Android smartphone shipments surge 886 percent

Smartphones running Google's mobile OS are grabbing customers at a record pace worldwide, according to a report.

Shipments of Android smartphones worldwide jumped 886 percent in the second quarter from a year ago, according to a report released Monday.

Growth in the United States was particularly robust, market researcher Canalys said in the report.

The entire U.S. smartphone market grew 41 percent in the second quarter year over year, making it the largest smartphone market in the world by a huge margin. Android devices captured 34 percent of that market in the quarter, representing growth of 851 percent and making it the largest smartphone platform in the U.S.

"In the United States, for example, we have seen the largest carrier, Verizon Wireless, heavily promoting high-profile Android devices, such as the Droid by Motorola and the Droid Incredible by HTC," Canalys principal analyst Chris Jones said in a statement.

Android smartphones are also seeing a surge in demand in the Asia-Pacific region. China, specifically, is the world's second largest smartphone market. The number of Android devices shipped hit almost 475,000 in the second quarter, up from virtually no presence in that country a year ago.

Nokia's smartphones are still tops in China, but Android smartphone makers such as Motorola and Samsung are pushing forward, as are local vendors, giving Android devices a 7 percent share of the country's market in the second quarter, Canalys said.

"The story in the Asia Pacific region is similarly optimistic around Android," Canalys senior analyst TY Lau said in a statement.

Android phones come from a variety of manufacturers, including HTC, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and LG.

Among specific smartphone manufacturers worldwide, Nokia still leads the industry overall with 38 percent market share. Its shipment of 23.8 million smartphones during the second quarter represented a 41 percent jump over a year ago, thanks to devices such as the Symbian OS-based 5230 . However, Nokia's growth has lagged the rest of the industry, putting pressure on its dominance, according to Canalys.

Research In Motion is the No. 2 smartphone vendor worldwide, with an 18 percent slice of the market and leading positions in North America and Latin America. Shipments of its BlackBerry phones rose 41 percent year over year, boosted by demand for such devices as the Curve 8250 .

And iPhone vendor Apple saw its smartphone market grow by 61 percent for the quarter to win 13 percent share of the worldwide market.

Overall, shipments of smartphones shot up by 64 percent in the second quarter over a year ago. Smartphones continue to rise as a percentage of the entire mobile phone market as consumers tap into mobile apps and connected services. That trend is likely to continue.

"Expect to see smartphones accounting for a growing proportion of the wider mobile phone market as they become increasingly affordable to more customers," Canalys senior analyst Pete Cunningham predicted in a statement. "By 2013, smartphones will grow to represent over 27 percent of shipments worldwide, with the proportion in some developed markets in Western Europe surpassing 60 percent and 48 percent in North America."

 

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