Canalys top smartphone platforms

Android has steadily been gaining market share every quarter since its inception, surpassing all of its competitors one by one. Today Google's OS has finally reached the top of the mountain, according to Canalys, surpassing Symbian to become the top mobile platform in the world. During the fourth quarter of 2010, Canalys reports that there were 33.3 million Android devices shipped, compared to runner-up Symbian's 31 million shipped. The rest of the competition is shaping up like this: Apple in third with 16.2 million shipped, RIM in fourth with 14.6 million shipped, and Microsoft in fifth with 3.1 million shipped. Check out the full press release below.

While Android is the most popular smartphone platform in the world, things are a little different when it comes to tablets. Market research firm Strategy Analytics is reporting that, during Q4 2010, Apple's iPad ruled the roost, making up 75 percent of the world's tablet shipments. That's actually down from about 95 percent, though, as Android tablets accounted for 22 percent of global shipments.

Considering how quickly Android has been gaining ground over the past year or so, it's not terribly surprising that the OS has finally taken the top spot in terms of devices shipped. What is pretty amazing, though, is that in the fourth quarter of 2009, only 4.7 million Android smartphones were shipped out. That's quite a jump in just one year. And while Android tablets may not be seeing quite the same success just yet, with devices like the XOOM and G-Slate on the horizon, I wouldn't be shocked if Google's green robot took over the tablet market soon, too.

Google’s Android becomes the world’s leading smart phone platform

- Canalys reveals smart phone market exceeded 100 million units in Q4 2010

Palo Alto, Singapore and Reading (UK) - Monday, 31 January 2011

Canalys today published its final Q4 2010 global country-level smart phone market data, which revealed that Google’s Android has become the leading platform. Shipments of Android-based smart phones reached 32.9 million, while devices running Nokia’s Symbian platform trailed slightly at 31.0 million worldwide. But Nokia did retain its position as the leading global smart phone vendor, with a share of 28%. The fourth quarter also saw the worldwide smart phone market continue to soar, with shipments of 101.2 million units representing year-on-year growth of 89%. The final quarter took shipments for the year to fractionally below 300 million units, with an annual growth rate of 80% over 2009 (see table below).

In Q4 2010, volumes of Google OS-based smart phones (Android, OMS and Tapas) were again boosted by strong performances from a number of vendors, notably LG, Samsung, Acer and HTC, whose volumes across these platforms grew 4,127%, 1,474%, 709% and 371% respectively year-on-year. HTC and Samsung together accounted for nearly 45% of Google OS-based handset shipments.

‘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.’

At a regional level, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) remained the largest market, with shipments totalling 38.8 million and a year-on-year growth rate of 90%. Nokia continued to lead in EMEA and Asia Pacific, but in 2010 it was overtaken by RIM in Latin America, which shipped over a million more units than Nokia in Q4 2010. The vendor was particularly helped by the popularity of its mid-range smart phones, such as its Curve family of devices.

The United States continued its reign as the largest country market in terms of shipments, at more than double the size of the Chinese smart phone market. RIM recaptured first place from Apple, as the latter experienced its usual US seasonal dip, and RIM benefited from the first full quarter of shipments for the BlackBerry Torch. HTC successfully maintained its third-place ranking in the US for the third consecutive quarter, driven by its speed to market with the latest Android updates and new Windows Phone 7 devices.

‘The US landscape will shift dramatically this coming year, as a result of the Verizon-Apple agreement,’ said Canalys Analyst Tim Shepherd. ‘Verizon will move its focus away from the Droid range, but the overall market impact will mean less carrier-exclusive deals, while increasing the AT&T opportunity for Android vendors, such as HTC, Motorola and Samsung.’ Android was by far the largest smart phone platform in the US market in Q4 2010, with shipments of 12.1 million units – nearly three times those of RIM’s BlackBerry devices. Windows Phone 7 devices appeared too late in the quarter to take full advantage of holiday season purchasing. As a result, Microsoft lost share in the United States, from 8% in Q4 2009 to 5% in Q4 2010.

Analysis of the published country-level data shows that, around the world, the strength of smart phone performances remained diverse. In South Korea, for example, shipments grew from under 700,000 units in Q4 2009 to just under 3.4 million units in Q4 2010, making the country a top 10 market. In Japan, Android shipments have taken off over the past year, with nearly 1.4 million units shipping from local as well as international vendors, such as HTC. More Japanese vendors have also announced plans to launch Android devices in 2011, such as NEC Casio and Panasonic. Under pressure from Huawei and Samsung in particular, Nokia’s share in China slipped to 56%, down from 76% a year ago, despite growing its volume in the country by over 70% in the same period. Albeit from a smaller base, the Chinese market grew 134% year-on-year, notably faster than the US market, which grew at 64% in the quarter.

Canalys analysts in Asia Pacific, the Americas and EMEA are available for press interviews on topics related to mobile devices and the growing ecosystem for mobile applications and services. There will also be a significant Canalys analyst presence at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from 14 to 17 February. To arrange an interview, please send a request to press@canalys.com. Photos and bios of analysts are available from the Canalys web site.

Via Bloomberg, Canalys

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72 Reactions to this post

"When will Android's growth stop?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
Thanks for your participation! :)

Jack Hastings
Jack Hastings ALREADY HAS.
Uriah Counelis
Uriah Counelis Stop
Tim Fuhrmann
Tim Fuhrmann When people lose interest in having a phone that can do everything that android offers.
Jean Pacrim
Jean Pacrim There's always ending to everything, wp7 Is here with only 5 phones available in the USA and with only GSM support, MSFT SHOW TJEM FANDROIDS WHY THEY CALL YOU BIG DADDY!!!!!!!
Marti Ruiz
Marti Ruiz When i decide
Delvin Davis
Delvin Davis Never
Ian Mcclendon
Ian Mcclendon Never, like the Android platform
Rick Schnatterly
Rick Schnatterly When people start to realize how great the Windows Phone platform is...once its been given time to mature! Android is too open and fragmented. Huge battery hog as well...
Joel Diaz
Joel Diaz Will never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever stop. You know what I'm saying?
Alan Jae-Hun Yi
Alan Jae-Hun Yi Never even after google takes over the world. Still never
Marti Ruiz
Marti Ruiz Never
Leonardo Perez
Leonardo Perez When it takes over the world... cars running on android. Watches TV even android powered stove
Jason Wilkinson
Jason Wilkinson Never
Chris Yetter
Chris Yetter Never!!! =D
Zach Cline
Zach Cline Joaqin the iPhone is on verizon.
Jason Schoonenberg
Jason Schoonenberg Never I say never
Jose F. Barbosa
Jose F. Barbosa When Apple bows down to kiss Herr Google's ring...it's not a holy relic!
Eric Baggen
Eric Baggen I'm pretty sure the world would explode if google were to crash.
Colton Hiler
Colton Hiler When big os changes stop happening
Christopher Pena
Christopher Pena Android is like skynet, it's waiting til everyone, or at least the majority of the population has one, then it will destroy us
Matt Percan
Matt Percan Love Android!!
Dishant Shah
Dishant Shah NEVER!
Ima PhoneNerd
Ima PhoneNerd It'll slow by the end of the year, due to market fragmentation. We still have only really seen Android phones in Q4 2010 and Q1 2011 - other OS suppliers haven't done anything, and wont until Q2 2011. Symbian, WP7, Apple and BlackBerry all have gained ground in parts of the world (BlackBerry in UK, and Symbian in Asia, for example)
Shawn Meadows
Shawn Meadows And is 2x as open
Shawn Meadows
Shawn Meadows When a OS 2x as customizeable comes out lmfao
Arron Bartlett
Arron Bartlett When Google goes bust ;)
Jason Rose
Jason Rose C'Mon its Google. They are relentless and produce some of the most outstanding products. Why would they stop, slow or anything
Erik Balster
Erik Balster February 10th..iphone release day on VZW.
Stiven Cabrera
Stiven Cabrera Never..never
Mason Hartley
Mason Hartley I think it already has the only thing they have done is manage to make the same phone 100 times and still are able to sell it well played android
Tyler Caley
Tyler Caley It won't stop. It can't stop.
TB Ogungbadero
TB Ogungbadero Just like the idiots who keep saying 1st, they will not stop. Its too diverse and too well made. WebOS is a little better, but not enough to start selling. (At least untilled they step up the hardware)
Joaquin Oreta
Joaquin Oreta When the iPhone is on verizon
Anthony Asmari
Anthony Asmari When pigs start flying
Rahul Arora
Rahul Arora the thing is that android is on 100+ devices and iOS is just on 4. i dont think the comparison is really fair if you look at it from this point of view
Alex Garbuz
Alex Garbuz it will stop when android develops into higher AI and destoys itself, thats when mankind will emerge from underground and make android for their phones again...hahaha
Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor NEVER!
Angelo Bruno
Angelo Bruno When it becomes self aware
Jeff Alamillo
Jeff Alamillo Android is an eternity.
Marcus NinersEmpire
Marcus NinersEmpire Apple dnt wanna c android
Anthony Mcfarland
Anthony Mcfarland It's about time they passed up symbian, I've been sayin for six months it was goin to happen and now it has, what can Google say people love open source
Eskias McDaniels
Eskias McDaniels Never. I won't let it *shakes fist in air*
Joshua Castro
Joshua Castro Neveeerrrr!!!
Tyrell Hubbard
Tyrell Hubbard In two years, i mean what more can it do
Rudolfs Stelps
Rudolfs Stelps NEVAAAAHH!!
Jose Pablo Islas
Jose Pablo Islas NEVER!
Joel Gomez
Joel Gomez Motivation is profit so never...
Ahmed Al-Qassem
Ahmed Al-Qassem never
Devon McManus
Devon McManus It won't stop, ever.
Damien Brooks
Damien Brooks NOT NEVA!!!
Michael Skrabacz
Michael Skrabacz Yo mama
Jon Jerico Calanio
Jon Jerico Calanio Never. It will hopefully evolve into a highly-sophisticated integrated operating system for mobile computing.
Joe Noyola
Joe Noyola Never!
Matt Penner
Matt Penner When it has succeeded and Skynet activates.
Josh Hayes
Josh Hayes Android will never stop growing, its way too open to publishers and devlopers, gota love Google
Ricardo Contreras Jr.
Ricardo Contreras Jr. She sells sea shells by the sea shore
Robert Lee Ingram
Robert Lee Ingram when tupac comes back
Andrew Cuevas
Andrew Cuevas It'll stop when theres no more apples to eat anymore hahaha
Oren Bengigi
Oren Bengigi As an Android developer I hope it will never stop growing! I don't want to port my apps and games to the iPhone!!!
Jurron Jackson
Jurron Jackson never
Paris Coke
Paris Coke The android can not be stopped
Jessica D. Pippen
Jessica D. Pippen Hmmmmmmm NEVER!!!!
Neal Daringer
Neal Daringer NEVARRRRRR!
Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart never.
Andre Hibbert
Andre Hibbert NEVER!!! it's windows without the sucking, mac without emptying ur pocket. cheers to forever.
Aaron Nivone
Aaron Nivone When Apple stops trying. :3
Tony Abiama
Tony Abiama Lol @ 1st... when will they learn
Jorell Rutledge
Jorell Rutledge Never! 6th lol...
Aaron Michael Rowe
Aaron Michael Rowe never
Jorge Hugo Galindo
Jorge Hugo Galindo It will never stop.
Niall Beagan
Niall Beagan well done no1 cares
Damian Piwowarski
Damian Piwowarski no. 1st

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