Android Global Share Quadruples, Passes Symbian

By  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 11:16 pm

The standard meme when it came to smartphones was that while Android and iOS powered the lion’s share of devices sold here in the US, Nokia’s Symbian was the worldwide king. That logic is now outdated according to data from research firm Gartner.

For the first time, Android has surpassed Symbian in terms of units sold in the first quarter of 2010, making up 36 percent of the market. That is a four-fold increase from the same quarter last year, when it only made up nine percent of all devices sold. Much of Android’s gain came at the expense of Symbian, which fell from 44.2 percent a year ago to 27.4 percent.

As has been typical, iOS has treaded water, up slightly to 16.8 percent of the market, and RIM fell about seven points to 12.9 percent of the market in the first quarter. Microsoft also fell, making up 3.6 percent of the market after a 6.8 percent share in the year ago quarter.

So, what can we gather from these results? Without a doubt, Android is quickly becoming the platform of choice for many smartphone buyers. iOS continues to appeal to its target group, but seems to be having some trouble getting much traction elsewhere; and RIM still can’t seem to right its ship. This is quickly becoming a two-horse race between Apple and Google, and currently Google’s got all most of the marbles.

Microsoft? Might as well forget it. A measly 1.6 million Windows Phone devices were sold worldwide in the first quarter — only about 1.6 percent of the entire smartphone market. The only hope it has is the Nokia partnership.

Will those Symbian users stay brand loyal and switch to Windows Phone along with the company? I guess we’ll find out, but if these results are any indication they’re already moving to Android.

[Image from UnwiredView]


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7 Comments For This Post

  1. gglick Says:

    I don't think iOS is having trouble gaining traction. Remember, Apple is selling literally every iPhone (and iPad) they make. That says to me that they're not gaining more market share simply because they can't produce enough devices to meet the total demand for smartphones, something Android, with its multitude of choices, has no problem with.

  2. Mark Says:

    Simply put, Apple has ascertained their limits and know that there are only just a certain approximate number of people that user their device. so they just produce enough to meet the demand. Demand doesn't rise, so they'll run at a lose if they dare to produce more than their customers need.

  3. The_Heraclitus Says:

    So, with Apple being a smaller player than Android, why the massive press coverage of Apple phones over Android? Illogical.

  4. Clam Says:

    I knew this fact will come up someday. I believe Nokia won't be doing any better with Windows Phone, too.

  5. Mark Hernandez Says:

    There are at least 5 kinds of "market share" that now matter here in 2011.

    * Share of All Handsets Sold
    * Share of Smartphones Sold
    * Share by OS
    * Share of Revenues
    * Share of Profits

    Is discussing any one kind of "market share" individually taking things out of context? Should an individual kind of market share ever be written about any longer as though it's the only one that matters? Should someone step up to the plate and create a modern "composite" marketshare? And exactly what is "market share" representative of? These are all interesting questions here in the second decade of the 21st century.

  6. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    The interesting thing, though, is only a fraction of Android phones are profitable, and only a fraction were compatible with each other, so it is the ultimate paper tiger. Not only are all iOS phones compatible with each other, but they represent 55% of the profits in the entire handset industry.

    And Android has not become the OS of choice. Most users do not even know they have it, let alone do they ask for it.

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