Study: Android takes 48 percent market share in Q2

Research firm Canalys says that Apple's iOS platform snagged the second spot with 19 percent market share, besting the Symbian platform.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

Google's Android easily dominated the worldwide smartphone OS market in the second quarter, research firm Canalys has found.

During the quarter, 107.7 million smartphones shipped worldwide, growing 73 percent year over year. According to the research firm, 39.8 million smartphone units shipped in the Asia-Pacific region, and 35 million units were released in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In the Americas, 32.9 million smartphone units were shipped.

Canalys, which analyzes shipments in 56 countries around the world, said that Android led the way in 35 of them, helping it to secure 48 percent market share during the quarter. Android shipments during the period hit 51.9 million, representing 379 percent growth compared with the second quarter of 2010. Android is especially popular in South Korea, where it captured 85 percent market share. In Taiwan, the platform snagged 71 percent share.

Android's growth has been nothing short of astounding. In January, Canalys announced Android's fourth-quarter performance, saying that it captured 32.9 percent market share, thanks to shipments of 33.3 million units. At the time, the research firm said that Android shipments were up 615.1 percent.

Related stories:
Android tops global smartphone ranks
Nokia, Microsoft becoming Windows Phone bedfellows
iPhone 5 rumor roundup

The end of 2010 also brought Symbian to the second spot in unit shipments, nabbing 30.6 percent share on 31 million unit shipments. But in just two short quarters, Symbian is no longer hanging on to that spot. Thanks to increasingly strong iPhone sales, Apple's iOS platform scored the second-place slot during the second quarter, earning 19 percent market share on 20.3 million iPhone sales. In addition, Canalys found that Samsung moved ahead of Nokia in vendor rankings to secure the spot behind Apple. Samsung shipped 17 million smartphone units during the quarter, Canalys said.

Although things went well for some companies in the mobile market last quarter, two companies--Research In Motion and Microsoft--struggled. According to Canalys, RIM's worldwide smartphone shipments were up 11 percent in the second quarter, but in North America, they were down 33 percent, leading it to secure just 12 percent market share.

Microsoft arguably had the worst quarter, though. According to Canalys, less than 1.5 million Windows Phone 7-based smartphones shipped during the period, earning the platform just 1 percent market share. Shipments were down 52 percent year over year.

For Microsoft, earning more market share will require the help of Nokia. Earlier this year, the companies signed a pact that will see Windows Phone become the "principal" operating system in Nokia handsets. Although the companies haven't said for sure when the first smartphone will launch, Canalys expects a "mid-to-late Q4" launch. Still, Canalys said, "it will be much longer before a portfolio of Nokia Windows Phone smartphones drives volumes."

Meanwhile, Canalys sees good times ahead for Apple. With the rumored iPhone 5 launching at some point in the third quarter, Canalys said, the iPhone maker's "position will grow even stronger in the second half of the year."