Almost 50 per cent of smartphones globally have Android operating system in them, according to a research report of Canalys.
Of the 56 countries Canalys tracks around the world, Android led in 35 of them and achieved a global market share of 48 per cent. Android, the number one platform by shipments since Q4 2010, was also the strongest growth driver this quarter, with Android-based smart phone shipments up 379 per cent over a year ago to 51.9 million units.
Growth was bolstered by strong Android product performances from a number of vendors, including Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, ZTE and Huawei.
With shipments of 20.3 million iPhones and a market share of 19 per cent, iOS overtook Nokia’s Symbian platform during the quarter to take second place worldwide. In doing so, Apple also became the world’s leading individual smartphone vendor, stripping Nokia of its long-held leadership position.
“The iPhone has been a phenomenal success story for Apple and a watershed product for the market,” said Canalys vice president and principal analyst, Chris Jones.
Samsung, with its flagship Galaxy S II product performing well, but its overall performance was underwhelming, considering the opportunities offered by the upheaval at Nokia.
“Samsung has failed to fully capitalise on Nokia’s weakened state around the world, as the Finnish company rides out a challenging transitional period,” said Jones.
Samsung was the largest Android device vendor and the number two vendor overall in the market with shipments of its own-branded devices at 17.0 million units. Its year-on-year growth of 421 per cent was helped by significant growth of 355 per cent in its bada smart phone shipments. Samsung also acts as an ODM for the Google Nexus S and T-Mobile Sidekick 4G, collectively estimated to have shipped 0.7 million units.
Nokia’s leadership position has proved most resilient in key emerging markets, and it still leads in the BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India and China. ‘The problem for Nokia is that demand for its Symbian-based smart phones has dissipated very rapidly, particularly in operator-led markets, such as Western Europe, where it’s been strong in the past,’ said Canalys principal analyst Pete Cunningham. ‘It badly needs the first of its Windows Phone devices to launch as soon as possible to arrest a decline and, hopefully, silence its critics.’
Microsoft is also eager to see Nokia’s first Windows Phone products, along with those from its other OEM partners, ship with its Mango update. Fewer than 1.5 million Microsoft-based smart phones shipped during the quarter, equating to a mere 1 per cent share of the global market, down 52 per cent against shipments a year ago.
Windows Phone OEM partner HTC saw Android driving the vast majority of its portfolio, but Canalys expects it to continue to be a leading provider of Windows Phone products.
RIM had a challenging quarter in North America, with its market share slipping to 12 per cent, down from 33 per cent a year ago, leading to negative press coverage in the United States. But RIM’s global shipments grew 11 per cent year on year, keeping it the number one vendor in Latin America with a 28 per cent share.
“It’s easy to be negative about BlackBerry in the US, but it’s important to remember that in other markets, particularly emerging markets, it continues to see significant interest and uptake of its devices, for example in Indonesia and South Africa where it is the leading smart phone vendor,” said Jones.
“Nonetheless, it must continue to innovative and recapture lost momentum. It’s critical that the next-generation BlackBerry OS 7-based products launch ahead of the upcoming holiday season to compete in the market,” Jones added.