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Android smart phones, like the Samsung Galaxy S II are dominating global sales, shipping over 50 million smart phones a quarter.  (Source: Samsung)

The iPhone is still unmatched in profitability, though, and a solid #1 in global sales by manufacturer.  (Source: Reuters)
Despite legal troubles, the Android juggernaut rolls on

Android's open platform and broad selection of hardware, thanks to liberal licensing, has proved a winning formula for Google Inc. (GOOG) and its hardware partners.  Competitors like Apple, Inc. (AAPL) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) have been unable to keep up with the platform's wild growth.

According to [press release] market research firm Canalys, for every 2 iPhones sold, approximately five Android phones are now sold (1:2.5).  This is another milestone for Google, who only recently heard the news that it was outselling Apple two to one globally.

The study looked at 56 countries and found Android to be the top platform in 35 of them.  Its global market share is now at just under 50 percent, thanks to a 379 percent year-to-year growth in shipments.  In Q2 2011 it shipped on an estimate 51.9 million smartphones, globally. 

Google's smartphone operating system continues to soar after a quiet 2005 acquisition by Google and 2008 product launch.  Google didn't pick up much momentum until 2009, when its partners began to release bleeding edge handsets like the "Droid" from Motorola Solutions Inc. (MSI).  Since then it's been unstoppable.  However, threats loom from lawsuits [1][2][3][4][5] from Apple and licensing demands [1][2] from Microsoft. 

Speaking of Apple, it posted impressive growth of its own, passing Finland's Nokia Oyj.(HEL:NOK1V), with 20.3 million units shipped.  Apple is now the clear number one in terms of global sales by a single manufacturer.

Despite falling behind Android in growth, Canalys had kind words for the highly profitable Apple.  Canalys VP and Principal Analyst Chris Jones states, "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."

Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (SEO:005930) flagship Galaxy S II smartphone sold well and the company shipped 17.0 million phones in the quarter, bumping Nokia to third place in manufacturer sales.  

However, Mr. Jones had some harsh words for the company, stating, "Samsung has failed to fully capitalize on Nokia’s weakened state around the world, as the Finnish company rides out a challenging transitional period. It's the best placed vendor to grow at Nokia’s expense, taking advantage of its global scale and channel reach, but it hasn’t yet done enough to capitalize on this, particularly in emerging markets."

Fellow Android phone maker HTC Corp. (SEO:066570), however, earned praise for rising out of relative obscurity to gain a 21 percent share in the lucrative North American market.

Microsoft, unsurprisingly, didn't do very well.  It only moved 1.5 million smartphones -- about 1 percent of the market.  Mr. Jones commented, "A fresh crop of products is certainly needed," alluding to the crucial upcoming Mango update and lineup refresh, which airs in September.

Research In Motion Ltd. (TSE:RIM) struggled, gaining 11 percent in global market share, but slipping 12 percent in North American.  Mr. Jones comments that RIM needs to "continue to innovative and recapture lost momentum."  He says that the upcoming BlackBerry OS 7 product family will be a critical turning point -- for better or worse -- for the company.

In perhaps the worst insult of all, 
Hewlett-Packard, Comp.'s (HPQ) webOS, with only a fraction a percent market share, wasn't even mentioned in the report.

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By Mitch101 on 8/2/2011 1:03:50 PM , Rating: 3
All the major apps you would want exist on Windows Phone 7 and when Mango is released Microsoft will be adding things you cant do with Android or iPhone. Don't let a half million fart and flashlight apps convince you your missing something.

I finally set up my Wireless sync on Windows Phone 7 when its on the charger for 10 mins if it will find my PC and through Wifi wirelessly sync my podcasts, movies, music, etc.

By chmilz on 8/2/2011 2:10:04 PM , Rating: 4
My friend with an iPhone laughed at me when I chose to throw my hat in the Android ring. He chuckled "yeah, enjoy your, like, 5 apps".

So, I asked him how many and which apps he used. He had 28 installed, and in a matter of minutes, I had all 28 installed on my Android phone.

Out of 500,000 apps, I think there actually is 200,000 dedicated to flashlights. Another 200,000 are amazingly terrible shovelware games. 95,000 are shovelware apps. That leaves about 5000 useful apps, and you can find those on every platform, because, well, they're useful and the developers know it.

By Tony Swash on 8/2/11, Rating: -1
By B3an on 8/3/2011 12:31:47 PM , Rating: 1
By SPOOFE on 8/2/2011 6:51:01 PM , Rating: 2
It's all about knowing what tools you want or need, and where those tools are available. The fact of the matter is that most people have all of their real needs and probably almost all of their wants satisfied by either Android or iOS (and maybe Winmo? Haven't used it at all so I can't comment).

By jnemesh on 8/3/2011 12:17:19 PM , Rating: 2
Really? All the apps I want? Where is the app for Onkyo receivers? Samsung Tvs? Crestron home automation? Howabout an app that controls HAI? Lutron? RTI? How about Denon and Marantz? All of these guys have apps for iOS AND Android. You have lots of cute little apps, tons of mildly entertaining games, horoscope apps, and calculators...but NO support from other HARDWARE manufacturers! I could care less about how many games or entertainment apps are on a platform. What I care about is how easily I can get my phone to communicate with other devices I have around me! This is a HUGE chunk of functionality that will continue to be missing from the WP7 platform.

By Mitch101 on 8/3/2011 9:24:35 PM , Rating: 2
Since IR and Blu-Tooth are standards I have no problem controlling my equipment.

I can even control iTunes.

With Remote, you can control iTunes on your PC or Mac from your Windows Phone 7 device. You can browse through your music library and choose playlists, songs, and albums as if you were right in front of your computer – all from the palm of your hand. Play, pause, control the volume and more.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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