Home Android Becomes Top Mobile Operating System in U.S., No. 2 Worldwide

Android Becomes Top Mobile Operating System in U.S., No. 2 Worldwide

Research firm Canalys released new numbers today on the mobile smartphone market, and they are impressive, especially when it comes to Android. According to the latest report, the Android platform has grown 1,309% since Q3 2009, going from 1.4 million handsets to 20.0 million by the close of Q3 2010. Android is now eating away at Nokia’s top spot among smartphone OS vendors worldwide, where Nokia still retains a 33% share compared with Android’s quarter of the market.

However, in the U.S., it’s Android that’s number one, with 43.6% market share lead.

Says Canalys Senior Analyst Pete Cunningham, “Android has been well received by the market and in some geographies it is becoming a sought-after consumer brand.” He also cites devices makers including Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Sony Ericsson as aiding in Android’s growth, with large shipments of devices throughout the year.

Another factor that bodes well for Android is the broad range of price points available for Android devices, from high-end products like the Samsung Galaxy S or HTD Desire all the way down to affordable “budget” devices like the LG GT540 Optimus or Huawei’s Vodafone 845. The Optimus, incidentally, will be coming to Walmart in the U.S. for only $0.97 (with a two-year contract agreement), according to leaked news from unofficial T-Mobile blog TMoNews.com this morning. 

For Apple, there is some good news – it has now jumped ahead of Blackberry maker RIM with a 26.2% market share in the U.S. compared with RIM’s 24.2%. Worldwide, Apple reached 17% share, beating RIM’s 15%.

However, Canalys’s headline for their report – “Apple takes lead in the U.S. smartphone market” –  is a little misleading, since, as noted above, the Android OS now has a 43.6% share in this country. Apple’s U.S. “lead” here is a title that comes with qualifications: among companies who ship their own hardware, Apple leads. But Android wins it overall in the U.S., and, if the trend continues, may even rival Nokia for the number one spot worldwide at some point in the future.  

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