Android and iPhone Post Strong Second Quarter Numbers

Canalys, a research firm that focuses on smartphone analysis and more, recently released its final global smartphone market estimates for the second quarter of 2011. While the numbers show a strong quarter for the market as a whole, Android and Apple had particularly strong showings.

Compared to the same timeframe last year, the smartphone market grew 73 percent globally during the second quarter of 2011, with approximately 107.7 million units shipped.  Android easily held the distinction of the worldwide leader, with a market share of 48 percent.  Of the 56 countries that Canalys tracks for its estimates, Android was number one in 35 of them.  An estimated 51.9 million Android units shipped during the last quarter, which represents a 379 percent increase over last year.  Much of the platform’s success can be attributed to impressive releases from vendors such as HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung, among others.  Android has been the top platform in the global shipping category since the fourth quarter of 2010.

Apple’s iOS platform came in second place in Canalys’ findings with a global market share of 19 percent.  Although it lags far behind Android, the second quarter of 2011 proved to be a fruitful one for iOS, as it surpassed Nokia’s Symbian platform to take the runner-up spot.  Apple has also successfully taken Nokia’s title as being the world’s leading individual smartphone vendor thanks to its immensely popular iPhone.  Canalys Vice President and Principal Analyst Chris Jones commented on Apple’s triumph: “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.”

The second quarter was also a strong one for Samsung, as the success of its Galaxy S II smartphone allowed it to move ahead of Nokia to become the number two vendor worldwide and the top vendor of Android devices.  Samsung shipped 17 million smartphones during the second quarter, which is a 421 percent increase compared to last year.  

Despite its fall from grace, Nokia still leads in various emerging markets, including Brazil, China, India, and Russia.  Unfortunately, the company has lost major ground in its former stronghold of Western Europe.  One silver lining comes from the upcoming release of its first Windows Phone devices. “While it is committed to launching a device before the end of the year, we do not expect to see it until mid-to-late Q4, and it will be much longer before a portfolio of Nokia Windows Phone smart phones drives volumes. Nokia is set to have several more difficult quarters before a possible reversal of fortunes,” said Canalys Principal Analyst Pete Cunningham.

Microsoft experienced a 52 percent decline over last year during the second quarter, as less than 1.5 million of its Windows Phone devices shipped. As it stands, Microsoft holds just a 1 percent share of the market.  On the flipside, RIM saw its global shipments increase by 11 percent, and its 28 percent market share in Latin America makes it the region’s top vendor.

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Android is the OS King in the United States’ Smartphone Market

Figures released by Nielsen last week confirmed that Android is the most widely used mobile operating system in the United States.  While Android wears the crown when it comes to the overall OS market, Apple remains the most dominant individual smartphone manufacturer in the United States thanks to its highly successful iPhone.

According to Nielsen’s figures, 39 percent of smartphones in the U.S. run on the Android operating system, which is up from 25.8 percent in January.  Apple’s iOS holds a 28 percent market share, down from 28.6 percent earlier this year.  RIM’s BlackBerry OS comes in third with 20 percent, dropping from 26.1 percent.  Android surpassed both iOS and BlackBerry OS to become the king in the U.S. smartphone market, and much of its rise has come at the expense of BlackBerry.

A major reason for Android’s success comes from high production numbers from its multiple vendors.  HTC, maker of well-received devices such as the Evo 4G and Thunderbolt, is Android’s top manufacturer in the U.S., producing 36 percent of the platform’s devices.  Motorola holds a 28 percent share of the U.S. Android market, and Samsung comes in third with 20.5 percent.

Although they do help propel Google’s mobile operating system to the top spot, Android’s various vendors also divide its market share.  This allows Apple to be the top individual smartphone manufacturer at 28 percent.

Devices running on the Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7 platforms hold just a 9 percent U.S. market share, placing them far behind the top three of Android, iOS, and BlackBerry OS.  HP’s webOS and Nokia’s Symbian OS come next with 2 percent, respectively.

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