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Handsets like the Motorola Droid propelled Google to a tremendous market share gain, putting it within striking distance of third place competitor Microsoft.   (Source: AP)
Google jumped from 3.8 percent of the market in November 2009 to 9.0 percent in February 2010

A note to smartphone manufacturers: watch your back.

Google's Android smartphone operating system is doing quite well in the market, posting an incredible 236 percent growth in market share between November 2009 and February 2010, according to recently released metrics from market research firm ComScore.

That gain catapulted the open smartphone maker from 3.2 percent of the market to 9.0 percent of the market, sending it leaping over Palm into fourth place.  Speaking of Palm, the company's slide continues as it shed 1.8 percent market share, dropping from 7.2 percent to 5.4 percent.

Google's gains were fueled in part by the launch of the advanced Motorola Droid and HTC Nexus One handsets, which brought multi-touch to Android at last.

The picture isn't pretty for Microsoft either, who has to endure the agonizing wait for Windows Phone 7.  Microsoft was the biggest loser for the quarter, dropping from 19.1 percent to 15.1 percent.  That big loss means that with one more big quarter Google could pass Microsoft and move into third place.

Apple also posted a surprising loss as it awaits the release of the fourth generation iPhone this summer, which is rumored to bring an HD screen to the popular device.  The loss was minimal -- Apple shed 0.1 percent, dropping from 25.5 percent to 25.4 percent of the market.

Still, it marks a reversal of a long growth trend for Apple.  Apple has cause for concern with Android, as illustrated by its recent litigation against Android handset maker HTC, which its suing to try block all phone imports.  Apple's biggest asset is its 150,000 apps, but Droid's app library is rapidly expanding, and it now has 30,000 apps of its own.

RIM, meanwhile enjoys a healthy lead thanks to its loyal legion of business users.  The Blackberry maker remains somewhat aloof to the Apple-Microsoft-Google war that's developing below.  RIM's marketshare grew slightly over the quarter, jumping from 40.8 percent to 42.1 percent of the market.

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By sebmel on 4/6/2010 8:23:25 PM , Rating: 2
"Sad to see Apple not learning from their mistakes"

Microsoft market cap 10 years ago: $590 billion
Microsoft market cap today: $255 billion

Apple market cap 10 years ago: $16 billion
Apple market cap today: $214 billion

By Griswold on 4/7/2010 3:18:56 AM , Rating: 1
Another one whos clueless enough to talk about market capitalization. A year ago, apple was "worth" half that. These numbers are next to meaningless. What matters is enterprise value. And that has little to do with market capitalization...

By sebmel on 4/7/2010 4:00:43 PM , Rating: 3
Aside from bad manners your comment offers nothing, other than to mislead.

The reason Apple was 'worth half that' a year ago because of a world capital crisis, I'm sure you remember. Apple was already valued by the market as worth over $200 billion dollars in December of 2008. Since then the dollar has depreciated substantially, devaluing the company in real terms internationally.

Market cap is a measure of market confidence. Confidence in Apple has been growing since 1997 when Steve Jobs was brought back into the company with the acquisition of Next... which brought in NextStep/Mac OSX and it's engineers.

Perhaps you would like to explain to readers, a little more politely I hope, why it is clueless to quote Market Cap as an indication of company success in the instance of a company with zero debt, a simple structure with very few subsidiaries, and in the region of $40 billion in cash reserves.

Perhaps you would like to calculate Apple's EV to demonstrate that, it being so much lower than $240 billion Apple is not the success it's Market Cap growth over the last decade suggests.

That's an awful lot of minority interest in FileMaker Inc. you're going to have to find to offset $40 billion in cash and $220 billion in Market Cap growth.

Or perhaps you can just admit it was a bad mannered, poorly thought out comment.
All the best.

By Samus on 4/8/2010 1:08:45 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft market cap 10 years ago: $590 billion
Microsoft market cap today: $255 billion

Apple market cap 10 years ago: $16 billion
Apple market cap today: $214 billion

You forgot:

Google market cap 10 years ago: uhh...
Google market cap today: $180 billion

For a company that didn't even have an IPO five years ago, I'd say they're catching up to everybody pretty damn quick.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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