Nokia Wanes As Android Grabs 43.4% Market Share

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Gartner said Google’s Android is the top phone operating system but Nokia hangs on as top manufacturer

Google and Nokia pulled a big reversal in smartphone market share for the second quarter.

Google’s Android mobile operating system was the leading smartphone supplier worldwide in the second quarter, with 43.4 percent market share, up from 17.2 percent a year ago, according to Gartner. Conversely, Nokia, once the dominant smartphone maker, saw its Symbian market share slide to 22.1 percent from 40.9 percent in the same quarter last year.

Nokia Still Top But Fading

Nokia, which is winding down Symbian to focus on delivering Microsoft Windows Phone 7 smartphones in early 2012, was still the leading phone manufacturer overall. The Finnish company sold 97.9 million mobile devices in Q2, for a 22.8 percent market share, far outstripping the second-placed player Samsung, which sold 69.8 million devices for a 16.3 percent share.

Samsung was the beneficiary of big Android smartphones sales in Q2, thanks largely to the Galaxy S II, whose sales soared to over five million in three months.

Apple’s iOS garnered 18.1 percent of the market, up from only 14.1 percent a year ago. The company, which sells its iPhones in 100 countries, will likely challenge Nokia’s smartphone share next quarter, when it is expected to launch the iPhone 5.

Research in Motion represented 11.7 percent of the market, which plummeted from 18.7 percent this time last year.

Gartner noted RIM smartphone sales flagged in Q2 because the company’s portfolio is aging. RIM expects to see a rebound in Q3 with the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 handset, a gap device, as the company moves to build its QNX-based superphones.

Samsung’s Bada and Microsoft Windows Mobile/Windows Phone 7 rounded out the Top 6 smartphone makers, with 1.9 percent and 1.6 percent of the market, respectively.

Sales of smartphones were up 74 percent from Q2 2010 and accounted for 25 percent of overall sales in Q2 2011, as the handsets with full Web browsers ate away at feature phone market share.

“Consumers in mature markets are choosing entry-level and midrange Android smartphones over feature phones, partly due to carriers’ and manufacturers’ promotions,” said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner.

According to Cozza’s calculations, the smartphone ecosystem is seeing something of a two-horse race between Android and iOS, which together doubled to nearly 62 percent in Q2 2011, up from 31 percent in 2010.

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