At this time of the year it seems as if figures are all that people are interested in. In the past couple of weeks we’ve seen financial results from the likes of Google, Apple and Intel as well as mobile phones sales around the world and in the UK only. Today we get another set of figures and these show that Google’s mobile phone operating system, Android, has overtaken Nokia’s Symbian as the most used smartphone OS.
Canalys' latest results for sales of phones in Q4 of 2010 show that 33.3 million smartphones running some version of Android were shipped in the three months to the end of 2010 giving it a 32.9 percent share of the market. This makes Android the top platform and pushes Nokia’s Symbian into second place for the first time. Nokia’s share of the smartphone market was 30.9 percent after it shipped 31 million handsets, which was up from its Q3 total of 29.9 million. Android and Symbian are both well ahead of the next best platforms with Apple’s iOS in third place on 16 percent and RIM’s OS coming in fourth with 14.4 percent of the market. Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS completes the top 5 with 3.1 percent with all other platforms totting up just 2.9 percent between them.
Androids stellar rise to the top can be put into perspective when you consider that just 12 months previously only 4.7 million Android smartphones were shipped and it only had 8.7 percent of the mobile phone market while Nokia dominated with 44.4 percent. Android's growth of 615 percent has been quickened by a similarly fast-paced growth of smartphones in general. Almost double the amount of smartphones were shipping in Q4 last year compared to the same period of 2009.
“2010 has been a fantastic year for the smart phone market. 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,” said Canalys VP and Principal Analyst Chris Jones. “But vendors cannot afford to be complacent. 2011 is set to be a highly competitive year with vendors looking to use new technology, such as dual-core processors, NFC and 3D displays, to differentiate their products and maintain value.”