Android Sales Jump 866 Percent Annually; Nokia Keeps Lead

Nokia is still the dominant smartphone vendor worldwide, but the Android market has exploded in annual growth and is rapidly catching up with Nokia and the number two player, Apple.

Canalys, a market research firm based in the U.K., said the global smartphone market grew by 64 percent annually, but Nokia saw its share fall from 41 percent last year to 38 percent this year. Despite the dip in market share, Nokia sold a record 23.8 million phones in the second quarter of this year.

Nokia last share despite a rise in sales because other vendors are outpacing the overall market. Research in Motion's share grew 41 percent, Apple's iPhone grew 61 percent, and Android-powered phones in total gained a whopping 866 percent in annual growth. Android's percentage gain was helped by its being a relatively new platform and its adoption by a number of leading mobile vendors in the past year.

"In the United States, for example, we have seen the largest carrier, Verizon Wireless, heavily promoting high-profile Android devices, such as the Droid by Motorola and the Droid Incredible by HTC. These products have been well received by the market, with consumers eager to download and engage with mobile applications and services, such as Internet browsing, social networking, games and navigation," Chris Jones, vice president and principal analyst at Canalys said in a statement.

The U.S. smartphone market grew 41 percent year on year and is the largest single market in the world, accounting for 23 percent of global shipments in the second quarter of 2010. Mobile Linux Android devices collectively represent 34 percent share of the U.S. market in the quarter and grew 851 percent annually.

But Android is also gaining traction in markets like mainland China and South Korea, Canalys notes. China was the world's second-largest smart phone market in the second quarter of the year, with 6.9 million units sold accounting for 11 percent of the worldwide total. Android had a 7 percent share of the Chinese market.

Though collectively Android handsets rank No. 1 with 34 percent share of the market in the U.S., RIM and its BlackBerrys posted 32.1 percent, followed by Apple with 21.7 percent. HTC, a major player in the Android market, came in with 14.4 percent. In China, the story is very different. Nokia has 76.9 percent of the market, Motorola has 4.7 percent of the market and Samsung has 4.1 percent of the market.

Canalys Senior Analyst Pete Cunningham said that by 2013, smartphones will represent over 27 percent of shipments worldwide, with the proportion in Western Europe surpassing 60 percent and North America reaching 48 percent.

Andy Patrizio is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


Android, Blackberry, Apple, smartphone, Nokia