November 16th, 2011

Android now has more than 50% share of all smartphones

More than 50% of all smart­phones bought by con­sumers in Q3 use the Android OS, accord­ing to fig­ures out this week from Gart­ner. The fig­ures also sug­gest that every other smart­phone plat­form has seen a decline in mar­ket share over the past year.

Android has leapt from a 25.3% mar­ket share last year to its cur­rent share of 52%, out­strip­ping the over­all mar­ket growth for smart­phones, which is up by 42% with total sales of 115 mil­lion units.

Whilst Apple’s iOS grew in actual unit terms by four mil­lion devices, Apple actu­ally lost mar­ket share to Android. It accoun­ted for 15% of hand­set sales com­pared to 16.6% in Q3 2010. RIM saw a sim­ilar decline but on a smal­ler scale. Rim’s share declined by about 4%, with unit sales growth of 200,000 devices.

Microsoft, Sym­bian and “oth­ers” (includ­ing webOS) all declined both in unit sales and mar­ket share. Gart­ner reports that only 1.7 mil­lion Win­dows Phone devices were sold in the last quarter, com­pared to 2.2 mil­lion in the same quarter a year ago. Nokia has just star­ted to sell its first Win­dows Phone-​based smart­phones and all eyes will be watch­ing to see if this and other new Win­dows Phone-​based entrants will be able to reverse their fortunes.

Nokia, had been the mar­ket share leader for many quar­ters is now in second pos­i­tion with a 17% share for Sym­bian. This rep­res­ents a dra­matic decline of nearly 20% from a year ago and speaks volumes of Nokia’s decision to dis­con­tinue its Symbian-​first strategy for new smartphones.

In the over­all mobile mar­ket, which includes smart­phones, Nokia has main­tained its lead with 23.9% of all sales, although the gap between Nokia and Sam­sung, in second place, has nar­rowed. Gart­ner says that the over­all mobile mar­ket grew by only 5.6% — with 440 mil­lion mobile units sold in Q3 — com­pared to the 42% growth in smart­phone sales, rein­for­cing the need for mobile device man­u­fac­tur­ers to focus on smart­phones longer term.

Look­ing ahead, the evid­ence sug­gests that the focus of mobile device man­u­fac­tur­ers is shift­ing to emer­ging mar­kets and ‘later adop­ters’ in more mature mar­kets. Apple has been con­cen­trat­ing on car­rier agree­ments and open­ing Apple Stores in the Far East, as well as con­tinu­ing to offer the iPhone 3Gs at a lower price point, after launch­ing the new iPhone 4S in Octo­ber. Gart­ner also repor­ted that the price of smart­phones is now dip­ping below $200 in the US.

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