more than 20.0 million units in the third-quarter of 2010, forming a quarter of the market share.

“With Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Sony Ericsson all delivering large numbers of Android devices, and with focused efforts from many other vendors, such as LG, Huawei and Acer, yielding promising volumes, the platform continues to gather momentum in markets around the world,” said Canalys senior analyst Pete Cunningham.

Despite these gains, Nokia still retained its leadership position, reports Canalys, albeit by a diminished margin, with a 33 percent share of the market. Apple’s healthy performance this quarter saw it achieve a 17 percent share worldwide, a little ahead of RIM, which held a 15 percent share this quarter.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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