Android Accounts for 25 Percent of the Mobile Phone Market: Gartner

By Beecher Tuttle November 10, 2010

Google' Android OS is now officially the second most popular operating system in the world, according to a recent report by the research firm Gartner.

Although the news was far from unexpected, most analysts did not anticipate that Android would have such a dominant third quarter. Google's mobile platform now accounts for a whopping 25.5 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, up from only 3.5 percent in the same quarter last year.

Symbian still remains the most utilized operating system in the world with 36.6 percent of the market; although that is down 10 full percentage points from the third quarter of 2009. Apple's iOS and Research in Motion's Blackberry platform finished third and fourth respectively, accounting for 16.7 percent and 14.8 percent of all smartphone purchases.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system plummeted from 7.9 percent to 2.1 percent of the market over the last year. However, most analysts believe that the massive decline was primarily due to the fact the company's highly anticipated Windows Phone 7 platform launched at the end of the quarter. Consumers have always tended to hold off on purchasing a product when its successor is soon to be introduced.

In fact, the recently-released Microsoft mobile platform has gotten off to a great start. Although manufacturers have yet to release any specific figures, AT&T and T-Mobile carriers have said that they are consistently selling out of HTC and Samsung handsets that are running the new OS.

Looking forward, Gartner believes that operating system providers like Google, Apple and Microsoft will have to continue to push innovation to remain competitive.

"Smartphone OS providers have entered a period of accelerated platform evolution, stimulated by more regular product releases, new platform entrants and new device types,” Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a release. 

“Any platform that fails to innovate quickly — either through a vibrant multi-player ecosystem or clear vision of a single controlling entity — will lose developers, manufacturers, potential partners and ultimately users," he concluded.

Overall, cell phone manufacturers had a very strong third quarter. Worldwide mobile phone sales totaled 417 million units in Q3, marking a 35 percent increase over the same period of time last year.


Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributor

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