According to a new report from Canalysis, Google’s Android platform has rocketed to the top spot among U.S. smartphone operating systems with a 43.6% market share. Worldwide, the Android has a staggering 1,309% year over year growth, a 25% market share, and is now on 20 million devices.
Android’s success is rooted in three key advantages. First, the product itself is user-friendly and has been quickly embraced by consumers. Second, Google was able to strike deals for Android with a variety of mobile manufacturers– among them Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Sony Ericsson. And lastly, Android is available on devices at a variety of price points, making it easily accessible to any smartphone purchaser.
Android’s availability on both higher and lower-end devices is a competitive advantage Apple, RIM, Symbian, and Microsoft will need to adjust to if they hope to outpace Google. Nokia still doesn’t have a high-end Symbian product to rival the iPhone or high-end Droid, while Apple has largely ignored the lower-end mobile market. Microsoft, which is also making a big play at the mobile market with Windows 7 Phone, is for the time being focused on relatively high-end products.
Canalysis indicates that, as a whole, the smartphone market is booming. 80.9 million units were shipped worldwide in Q3 of 2010, a 95% growth from Q3 of 2009. The Symbian Foundation is still the world’s largest smartphone vendor thanks to Nokia’s continued dominance in many international markets. Nokia is the leading smartphone vendor in all â€˜BRIICâ€™ countries (Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia and mainland China), all key emerging markets where smartphone growth is especially rapid.
The report delivers gloomy news for RIM, as BlackBerry devices lose market share to the formidable tag-team efforts of Apple and Android. The Blackberry Curve 8500 has been dethroned by the iPhone as the best-selling U.S. handset, and Android has overtaken RIM as the leading domestic smartphone operating system. The rising popularity of smartphone apps– far more prevalent on iPhone and Android devices– has also led to Blackberry losing appeal among consumers.
Time will tell how the smartphone OS wars shake out, but for now Anroid is on over 100 devices and seemingly poised to continue grabbing market share into 2011.