Android will continue to grow at more than twice the rate of its closest smart phone competitors this year, despite concerns over platform fragmentation, according to analyst firm Canalys.
Chris Jones, principal analyst at the firm said Android's growth has been phenomenal, but there has also been a number of related devices launched with different hardware and software specifications. "This has led to the market perception of it as a fragmented platform, though we believe that growth will continue as the pace of Android OS upgrades slows," he said.
In the third quarter of 2010, the Google-backed platform claimed 25% share of the worldwide smart phone market, with more than 20 million shipments of Android-based devices, said the company.
Established vendors such as Samsung and HTC have used the platform, along with PC vendors, such as Acer, which have also used the platform for tablets.
Vendors working on Android have leveraged the open source platform to push prices down and bring smart phones to the mass market. As a result, Android shipments grew more than 1,000% year-on-year for the first three quarters of 2010.
Since the launch of the original Android platform in September 2008, many versions have followed. Gingerbread (Android 2.3) is Google's eighth update, with its forthcoming Honeycomb (Android 3.0) pad-focused release set to appear on devices in coming months.