Android vaults Symbian to grab smartphone market leadership


Android vaults Symbian to grab smartphone market leadership

Alex Scroxton
As predicted, Google's Android smartphone operating system has become the market leading OS, pushing rival Nokia into second place, according to the latest quarterly smartphone figures from Canalys.

Canalys' data show that shipments of Android-based smartphones hit 33.3 million during the last three months of 2010, taking 32.9% of the market and making a serious dent in Nokia's sales.

Nokia shifted 31 million of its Symbian-based devices in the quarter, representing 30.6% of the market, down from 44% this time last year.

Apple trailed a distant third, shipping 16.2 million devices running iOS, and commanding a 16% share of the market, roughly flat on Q4'09. RIM and Microsoft rounded out the top five.

Android's share of the market has been greatly boosted by a growing number of vendors building phones that utilise the platform, such as Acer, HTC, LG and Samsung, while Nokia ploughs a lonely furrow with the Symbian platform, and Apple only has one smartphone device - the iPhone - to its name.

Canalys vice president and principal analyst Chris Jones said that after a tough 2009, the smartphone market had recovered well during 2010.

"The speed with which the market has recovered has required real commitment and innovation from vendors, and they have risen to the challenge," he said.

However, Jones warned, vendors could not afford to become complacent during 2011, which looks set to be a competitive, and innovative year, with dual-core processors, NFC and 3D displays all high on the agenda.

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