Home Your Tech Mobility Smartphone Wars: Android OS 48% globally, iOS 19%

Smartphone Wars: Android OS 48% globally, iOS 19%

Google's Android attack has been most ogle-worthy, with its combined user-base of phones from various manufacturers taking 48% of global smartphone market share in Q2 2011, with Apple surpassing Nokia for the first time and becoming the 'leading individual smartphone vendor'.

Analyst firm Canalys has come out with its latest smartphone market estimates for Q2 2011, showing 'substantial market growth in all regions' and the changing positions in smartphone marketshare worldwide.

Here we see Google's efforts in giving away a capable smartphone OS to manufacturers having worked brilliantly in bringing Google directly into the smartphone world in such a short time, despite years of previous efforts by all the phone companies in the market long before Apple and Google even entered the market.

It has led to smartphones from a range of vendors running Android OS taking a 48% market share in so short a time from nothing. Apple has been no slouch either, powering past Nokia and its Symbian platform to become the biggest individual smartphone vendor with a 19% global market share.

That's less than half of the Android total, but still very impressive, especially considering the control Apple has on its hardware, software and third party OS library, at least when compared to Android.

The Canalys report
has more detail, including a great breakdown of Android OS popularity in different countries, such South Korea recording a whopping 85% Android market share and Taiwan 71%.

But Apple's achievement in finally displacing Nokia, and so quickly, is remarked upon by Canalys VP and Principal Analyst Chris Jones, who stated that: 'The iPhone has been a phenomenal success story for Apple and a watershed product for the market. It's an impressive success story, given that Apple has only been in the smart phone market for four years. With the next-generation iPhone anticipated in Q3, it's likely that Apple's position will grow even stronger in the second half of the year.'

Canalys naturally looked at the other smartphone vendors, too. Samsung has also 'moved ahead of Nokia', but Canalys reckons Samsung should have done much better, saying that the company 'failed to fully capitalise on Nokia's weakened state' and 'hasn't yet done enough to capitalise on its global scale and channel reach.'

That said, Samsung has the distinction of being the largest Android device vendor and 'the number two vendor overall'.

The smartphone wars continue with Nokia, Windows Mobile, Blackberry and more on page two, please read on!

Nokia has done well in Brazil, Russia, India and China, but as Canalys notes, 'It badly needs the first of its Windows Phone devices to launch as soon as possible to arrest a decline and, hopefully, silence its critics'.

with another of its analysts pointing out that even with a Q4 Nokia Windows Phone launch, it will take a while to drive volume sales with 'several more difficult quarters' to come 'before a possible reversal of fortunes'. 

To that I'd add that Nokia needs to keep its own alternative OS alive and thriving as much as possible. If Samsung can do it with Bada, Nokia can surely do it with Meego, especially with Intel still supporting the OS, but I guess we'll have to see if the pundit claims of N9 being the first and last Meego phone turn out to be true, or not.

Then there's Microsoft, which badly needs Windows Phone 7 Mango handsets and OS upgrades to arrive, with 'fewer than 1.5 million' handsets shipping and a mere 1% of the global market and down 52% shipment-wise from a year ago.

Clearly, people see more functionality on iPhones and Androids, and I can't blame them, but with the Mango upgrade promising much, Microsoft's time is now to shine as much as possible, with any help Nokia can give to be greatly appreciated.

Microsoft has plenty of potential, but Android and iOS are zooming ahead on their own, too.

HTC has also done well as a maker of Android handsets and continues to support Windows Phone too, boding well for both operating systems and HTC's continuing success as a brand-name smartphone maker.

RIM's down to 12% from a 33% share last year, but still has strength in emerging markets, with BlackBerry 7 OS handets needed to arrive this year for RIM to stay competitive.

Read on at the Canalys report for more detail



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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.