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By 20 May 2011 | Categories: news

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Google’s Android mobile operating system (OS) army keeps on drafting more and more users if the latest mobile quarterly report of Gartner is to be believed. Android powered over 36.2 million smartphones shipped during Q1 of 2011, representing a 36% share of the total smartphone OS market. This compared to 5.226 million devices shipped in Q1 of 2010 and a 9.6% market share for that peroid. 
 
 According to market research firm Gartner global mobile communication device sales exceeded 427.8 million units during Q1 of 2011, a year-on-year increase of 19%. Smartphones remains the fastest growing segment of this market category, accounting for 23.6% of the overall sales in Q1 of 2011, which is an increase of 85% year-on-year.
 
According to Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner, this share could have been even higher. Numerous high-profile devices were announced during Q1 that will not be shipping until Q2, and the firm believes many users put off buying a new device until that time.
 
Android and iOS lead the way
 
Android and Apple’s iOS continue to expand their shares of the smartphone OS landscape, snapping up 36% and 16.8% respectively. Most of the added market share for Android came by way of Symbian, whose dominated (44.2% stake) the smartphone scene during Q1 of 2010, but has since seen its share plummet to 27.4%.
 
In terms of manufacturer’s, Nokia sold 107.556 million mobile devices in Q1 of 2011, with the Finnish manufacturer’s market share (25.11%) declining by 5.5% points compared to the same period last year, the lowest it has been since 1997.
 
Samsung on the other hand experienced its strongest first quarter ever, selling north of 68.7 million devices to notch up a 16.1% market share. Apple also performed well selling 16.9 million units around the globe, more than doubling its iPhone sales from the previous year’s first quarter. Taiwanese smartphone and tablet maker HTC also recorded a very strong Q1 of 2011, with over 9.313 million mobile communication devices sold, claiming a 2.2% share.
 
 
Making the headlines
 
According to Gartner the big news for this first quarter of 2011 was Nokia’s strategic alliance with Microsoft on Windows Phone 7 OS, as well as the “retirement of Symbian”. “This will precipitate a competitors’ rush to capture Symbian’s market share in the midtier,” stated Cozza.
 
As Nokia has yet to release any WP7 smartphones, Windows Phone saw modest sales figures, reaching 1.6 million units in Q1 of 2011. Gartner expects that in the long run, the Espoo-Redmond union will boost Windows Phone’s momentum.
 
Another big announcement during Q1 of 2011 was made by BlackBerry holding company Research In Motion (RIM), stating that it will be transitioning its BlackBerry portfolio to the QNX platform in 2012. Gartner believes that this move should lead to the Canadian company’s smartphones being more competitive in terms of graphics, performance as well as touch-based operation, and unify RIM’s tablet and smartphone user experience.

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