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Gartner: Android overtakes iOS as third biggest smartphone OS

by Scott Bicheno on 12 August 2010, 10:31

Tags: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Gartner (NYSE:IT)

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The age of Android

If any further confirmation of Android's phenomenal growth rate were needed, this is it. Market researcher Gartner has revealed that Android's share of the smartphone market has jumped to 17.2 percent in little more than a year - placing it ahead of Apple's iOS in third place overall and first in the US, where it overtook RIM, as it will surely do globally before long.

"A non-exclusive strategy that produces products selling across many communication service providers (CSPs), and the backing of so many device manufacturers, which are bringing more attractive devices to market at several different price points, were among the factors that yielded its growth this quarter," said Carolina Milanesi, research VP at Gartner.

Total smartphone sales to end-users jumped 50 percent, year-on-year, to 61.6 million units in Q2. Android's growth has come mainly at the expense of Symbian and Windows Mobile - further evidence of the mountain those two operating systems have to climb.

Smartphones are expected to become the dominant category in mature markets as more flexible price plans become available, but component shortages - such as AMOLED - are affecting supply.

"Launches of updated operating systems will help maintain strong growth in smartphones in the second half of 2010 and spur innovation," said Milanesi. "But we believe market share in the OS space will consolidate around a few key OS providers that have the most support from CSPs and developers, and strong brand awareness with consumers and enterprise customers."


Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 2Q10 (Thousands of Units)

Company

2Q10

 Units

2Q10 Market Share (%)

2Q09

 Units

2Q09 Market Share (%)

Symbian

25,386.8

41.2

20,880.8

51.0

Research In Motion

11,228.8

18.2

7,782.2

19.0

Android

10,606.1

17.2

755.9

1.8

iOS

8,743.0

14.2

5,325.0

13.0

Microsoft Windows Mobile

3,096.4

5.0

3,829.7

9.3

Linux

1,503.1

2.4

1,901.1

4.6

Other OSs

1,084.8

1.8

497.1

1.2

Total

61,649.1

100.0

40,971.8

100.0

Source: Gartner (August 2010)