Canalys. In Q4 2010, shipments of Android-based smartphones reached 32.9 million while shipments of phones running Nokia's Symbian platform were 31.0 million. Previously, Nokia had held the top spot.Android is now the number one smartphone platform worldwide, according to new data from analysts at
?However, these rankings are based on handset shipments, not market share. Nokia retains its lead as the top global smartphone vendor with a share of 28%, the analyst firm noted in its findings.
Update: These figures have been questioned by competing analyst firms. Read more here.
Android #1 Based on 2010 Shipments
Canalys says that the volume of Android-based devices was boosted by strong performance from several smartphone vendors, including LG, Samsung, Acer and HTC, all of which had seen their Android, and Android-based (OMS, Tapas,* etc.) platforms increase dramatically year-over-year. For example, LG saw a 4,127% increase, Samsung, 1, 474%, Acer, 709% and HTC 371%. ?HTC and Samsung combined accounted for almost 45% of Google Android-based smartphone shipments.
*OMS and Tapas are Android-based operating systems produced in China. These were also counted towards Android's growth.
The Smartphone Market in 2010
The smartphone market overall has continued to grow with 2010 shipments reaching 101.2 million units, or 89% year-over-year growth. For Q4, shipments were just below 300 million, with a growth rate of 80% over last year.
?The largest markets (based on shipments) in 2010 were Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with 38.8 million units and year-over-year growth of 90%. Nokia led in Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific, but RIM beat out Nokia in Latin America. The mid-range BlackBerry Curve devices contributed to RIM's growth in that region, Canalys said.
The U.S., meanwhile, was the largest country in terms of shipments, more than double the size of the Chinese smartphone market. Here, RIM re-took first place from Apple, benefitting from its first quarter shipments of the BlackBerry Torch. HTC remained in third place. These positions will soon change, analyst Tim Shepherd stated, given the new Verizon-Apple partnership, which will soon shake up the mobile landscape.
Canalys VP and Principal Analyst Chris Jones warned smartphone vendors not to become complacent in hearing the news of the smartphone market's growth, saying that 2011 was shaping up to be a highly competitive year. This year vendors will use new technology, "such as dual-core processors, NFC [near field communication] and 3D displays to differentiate their products and maintain value."