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Gartner: Android leapfrogs Linux and Windows Mobile

May 19, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

Android has overtaken Windows Mobile and Linux for fourth place in smartphone OS market share with 9.6 percent, says Gartner. The worldwide study of first quarter smartphone sales showed a 707 per cent year-on-year increase in Android sales in North America, while the total smartphone market saw its largest year-on-year increase since 2006, says the research firm.

Smartphone sales to end users reached 54.3 million units, an increase of 48.7 per cent from the recession-burdened first quarter of 2009, says Gartner. This is said to represent the largest yearly rise in 14 years, although we doubt a 2006 "smartphone" would remotely justify that name today.

Smartphones accounted for 17.3 per cent of all mobile handset sales in the first quarter of 2010, up from 13.6 per cent in the same period in 2009, says the study. (For more on global sales of all handsets, see farther below.)

The top three smartphone OS contenders remained about where they were last quarter. Symbian slipped slightly to 44.3 percent share for first place, and somewhat surprisingly Research In Motion (RIM) — which Gartner says moved up into the top five vendors in total handset sales this quarter (see farther below) — saw its smartphone share drop slightly to 19.4 percent.

Aside from Android, Apple's iPhone OS was the only smartphone platform to grow during the quarter, moving up to a 15.4 percent share for third place, says the research firm.

Operating system

1Q10

 Units

1Q10 Market Share (%)

1Q09

 Units

1Q09 Market Share (%)

Symbian

24,069.8

44.3

17,825.3

48.8

Research In Motion

10,552.6

19.4

7,533.6

20.6

iPhone OS

8,359.7

15.4

3,848.1

10.5

Android

5,214.7

9.6

575.3

1.6

Microsoft Windows Mobile

3,706.0

6.8

3,738.7

10.2

Linux

1,993.9

3.7

2,540.5

7.0

Other OSs

404.8

0.7

445.9

1.2

Total

54,301.4

100.0

36,507.4

100.0

Worldwide smartphone sales to end users by operating system in 1Q10 (Thousands of Units)
(Source: Gartner)

In Gartner's study of the 4Q 2009 smartphone market, released back in February, Android was in sixth place behind Windows Mobile and Linux in OS market share with 3.9 percent of the market. At the time, Microsoft owned 8.7 percent and Linux represented 4.7 percent, said Gartner.

In a single quarter, however, Android has shot past both operating systems to a 9.6 percent share. Meanwhile, Windows Mobile has dropped to 6.8 percent and Linux has fallen to 3.7 percent, says the research firm.

Other OSes counted for only 0.7 percent, says Gartner. Since Palm's WebOS represented the same percentage share only last quarter, the Linux-based OS probably represents most of that 0.7 percent. However, with HP purchasing Palm, it seems unlikely that WebOS share will grow much, as the computer giant appears to be more interested in using the platform for tablets than for phones.

Gartner did not publicize smartphone share broken down by region except to say that in North America, sales of Android-based phones increased 707 per cent year-on-year. This trend was reflected in a recent NPD Group study of first-quarter U.S. smartphone sales, which claimed that Android surpassed Apple's iPhone to take the second spot behind RIM, with 28 percent of the market.

A number of recent smartphone studies, including one by ComScore, which pegged Android's U.S. smartphone share at 9 percent at the end of February, have concluded that Android is the fastest growing OS in the category. Gartner gave no reason for the continuing post-holiday boom in Android sales, although by most accounts, the Motorola Droid (pictured at right) continued to lead Android phones in sales by a wide margin.

One Android model that debuted during the quarter was the HTC-manufactured, Google-branded Nexus One (pictured at left). Despite reasonably strong sales of more than a quarter million units, Sprint and Verizon have both pulled out of arrangements to sell the phone, and last Friday, Google stopped selling the phone on its Webstore. The Nexus One is still available on T-Mobile and Vodafone, however.

Handset sales see 17 percent year-on-year increase

Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users, including the smartphone segment, totalled 314.7 million units in the first quarter, a 17 per cent increase from the same period in 2009, according to Gartner. In mature markets, smartphones led the sales surge, while in emerging regions, particularly India, increased sales of white-box products fueled increases. Both trends are expected to continue this year, says Gartner.

According to a statement by Carolina Milanesi, research VP at Gartner. the growth of cheap white goods phones from up-and-coming vendors like G-Five (see chart below) "is having a profound effect on the top five mobile handset manufacturers' combined share." That share was said to have dropped from 73.3 percent in 1Q 2009 to 70.7 percent by the end of March this year.

Company

1Q10

 Units

1Q10 Market Share (%)

1Q09

 Units

1Q09 Market Share (%)

Nokia

110,105.6

35.0

97,398.2

36.2

Samsung

64,897.1

20.6

51,385.4

19.1

LG

27,190.1

8.6

26,546.9

9.9

RIM

10,552.5

3.4

7,233.5

2.7

Sony Ericsson

9,865.6

3.1

14,470.3

5.4

Motorola

9,574.5

3.0

16,587.3

6.2

Apple

8,359.7

2.7

3,938.8

1.5

ZTE

5,375.4

1.7

3,369.6

1.3

G-Five

4,345.0

1.4

 

 

Huawei

3,970.0

1.3

3,217.9

1.2

Others

60,418.1

19.2

44,972.2

16.5

Total

314,653.50

100.0

269,120.10

100.0


Worldwide mobile terminal sales to end users in 1Q10 (Thousands of Units)

(Source: Gartner)

Nokia held on for first place in the handset vendor contest, with 35 percent share, but dropped 1.2 per cent year-on-year, says Gartner. Nokia continues to suffer on the high end, a problem that won't start to be remedied until Linux-based MeeGo phones start appearing later this year, says the research firm.

"MeeGo based devices and other high-end products will not rejuvenate Nokia's premium portfolio until the end of the third quarter of 2010 at the earliest, and Nokia will continue to feel pressure on its average selling price (ASP) from vendors such as HTC, RIM and Samsung," stated Milanesi.

Samsung continued to grow in its second place slot to a 20.6 percent share. LG, however, fell since last quarter to 8.6 percent, although it still held on to third place, says Gartner.

As mentioned, RIM saw some of the fastest growth, jumping from what was presumably a sixth place finish in 4Q 2009 with 3.4 percent share to number four place now. In the process, it jumped over Sony Ericsson, which fell sharply to 3.1 percent of total handset sales, says Gartner. Apple, meanwhile, followed sixth-place Motorola for seventh place with 2.7 percent.

Availability

The Gartner press release on its first quarter smartphone and handset studies may be found here.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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