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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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RE: Unfair Comparison?
By mrrt on 8/3/2011 9:24:49 AM , Rating: 3
No the iPhone is not very quickly losing market share. It is Android that is now plateauing while iOS has started to surge.

Android’s global sales growth rate dropped to 3 percent in the March quarter from 7.5 percent in the fourth quarter and 9.5 percent in the September quarter.

IDC reports that Android's share of the US smartphone market dropped for the first time from 52.4% in Q4 2010 to 49.5% in Q1 2011, a drop of 2.9 points or 5.5% quarter to quarter.

In contrast, the iPhone gained significantly larger share going from 17.2% to 29.5%, an increase of 12.3 points or 42%.

NPD agrees reporting that Android's share of quarterly sales in the US smartphone market shrank 6% quarter-to-quarter in Q1 2011 to 50%. In contrast Apple's iPhone grew 47% to capture 28% of all smartphone sales in the USA.

IDC also reports that Apple had the highest growth of any mobile phone vendor worldwide in Q1 2011 year over year of 115% with second place ZTE growing 45%, Samsung growing 9% and HTC and Moto not even on the chart.

And these figures all include Android tablets because the vast bulk of them also include cellular radios and carrier subscriptions.

In contrast, Apple's figures don't include the iPod touch or iPad (which should of course be included when comparing operating systems and app platforms). iOS and Android as a whole are neck and neck in quarterly unit sales.

In terms of installed base Apple is far ahead of Android with 222 million iOS devices sold versus only 135 million Android as confirmed by ComScore who reported in April that *active* iOS devices outnumber Android devices by 59% in the USA and by 116% in Europe.

Of course even if Android does eventually surpass iOS in installed base, the question is - will it matter? It certainly didn't for Symbian who for years had vastly larger sales and installed base than everyone else.

With iOS continuing to make 11x more income for developers and 14x more app downloads (free and paid), 3.4x larger web browser share and 10x larger music and media store market share and vastly more 3rd party hardware peripherals than Android - on current evidence, having larger unit sales means absolutely nothing.

-Mart


"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il














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