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Android is expected to catch up to iPhone by mid 2011

The smartphone world is changing and it's changing fast. Companies that were big performers for years are now seeing their profits and market share slide precipitously. Among the companies are Microsoft and Palm.

Palm was recently purchased by HP and Microsoft is seeing the market share of its Windows Mobile offerings plummet as phone makers migrate to open platforms like Android. Android devices are burning up the global market and in the U.S., Android has now outpaced the iPhone in market share for Q1 2010.

The global market for smartphones is very similar reports 
Reuters. Android was the fourth most popular operating system sold globally in Q1 2010 according to Gartner. That puts Android's global reach ahead of Microsoft's mobile OS and Android is gaining on the iPhone quickly on the global market. 

As the Android OS grows in popularity, more and more developers are working on apps for the OS. Chris Moore from Redpoint Ventures said, "I am quite impressed by the traction the Android ecosystem is getting." He goes on to say, "I want to say that on the current trajectory, they (Android) will pass the iPhone platform, or at least reach parity by the end of this year or middle of next year."

The most pressure is definitely being put on Microsoft in the global smartphone market. The company is the only one who charges handset makers a licensing fee for its smartphone OS. More and more companies that traditionally built Windows Mobile devices are looking to Android as a free and more popular alternative.

In addition to looking at the reach of smartphone OS' globally, 
Gartner also looked at the most popular device makers around the globe. Nokia still holds the top spot with 35% of the global handset market. Samsung is next with 20.6%, LG has 8.6%, RIM has 3.4%, and Apple takes seventh place on the list with 2.7% of the market. The top smartphone OS in the world is Symbian with 44.3% of the market, Blackberry OS is next with 19.4% of the market, iPhone has 15.4% of the market, with Android at 9.6% of the market. Windows Mobile has 6.8% of the smartphone OS market.

"In the first quarter of 2010, smartphone sales to end users saw their strongest year-on-year increase since 2006," said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at 
Gartner. “This quarter saw RIM, a pure smartphone player, make its debut in the top five mobile devices manufacturers, and saw Apple increase its market share by 1.2 percentage points. Android’s momentum continued into the first quarter of 2010, particularly in North America, where sales of Android-based phones increased 707 per cent year-on-year."

Milanesi went on to say, "Growth [for Apple] came partly from new communication service providers in established markets, such as the UK, and stronger sales in new markets such as China and South Korea. The second quarter of 2010 will be a very important one for Apple. We expect that Apple will present its new iPhone in June during its Worldwide Developer Conference, which will be the first to feature the latest release of the iPhone OS that includes welcome improvements for developers and users, such as multitasking."

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No surprise here
By RjBass on 5/19/2010 11:27:50 AM , Rating: 2
Those of us watching the market for the past year saw this one coming. When you have company's selling evenly matched or better hardware phones as the iPhone and the better OS with Android, then it's only to be expected.

RE: No surprise here
By Calindar on 5/19/2010 11:34:00 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not surprised either. Android is sporting better hardware, better OS, and new phones every day. The iPhone sits stagnant with out dated technology for half the year. Androids rise will continue.

RE: No surprise here
By MrX8503 on 5/19/2010 12:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
Android is sporting better hardware, better OS , and new phones every day. The iPhone sits stagnant with out dated technology for half the year. Androids rise will continue.

When an OS is choppy, I'd hardly call it a better OS, I call it annoying. With Android being on all carriers, on top of releasing many phones every few months, it was inevitable that Android would outpace iPhone OS. I think Android has made great strides in taking the iPhone down, but people should really give credit where its due. The iPhone is 1 phone on 1 carrier, and look at the damage it has done in sales.

RE: No surprise here
By RjBass on 5/19/2010 12:30:56 PM , Rating: 5
The iPhone achieved it's status because Apple came out with a new device that put all others to shame at the time. However innovation breeds competition and the latest editions of Android based phones stomp out all other devices. While the iPhones current offerings are still pretty cool, it doesn't meet everybody's needs and thus they turn to Android. When you can get a phone that seems to do everything the iPhone does, plus includes support for Flash, and has a development ring that is more free and open, then the result is a better device with more to offer.

RE: No surprise here
By MrX8503 on 5/19/2010 1:19:28 PM , Rating: 2
Open development vs Closed development. There are drawbacks and advantages of both. Hopefully Google can up the quality of the Android Market quickly, but I think there still needs to be a better system to sift through all the garbage apps out there.

RE: No surprise here
By RjBass on 5/19/2010 2:32:41 PM , Rating: 2
Well since I am not on an Android based phone yet (still using Win Mobile 6.1) I have yet to see how the Android market looks and feels. From what I hear it's pretty awesome, but I have only used the iTunes market for my kids iPhones. I have been waiting very patiently for AT&T to come out with some more Android based devices so that I can finally make the switch. I should have just jumped ship and went to Verizon when I had the chance, but I blew it.

RE: No surprise here
By Calindar on 5/19/2010 12:53:41 PM , Rating: 2
Which OS is choppy? Certainly not Android, I don't have any choppiness on my Droid. And if "choppy" is the only rebuttal you can come up with, that pretty much proved my point doesn't it?

RE: No surprise here
By MrX8503 on 5/19/2010 1:16:04 PM , Rating: 1
Android OS is choppy. Look at the Anand's review on the Droid Incredible. Launching apps seem to be fine, but animations and scrolling is choppy. I'm thinking that Froyo will fix this, but as it stands now, its choppy when I used the Incredible and it was stated as choppy in the review.

RE: No surprise here
By mckinney on 5/19/2010 2:07:25 PM , Rating: 2
I had a very difficult time with the Droid. At times, it wouldn't let me answer the phone. Navigation could have been more intuitive. I didn't think the browser was as smooth as the iphone either.

RE: No surprise here
By PrezWeezy on 5/19/2010 3:25:18 PM , Rating: 2
How about cluttered and unintuitive? I'm not saying Android is terrible, but in my opinion the screen is cluttered, checking which apps are running doesn't make sense to me as a swipe method, little things like that. I don't think the Android is as polished on the surface as the iPhone is. I don't use either, but that's just what it seems to me. As a business phone, it's still not on the level of WinMo or BB.

Just my opinion.

RE: No surprise here
By GaryJohnson on 5/19/2010 3:38:57 PM , Rating: 1
the screen is cluttered

The screen is configurable. You can make it as cluttered or uncluttered as you want.

RE: No surprise here
By xmichaelx on 5/19/2010 3:44:44 PM , Rating: 2
Android is only as cluttered as you choose to make it. And swipe functions are programmable, so that's nothing to complain about either.

RE: No surprise here
By dani31 on 5/19/2010 1:02:01 PM , Rating: 4
I think Symbian is generally underestimated.

Like MS and Palm, Nokia was a sleeping giant but unlike them woke up in the last moment.

Symbian is still the top OS and it is now open source just like Android. Now there is a clear development roadmap.
They are pushing Ovi Store with 400k worth of prizes for app development.
They own Navteq and give navigation for free worldwide. Google is stil geographically limited.
Hardware wise they will return to the top with the N8.

So I see Android and Symbian the top players, with RIM maintaining it's business stronghold. We shall see in one year time, I guess.

RE: No surprise here
By themaster08 on 5/20/2010 5:23:51 AM , Rating: 2
I couldn't agree more. I've been a long time fan of Nokia and Symbian, and they're still on top, selling more than 3 times as many than the manufacturer in second.

I also use Android, and whilst it's plain to see how much more advanced Android is, Symbian still holds its own. Multitasking is far superior on the Symbian OS for starters. Switching between wireless services is also far better in my opinion. Storage management is also far better.

The N8 will most definitely be my next device when I renew my contract, although I am becoming extremely fond of Android.

RE: No surprise here
By mckinney on 5/19/2010 2:03:49 PM , Rating: 3
The most pressure is definitely being put on Microsoft in the global smartphone market. The company is the only one who charges handset makers a licensing fee for its smartphone OS.

Because of this, Android handsets should be cheaper. Instead of Google or the end user pocketing the change, the handset builders are making more money. Honestly, I think MS has a tough road infront of them in the mobile phone market. It is getting carved up like crazy and they will need to have an awesome product and solutions for apps, music, video and books. I dont think they can get by with just the OS anymore. They need the whole package....

RE: No surprise here
By bruce24 on 5/19/2010 11:58:00 AM , Rating: 2
Those of us watching the market for the past year saw this one coming.

I agree, but not for the reason you stated, but simply because almost all the wireless carries are selling Android based phones and in many cases multiple models of Android based phones.

RE: No surprise here
By corduroygt on 5/19/2010 4:00:01 PM , Rating: 2
Better OS for geeks maybe, but certainly not for the average user.

It sells more because it's on more phones, and the Android phones are cheaper. Simple math.

Tried out the HTC incredible and it's not even close to the iphone OS for intuitiveness and user friendlyness.

If you discredit my opinion since I've been using the iphone and may be partial to it, the same sentiment was shared by my girlfriend and her sister, who are NOT iphone users, and they said the HTC wasn't even close. One is a medical research scientist at Columbia University and the other is a wealthy Wall Street Analyst, so they're not dumb either. They're just not geeks, and iphone is better for the non-geeks.

RE: No surprise here
By Exodus220 on 5/19/2010 10:14:32 PM , Rating: 2
Your three examples are not sufficient to prove that the Android OS is less intuitive or friendly than the iPhone OS. Certainly Apple has had several years to perfect their OS, but your attempt to prove Android OS is for geeks doesn't cut it. For all I know, you made up those two people...who cares what their professions 12 year old sister, 14 year old brother, 17 year old sister, hospital administrator mother, high school administrator/soldier father, and myself (elementary administrator) all love our Android OS phones and find them incredibly simple to use. Hah, I have more people that like it, so does that automatically make it true?

RE: No surprise here
By Exodus220 on 5/19/2010 10:19:16 PM , Rating: 2
Also, I my brother and father-in-law have either an iPhone or iTouch and when I attempt to use it I feel like throwing it because it is so confusing or restrictive. I considered buying one but am glad I waiting to purchase an Android phone instead.

RE: No surprise here
By corduroygt on 5/20/2010 9:06:47 AM , Rating: 2
I understand restrictive, but confusing? It's the most intuitive and straightforward OS out there.
Also if you don't believe my examples, 3 cnet authors though the same too:

Round 2, controls and user interface is the section you're looking for.

Android takes over the world
By Drag0nFire on 5/19/2010 11:32:14 AM , Rating: 1
Seriously, don't we have one of these articles every few days?

Let's see:
5/14 Schmidt: 65K Android Smartphones Shipped Per Day
5/11 Apple Responds to NPD's Sales Analysis Which Places Android Ahead of iPhone OS
5/10 Android-based Smartphones Outpaced Apple's iPhone in Q1 2010

RE: Android takes over the world
By Icon0clast on 5/19/2010 11:41:51 AM , Rating: 2
Thats right, reporting news is a bad thing!


By daveinternets on 5/19/2010 11:43:14 AM , Rating: 3
My favorite one is from 5/11.

Apple using iPod Touch sales figures to boost their smart phone sales numbers was priceless!

Ever stop to think about??
By Desslok on 5/19/2010 11:54:49 AM , Rating: 3
That people might be holding off buying an iPhone till the "4G" comes out?? People may also be waiting to see if the CDMA version is actually coming to Verizon. This battle is FAR from over. All the Apple haters need to chill out, we need other OS's other than Android to keep the competition up.

RE: Ever stop to think about??
By RjBass on 5/19/2010 12:33:41 PM , Rating: 2
And for that reason, is why you will see a huge push with HP's acquired WebOS from Palm.

HP has a ton of money to throw at promotions, and if their past business history is anything to go by, I would be willing to bet that before 2011 is gone, WebOS will be a major player in the market.

By Lanister on 5/19/2010 12:29:29 PM , Rating: 2
Droid would have two more sales if any store here had any incredible’s for sale. Best Buy has a wait list, and even Verizon stores are out until early to mid June, Verizon’s website shows they are backordered and won't ship until about June 7th.

It will be interesting to see the sales figures when supply catches up with demand.

Well done Google.
By themaster08 on 5/19/2010 2:22:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'm really not surprised that Android is doing so well.

I previously had a little tinker with the OS but not so much to form an opinion on, so I bought a HTC Dream just to check it out to see if it was for me, and it is an absolutely fantastic OS.

The Market is ever expanding and has some quality apps, the integration between the OS and apps is excellent. Multiple homescreens come very much in handy for separating work and my social life, and the widgets are very convenient.

Well done Google, keep up the great work!

By Tony Swash on 5/20/2010 6:28:28 AM , Rating: 2
This article has some pertainent things to say about those who decry the "lack of choice" in the iPhone/App Store model and claim that "open" will triumph.

Here is a quote from the article:

"I think Ted’s problem, like that of many analysts/bloggers/journalists/geeks etc on the issue is that they’re confusing fundamental flaws with not liking something. People like Ted don’t like the closed nature of the App store, but that doesn’t mean it’s fundamentally flawed, or a lack of choice. If it was fundamentally flawed it wouldn’t be a success because people would have chosen to buy something else. That success has been determined by the market you so desperately want to preserve the freedom of."

John Gruber from Daring Fireball add this pithy, and in my opinion spot on, comment:

"It occurs to me that the App Store’s restrictions and control are to this coming mobile era what Windows’s inferior user interface was to the PC era: something that offends some critics to a degree such that they will insist for years, despite the success and popularity of the platform, that it’s a fatal flaw that will ultimately doom it."


Android is a threat to Microsoft not Apple
By Tony Swash on 5/19/10, Rating: -1
RE: Android is a threat to Microsoft not Apple
By Pirks on 5/19/2010 2:19:31 PM , Rating: 2
what is "great tech kit"?

RE: Android is a threat to Microsoft not Apple
By Tony Swash on 5/19/2010 2:52:43 PM , Rating: 2
what is "great tech kit"?

Well personally I have a 3GS iPhone with 32 gigs, an iPod classic with my entire music collection on and which has replaced my stereo system, a MacBook Pro unibody, a Mac Pro with 4 Terabytes of storage and 16 gigs of Ram, a 30 Inch Apple cinema display, a 44 inch plasma TV screen with a PS3 and a Mac Mini media server attached, a Nikon D700 and a ton of great lenses and I have just installed Photoshop CS5 extended. So all in all I am a happy camper.

And bear in mind that I am old enough to remember buying a 20 megabyte hard drive the size of a small filing cabinet to attach to my CP/M plus computer (this would be around 1983) and thinking it would take care of my storage needs for the rest of my life :)

Frankly every year brings new technological wonders and I cannot wait for what is next.

RE: Android is a threat to Microsoft not Apple
By Anoxanmore on 5/19/2010 3:07:27 PM , Rating: 2
You have a very small music collection.

Just sayin'

By Tony Swash on 5/19/2010 6:19:52 PM , Rating: 2
You have a very small music collection.

Just sayin'

I have 766 albums - just checked - seems enough for me.

iTunes tell me it would take me 29.2 days to listen to it all from end to end.

RE: Android is a threat to Microsoft not Apple
By Pirks on 5/19/2010 3:59:59 PM , Rating: 2
What kind of stuff do you do on that monster Mac Pro? Are you editing hidef 3D for Cameron or something?

By Tony Swash on 5/19/2010 5:15:11 PM , Rating: 2
What kind of stuff do you do on that monster Mac Pro? Are you editing hidef 3D for Cameron or something?

I like to play solitaire really quickly :)

Seriously - I edit HD video and do a lot of complex image manipulation on very big stitched panorama photos (20,000 pixels by 10,000) so a lot of horsepower is really useful. Plus I just really like kit.

Having been around at the beginning of the PC revolution the stuff I can play with now, and do, never ceases to amaze and delight me. I know people like to moan about and criticise all sorts of things in the tech world but really we are so lucky to be living now and to not only have all this wonderful stuff but to know that lots more new wonderful stuff will be arriving in years to come. Sometimes I think that's too easy to forget.

RE: Android is a threat to Microsoft not Apple
By Gzus666 on 5/19/2010 8:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
So I assume you like terrible quality music? Nothing like lossy crap to torture your ears through poor quality equipment.

By Tony Swash on 5/20/2010 5:31:49 AM , Rating: 2
So I assume you like terrible quality music? Nothing like lossy crap to torture your ears through poor quality equipment.

Do you realise what sort of offensive nob you sound like?

In my experience the more an individual obsesses about the technical characteristics of the reproduction of music the less they appreciate the aesthetic quality of music. People who stand around discussing the arcane details of sound file formats but who never dance. Sad people.

By Bateluer on 5/20/2010 3:18:37 AM , Rating: 1
With Microsoft's current state of affairs, with WinMo 6.x, WinMo 7 looking like a disaster, and the joke that is the Kin One and Two, are they still considered a player in the mobile arena?

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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