Android has toppled Nokia Corp.’s Symbian to become the world’s top smartphone platform, reports a research firm Canalys. Global shipments of Android-based phones hit 32.9 M in Q1 2010, pushing down Symbian to a second place with 31 M smartphones shipped. The beneficiaries were the vendors LG, Samsung, Acer, and HTC who watched their sales volumes jump 4,127 percent, 1,474 percent, 709 percent, and 371 percent from the Q4 2009. HTC and Samsung together accounted for almost 45 percent of all the Android phones shipped in Q4 2010.

Looking at the other smartphone systems

  • Apple nearly doubled its fourth-quarter iPhone shipments to 16.2M | Market share dipped a bit to 16 percent from 16.3 percent.
  • RIM saw its shipments rise to 14.6 million from 10.7 million the prior year | Market dropped to 14.4 percent from 20 percent.
  • Microsoft’s Windows Mobile phones shipments  inched down to 3.1 million from 3.9M | Market share fell to 3.1 percent from 7.2 percent a year ago.

Canalys SmartPhone Analysis, Quarterly Shipment Data

Across the global market, U.S. consumers accounted for the highest number of smartphones shipped, more than double the number shipped in China. It proved the hottest platform in the United States with shipments of 12.1 million units, almost three times the number for RIM’s BlackBerry devices. Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 mobile platform launched too late in the Q4 leaving the company with a 5 percent share of the U.S. market, down from 8 percent in the year-ago quarter. The WebOS platform from Palm now owned by Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), also comprised about 2% of smartphone sales in the U.S.

Smartphone market Exceeded 100 million units in Q4 2010

he smartphone industry as a whole shipped 101.2 million units in the fourth quarter, a jump of 89 percent from previous year. That helped boost shipments for all of 2010 to slightly under 300 million, a rise in the annual growth rate of 80 percent from 2009.

“2010 has been a fantastic year for the smart phone market,” Canalys vice president and principal analyst Chris Jones said in a statement. “After a difficult 2009, the speed with which the market has recovered has required real commitment and innovation from vendors and they have risen to the challenge.Vendors cannot afford to be complacent,” Jones added. “2011 is set to be a highly competitive year with vendors looking to use new technology, such as dual-core processors, NFC (near-field communication), and 3D displays, to differentiate their products and maintain value.”

Credits: Canalys, Cnet

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