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January 31, 2011

Android becomes top smartphone platform

by Darren Allan

It was bound to happen sooner or later, and turns out it was sooner, as according to tech analysts Canalys, Android has now beat out Symbian when it comes to smartphone operating systems worldwide.

This is going by the firm’s data for Q4 of last year, when shipments of Android smartphones increased massively to 32.9 million (up over 600% year-on-year). Nokia’s Symbian platform was slightly behind that number on 31 million.

However, Nokia did manage to hold the number one spot as the leading smartphone hardware vendor, with a market share of 28%.

Google’s Android now holds a 32.9% share of the smartphone OS market, thanks to the likes of Samsung and HTC who have been very successful with the operating system on their handsets such as the Galaxy S and Desire.

Nokia’s Symbian was on 30.6%, with iOS in third place on 16%. Rim followed on 14.4%, with Microsoft heavily down on 3.1%, the only major company which didn’t experience growth.

Overall, smartphones witnessed huge growth levels, with fourth quarter shipments up 89% year-on-year to a figure of 101.2 million. Over the whole of 2010, almost 300 million smartphones were shipped, which was 80% up on 2009.

Canalys VP and Principal Analyst Chris Jones commented: “2010 has been a fantastic year for the smartphone 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.”

He added: “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.”

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