Android Takes Over Symbian to Become World’s Leading Smartphone Platform

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As the figures of Q4 2010 smartphone shipment is out, Google’s Android platform has emerged as the leading smartphone platform with 32.9 million shipment leaving Nokia’s Symbian platform with 31 million shipment behind in 2010 across the globe. Though Nokia did managed to retain its position as the leading global smart phone vendor, with 28% market share, it was Android which has helped the global smartphone market to witness 101.2 million units shipment in 2010 with 89% growth compare to 2009., speaks a latest report from Canalys.

In Q4 2010, volumes of Google OS-based smart phones (Android, OMS and Tapas) were again boosted by strong performances from a number of vendors, notably LG, Samsung, Acer and HTC, whose volumes across these platforms grew 4,127%, 1,474%, 709% and 371% respectively year-on-year. HTC and Samsung together accounted for nearly 45% of Google OS-based handset shipments.

However, it will be difficult to say whether Android will be stealing the show again in 2011 as few other strong contenders like Windows Phone 7 – which debuted late in 2010 – and iPhone’s availability with Verizon from the beginning of the year will show improved sales performance, apparently, at the cost of Android. Besides, Nokia will also shift it gears from Symbian to MeeGo for its smartphone offerings.

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Analysis of the published country-level data shows that, around the world, the strength of smart phone performances remained diverse. In South Korea, for example, shipments grew from under 700,000 units in Q4 2009 to just under 3.4 million units in Q4 2010, making the country a top 10 market. In Japan, Android shipments have taken off over the past year, with nearly 1.4 million units shipping from local as well as international vendors, such as HTC. More Japanese vendors have also announced plans to launch Android devices in 2011, such as NEC Casio and Panasonic. Under pressure from Huawei and Samsung in particular, Nokia’s share in China slipped to 56%, down from 76% a year ago, despite growing its volume in the country by over 70% in the same period. Albeit from a smaller base, the Chinese market grew 134% year-on-year, notably faster than the US market, which grew at 64% in the quarter.

Considering all upcoming dynamic transformations, surely Android will be hitting the toughest battle ground ever in 2011. With such enormous performance in 2010, market expectations from Android are already riding high and it will be interesting to see the strategy Google will adopt to keep floating its Android baby with supreme position in 2011

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