Android is the platform to watch in the smartphone stakes, says market analyst Canalys, following the latest batch of handset makers' quarterly results.
Nokia retained a 38% market share of the global smartphone market, according to Canalys. This was due mainly to delivering affordable smartphone offerings, such as its popular 5230 touch-screen handset, based on the Symbian operating system (OS).
Nokia shipped a record 23.8 million smartphones during the quarter, 41% up on a year ago. But the market as a whole grew 64% year on year in Q2 2010.
This was due largely to an impressive 886% growth in shipments of Android-based phones from HTC, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and LG, among others; 61% growth in Apple shipments, due mainly to demand for the iPhone 4; and 41% growth in shipments of RIM's Blackberry smartphones, said Canalys.
Canalys vice-president and principal analyst Chris Jones said Android's momentum was "impressive". Verizon was pushing high-end Android phones heavily in the US, which grew market share 41% year-on-year. The US was now the largest market for smartphones, with 14.7 million units shipped, a 23% share of global shipments, he said.
"With growth of 851% Android became the largest smartphone platform in the country," he said.
In China, the world's second-biggest smartphone market, Android devices reached almost 475,000 units in Q2 2010 from zero a year ago. China Mobile is developing its own Android-based platform, OMS, and shipped an additional 174,000 OMS smartphones during the quarter.
Canalys senior analyst Ty Lau said Google's substantial involvement in the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), its improving relationship with the Chinese authorities, and the renewal of its operating licence would reduce concerns over the future of Android in China. Even so, Nokia's Symbian devices continued to dominate the market, he said.
Canalys senior analyst Pete Cunningham said smartphones would represent more than 27% of mobile phone shipments worldwide by 2013. He said market penetration would pass 60% in Western Europe and 48% in North America.
Canalys' annual smartphone market trends report, now in its ninth year, pulls together qualitative analysis of market trends, top-level market share and shipment estimates for the leading vendors, comparative analysis of vendors' performance and evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses, and forecasts for future market development.
|US smartphone market share Q2 2010|
|Total units shipped||14.7m|
|China smartphone market share Q2 2010|
|Total units shipped||6.9m|