Android Conquers World

Apple iPhone came in a distant third with 16.2 million devices running the iPhone platform shipping globally in Q4 2010, trailing Android by more than 50% with 16% share. In total 101.2 million smartphones shipped worldwide during Q4 2010, an almost 89% jump from 53.7 million in Q4 2009.

In terms of smartphone volume growth rate, shipments of Google smartphones, including the OMS and Tapas platform variants as well as Android, grew 615% between Q4 2009 and Q4 2010, from 4.7 million to 33.3 million.

Apple iPhone had the second-highest year-over-year volume growth rate of 85.9%, from 8.7 million to 16.2 million. RIM, which came in fourth overall, had the third-highest year-over-year volume rate of 36%, from 10.7 million to 14.6 million. Nokia Symbian slightly trailed with 305 growth, from 23.9 million to 31 million.

Microsoft was the only smartphone platform vendor individually examined by Canalys to post negative volume growth between Q4 2009 and Q4 2010. Microsoft lost 20.3% of its global smartphone shipment volume, dropping from 3.9 million to 3.1 million.

Canalys data indicates the US continued its reign as the largest country market in terms of shipments, at more than double the size of the Chinese smart phone market. RIM recaptured first place from Apple, as the latter experienced its usual US seasonal dip, and RIM benefited from the first full quarter of shipments for the BlackBerry Torch. HTC successfully maintained its third-place ranking in the US for the third consecutive quarter, driven by its speed to market with the latest Android updates and new Windows Phone 7 devices.

At a regional level, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) remained the largest market, with shipments totalling 38.8 million (about 38% of total shipments) and a year-on-year growth rate of 90%. Nokia continued to lead in EMEA and Asia Pacific, but in 2010 it was overtaken by RIM in Latin America, which shipped more than a million more units than Nokia in Q4 2010. Canalys analysis shows the vendor was particularly helped by the popularity of its mid-range smart phones, such as its Curve family of devices.

Android surpassed iOS as the most popular US smartphone platform for the first time in December 2010, according to the latest Mobile Mix report from Millennial Media. Mobile Mix data indicates 46% of smartphones running on the Millennial network used the Android platform, while 32% used iOS. The only other smartphone platform with a substantial share was RIM (16%).

In addition, six in 10 mobile devices on the Millennial network in December 2010 were smartphones, another 30% were feature phones and 10% were connected devices.

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