Android Surges To Be King Of The Smartphones

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Android run Smartphones are surging much to the angst of Apple and Microsoft. A new survey released today by Gartner found that Google’s Android OS doubled its market share in the past year with 52 percent of all Smartphones running on the Google OS.

Android run Smartphones are surging much to the angst of Apple and Microsoft. A new survey released today by Gartner found that Google’s Android OS doubled its market share in the past year with 52 percent of all Smartphones running on the Google OS.

Sales of Android phones actually tripled in that time, from 21 million in the third quarter of 2010 to 61 million this year.

“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.

The numbers show iPhone sales increased by almost 4 million, but Apple’s market share dropped from 16.6 percent in the third quarter of 2010 to 15 percent in 2011. Apple may have been hurt by “delayed purchases as consumers waited for the new iPhone,” Cozza said. Gartner expects Apple to bounce back in the fourth quarter, especially as the iPhone goes on sale in India, the world’s No. 2 mobile market, later this month.

Symbian’s OS, though still No. 2 with 16.9 percent, lost more than half its market share as Nokia started phasing it out in favor of Microsoft’s Windows 7. But Microsoft took a hit too, losing ground in both sales and market share. Gartner predicts Nokia and Microsoft, who are in a strategic partnership, will rebound in the fourth quarter as their Lumia smartphone hits the market and show “a true turnaround” in the second half of 2012.  RIM’s  piece of the pie fell from 15.4 percent to 11 percent worldwide, and hit a new low with just 10 percent of the U.S. market. The only other OS on the rise: Samsung’s Bada, which saw both sales and market share double (though still just 2.2 percent).

In overall mobile phone sales, Nokia saw sales slip 5 percent, but remained No. 1 with nearly 24 percent of the market. At No. 2, Samsung boosted its sales by 7 million and is gradually closing the gap, with almost 18 percent of the market. LG lost sales and market share but remained in third place, followed by Apple, which improved by selling 17.3 million iPhones in the third quarter for 3.9 percent of the market.

In all, more than 440 million mobile devices were sold worldwide in the third quarter, up 5.6 percent from last year. Smartphone sales, which totalled 115 million units, were up 42 percent from a year ago, but down 7 percent from the second quarter of 2011, a drop blamed on consumers waiting for the iPhone’s debut and expected price cuts on devices during the Christmas shopping season.

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