Android gains top rank in Smartphones

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At present, Android is the most popular smartphone operating system worldwide. The Nokia-backed Symbian software, launched in the fourth quarter last year, is being overtaken by the Android operating system, as per the report of technology research group Canalys. Symbian operating system has long dominated the smartphone market but by overtaking Symbian, Android becomes the top smartphone platform of the world.

Android gains top rank in Smartphones

Image source: news.cnet.com

Nokia’s Symbian is pushed down to second position with 31 million smartphones shipped when Global shipments of Android-based phones hit 32.9 million in the final quarter of 2010. For Google’s mobile operating system, the vendors were the beneficiaries of the demand. However, Android’s sales still represent a major upset. According to the reports, Nokia did maintain its position as the foremost worldwide smart phone vendor, with a share of 28%.

As per the Canalys, from the last quarter of 2009, correspondingly, Samsung, LG, Acer, and HTC watched their sales volumes jump 1,474 percent, 4,127 percent, 709 percent, and 371 percent. HTC and Samsung were accounted for approximately 45 percent of all the Android phones shipped during the fourth quarter of 2010. Fourth-quarter iPhone shipments of Apple have been almost doubled to 16.2 million from only 8.7 million a year ago. Apple is placed in third position with 16.2 million shipped, RIM is placed in fourth position with 14.6 million shipped, and Microsoft is placed in fifth position with 3.1 million shipped.

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A year ago, consignments of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile phones inched down to 3.1 million from 3.9 million, whereas the market share of the company fell to 3.1 percent from 7.2 percent. U.S. customers accounted for the highest number of smartphones shipped across the worldwide market, above double the number shipped in China. With consignments of 12.1 million units, almost three times the number for RIM’s BlackBerry devices, Android confirmed the hottest platform in the United States.

During the fourth quarter, the smartphone industry as a group shipped 101.2 million units, a jump of 89 percent from a year ago. Shipments for all of 2010 got help to increase to slightly under 300 million, a rise in the yearly growth rate of 80 percent from 2009. Canalys says, “Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 mobile platform launched too late in the fourth quarter to enjoy the surge in holiday shopping, leaving the company with a 5 percent share of the U.S. market, down from 8 percent in the year-ago quarter.”

Canalys vice president and principal analyst Chris Jones said in a statement, “2010 has been a fantastic year for the smart phone market,” and “After a difficult 2009, the speed with which the market has recovered has required real commitment and innovation from vendors and they have risen to the challenge.” Jones added, “Vendors cannot afford to be complacent,” and2011 is set to be a highly competitive year with vendors looking to use new technology, such as dual-core processors, NFC (near-field communication), and 3D displays, to differentiate their products and maintain value.”

Canalys analyst Tim Shepherd said in a statement, “The U.S. landscape will shift dramatically this coming year, as a result of the Verizon-Apple agreement,” and “Verizon will move its focus away from the Droid range, but the overall market impact will mean less carrier-exclusive deals, while increasing the AT&T opportunity for Android vendors, such as HTC, Motorola and Samsung.”

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