Android grabs over half of smartphone market share
The massive variety of phones offering Google’s operating software, plus a huge increase in global smartphone sales, have contributed to more than half of new devices being sold running Android, according to new figures from research firm Gartner.
Android 4.0, aka Ice Cream Sandwich, was released last month, aiming to deliver a consistent user experience across the many types of handset currently running the Android software.
Android’s market share has more than doubled in the last year, with the smartphone market itself expanding by a staggering 42% to tip 115.2m devices in Q3, 52% of them running Android.
"Android benefited from more mass-market offerings, a weaker competitive environment and the lack of exciting new products on alternative operating systems such as Windows Phone 7 and RIM," said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner.
"Apple's iOS market share suffered from delayed purchases as consumers waited for the new iPhone. Continued pressure is impacting RIM's performance, and its smartphone share reached its lowest point so far in the U.S. market, where it dropped to 10 percent."
Microsoft has suffered a sizable decrease relative to its market share, dropping from 2.7% in Q3 last year to just 1.5% in Gartner’s most recent measurement. And while Nokia’s Symbian market share also lost ground, the WP7/Nokia partnership is looking more like a good move for Microsoft, with Nokia still selling a respectable number of handsets.
If the Nokia WP7 phones prove as popular with consumers, a stiff Microsoft fight-back could well be on the cards.
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