Mobile Device Research | News

Android Climbs to No. 2 Smart Phone Slot

Worldwide sales of Apple's iOS-based smart phones grew from 24.9 million in 2009 to 46.6 million last year, bringing it to a 15.7 percent overall market share. But that growth was dwarfed by Google's Android OS, which leapfrogged over both No. 3 Apple and No. 4 Research in Motion and climbed to 67.2 million units in 2010, up 888.8 percent from sales of 6.8 million in 2009, according to a new report from market research firm Garner.

Global Trends
Between 2009 and 2010, overall sales of smart phones grew a massive 124 million worldwide, up from 172.4 million in 2009 to 296.7 million in 2010. Most of those sales happened in Western Europe and North America. Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner, said those two markets accounted for 52.3 percent of worldwide smart phone sales in the fourth quarter.

Global sales of all mobile devices reached nearly 1.6 billion in 2010, up from 1.21 billion in 2009.

Smart Phone Operating Systems
Android's massive growth landed it in the No. 2 slot overall with a 22.7 percent worldwide market share.

Nokia's Symbian OS remained in the No. 1 position with a 37.6 percent market share and 111.6 million units sold. Though overall sales were up significantly in terms of units sold (from 80.9 million in 2009), Symbian's overall market share actually declined 9.3 points from 2009.

Research In Motion's Blackberry OS dropped to third place (from second last year), less than 1 million units ahead of the iPhone. In 2009, RIM had a market share of 19.9 percent on 34.3 million units sold; this year it dropped to a 16 percent market share on improved sales of 47.5 million units.

Sales of smart phones based on Microsoft's operating systems declined in both units and market share. In 2009, Microsoft devices held an 8.7 percent market share on 15 million units sold; in 2010, Microsoft represented just 4.2 percent, with sales of 12.4 million.

Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, said Apple's iPad and iPod touch sales are helping to boost awareness and adoption of the iPhone. The introduction of the iPhone 4 also helped Apple boost its market share a bit in the fourth quarter, up to 16 percent (0.3 points higher than its full-year market share).

Mobile Device Hardware: HTC, Apple, RIM See Gains
In terms of general handheld mobile device hardware, half of the top-10 hardware manufacturers saw declines in market share, including No. 1 Nokia and No. 2 Samsung, which experienced increases in unit sales; and No. 3 LG, No. 6 Sony Ericsson, and No. 7 Motorola, which experienced declines.

2010's No. 4 Research in Motion and No. 5 Apple both saw significant gains from 2009 to 2010, bumping Sony Ericsson and Motorola down the list. RIM climbed 38.2 percent to 47.5 million units; Apple climbed 87.2 percent to 46.6 million. HTC, which manufactures high-end devices like the Evo 4G smart phone, saw the most dramatic growth of all the major manufacturers. HTC's unit sales grew 128.3 percent to 24.7 million between 2009 and 2010.

Mobile Device Unit Sales to End Users
Manufacturer 2010 Unit Sales 2010 Market Share 2009 Unit Sales 2009 Market Share

Nokia

461,318,200

28.9%

440,881,600

36.4%

Samsung

281,065,800

17.6%

235,772,000

19.5%

LG Electronics

114,154,600

7.1%

121,972,100

10.1%

Research In Motion

47,451,600

3.0%

34,346,600

2.8%

Apple

46,598,300

2.9%

24,889,700

2.1%

Sony Ericsson

41,819,200

2.6%

54,956,600

4.5%

Motorola

38,553,700

2.4%

58,475,200

4.8%

ZTE

28,768,700

1.8%

16,026,100

1.3%

HTC

24,688,400

1.5%

10,811,900

0.9%

Huawei

23,814,700

1.5%

13,490,600

1.1%

Others

488,569,300

30.6%

199,617,200

16.5%

Total

1,596,802,400

100.0%

1,211,239,600

100.0%

Source: Gartner, "Competitive Landscape: Mobile Devices, Worldwide, 4Q10 and 2010," February 2011

 

The Future Is Next Week
So what's on the near horizon for mobile devices? Faster networks and new interfaces, among other advancements, Gartner predicted.

Said Milanesi: "With the Mobile World Congress 2011 taking place next week, we can expect smartphones and tablets to be at center stage of the show, and a number of new application announcements such as 3D technology, improved user interfaces around touch, faster networks on LTE technology, and new forms of payments, such as near field communication available on smartphones."

Gartner's full report, "Competitive Landscape: Mobile Devices, Worldwide, 4Q10 and 2010," is available now on the company's site for $1,295. Further information can be found here.

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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