August 3, 2010

Popularity Of Android Phones Increasing

Shipments of Google's Android mobile smartphones have soared in the past year, according to figures from the research firm Canalys.

Statistics from Canalys suggest that shipments of the Android mobile operating system have increased 886 percent from the second quarter of 2009, while Apple showed the second largest growth in the smartphone sector with 61 percent growth in the same time period.

Overall, the smartphone sector grew by 64 percent from the second quarter of 2009, the research says.

Growing Android sales were in part due to recent launches of "highly compelling" smartphones, said Pete Cunningham, an analyst for Canalys. "We're really seeing major vendors getting behind the platform," he added.

Large manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung and Sony Ericsson all helped drive Android growth upward as they all use the Android platform, Cunningham said. In turn, the shipments turn into market share. "Typically over a year, the two pretty much balance out."

The Symbian Foundation recently made its code open source meaning that any organization or individual can use and modify the platform's underlying source code.

Although it is one of the most popular smartphone operating systems, it is often overshadowed by Apple's iPhone and Google's Android operating system.

Symbian is a mass market platform, said Cunningham. Firms like Nokia were increasingly switching to other platforms to compete with the two popular platforms, he said.

Nokia recently launched Meego with chip-maker Intel. "It is going to use Meego to challenge Apple and Android at the top end of the market," he said. A spokesman for Nokia admitted that the company had lost mindshare and needed to "fight back."

"You can never write Nokia off," said Cunningham. "They are still the market leader."

Microsoft was the only firm to see a drop in shipments during the period. The current platform -- Windows Mobile 6.5 -- is a "discontinued platform."

Nobody will be using that when Windows Phone 7 hits the market in the fourth quarter of 2010, said Cunningham.


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