Android doubles share of smartphone market

Google's Android operating system has doubled its share of the smartphone market over the past year, according to research from Gartner.

Google: Android operating system doubles its market share
Google: Android operating system doubles its market share

The operating system, which runs on devices from manufacturers including HTC, Motorola and Samsung, is the most widely installed in the world, appearing on 43.4% of all new smartphones sold in the three months ended 30 June.

It was found in 46.8 million of the 107.7 million smartphones shipped over the three month period. Last year it accounted for just 17.2% of the market.

Android has overtaken Nokia's Symbian operating system, whose market share almost halved from the same period a year ago and now accounts for 22% of the market, found in 23.9 million new smartphones.

Apple's iOS system is closing in on Symbian and now accounts for 18.2% of the market as sales of iPhones surged for the quarter to 19.6 million units, up from 8.7 million compared to the same period a year ago.

A Gartner analyst said: "Google and Apple are the obvious winners in the smartphone ecosystem. The combined share of iOS and Android in the smartphone operating system market doubled to nearly 62% in the second quarter of 2011, up from just over 31% in the corresponding period of 2010."

In terms of handsets, sales of mobile devices to end users were up 16.5% in the second quarter of 2011, totalling 428.7 million units worldwide.

Sales of smartphones were up 74% year on year and accounted for 25% of overall sales in the second quarter of 2011, up from 17% in the second quarter of 2010.

While Nokia sold the most units of mobile devices in the second quarter of 2011, at 97.9 million units, its 16.3% share has fallen from the same period a year ago, when it had a 30.3% market share.

Samsung follows Nokia, with a 16.3% share, followed by LG with 5.7% of the market for the second quarter of 2011.

Apple enjoyed strong sales of its iPhones, with sales reaching 19.6 million units, accounting 4.6% of the market. Despite the fact that Apple is expected to launch an iPhone 5 later this year, sales nearly doubled compared to the same period last year.

Research In Motion's (Rim's) share of the smartphone market declined to 12% in the second quarter of 2011, from 19% a year ago, with the company losing its number five position in the worldwide ranking of mobile device vendors to ZTE.

Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner, said: "Smartphone sales continued to rise at the expense of feature phones.

"Consumers in mature markets are choosing entry-level and midrange Android smartphones over feature phones, partly due to carriers’ and manufacturers' promotions."

Research published by Ofcom last week showed that near half of all teens in the UK owned a smartphone.

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