By 4 August 2011 | Categories: news


According to a report released this week by market research firm Canalys, Google’s Android operating system is staking its claim as the predominant smartphone platform.

The firm reported that the global smartphone market had grown 73% year-on-year, with in excess of 107.7 million units shipping in the second quarter of 2011.The company explained that of the 56 countries Canalys tracked, Android led in thirty five of them, and to date had achieved a 48% global market share. This left iOS as the second largest smartphone platform at present.

While Asia Pacific remained the largest regional market for Android based smartphones, with 39.8 million units, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) were not far behind with 35 million units. The Americas trailed behind in Android adoption with 32 million devices.   

Canalys reported that Android-based smartphone shipments had increased a sizeable 379% since the fourth quarter of 2010. It attributed this growth to strong Android product performances from vendors such as Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and Huawei.

However, Canalys vice president and principal analyst, Chris Jones, had a fair share of praise for the highly popular iPhone. With shipments of 20.3 million iPhones since the fourth quarter of 2010 and a market share of 19%, Canalys pointed out that iOS had overtaken Nokia’s Symbian platform to take second place worldwide.

‘The iPhone has been a phenomenal success story for Apple and a watershed product for the market,” he explained. “It’s an impressive success story, given that Apple has only been in the smartphone market for four years. With the next-generation iPhone anticipated this year, it’s likely that Apple’s position will grow even stronger in the second half of the year,” he added.

The news was less rosy for Nokia’s Symbian-based smartphones. Jones asserted that interest in Symbian-based devices had dissipated rapidly, particularly in operator-led markets, such as Western Europe, where it had been strong in the past. “Nokia badly needs the first of its Windows Phone devices to launch as soon as possible to arrest a decline and, hopefully, silence its critics,” he added.

However, while the beleaguered BlackBerry OS faced tough times in the US, with its market share slipping to 12%, down from 33% a year ago, its outlook was considerably brighter in emerging markets, according to Jones.

“Research In Motion (RIM) continues to see significant interest and uptake of its devices, for example in Indonesia and South Africa, where it is the leading smartphone vendor,” he elaborated. ‘Nonetheless, it must continue to innovative and recapture lost momentum. It’s critical that the next-generation BlackBerry OS 7-based products launch ahead of the upcoming holiday season to compete in the market,’ he concluded.

In recent news, RIM announced the imminent release of its new BlackBerry Torch and BlackBerry Bold smartphones, which will be launched this month.

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