Global smartphone shipments have increased 74% year-on-year with Google's Android operating system (OS) accounting for almost half of the mobile OS market, according to research firm Gartner.
The latest Gartner figures show overall worldwide sales of mobile devices reached 428.7 million units in the second quarter of 2011, a 16.5% increase compared to 367.9 million units in the same period in 2010. Smartphone sales by operating system show Google's Android OS increased market share to 43.4% in the second quarter of 2011 compared to 17.2% in the same period in 2010.
Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner, said smartphone sales accounted for a quarter (25%) of mobile device sales in the second quarter of 2011.
"Smartphone sales continued to rise at the expense of feature phones," said Roberta Cozza.
She added that replacement sales in Western Europe "showed signs of fatigue" as smartphone sales declined quarter-on-quarter.
"Consumers in mature markets are choosing entry-level and midrange Android smartphones over feature phones, partly due to carriers' and manufacturers' promotions," Cozza said.
Blackberry-maker Research in Motion (RIM) mobile device market share dropped to 3% in the second quarter of 2011 compared to 3.2% in the same period a year ago. ZTE overtook RIM to take fifth worldwide position.
"Demand for RIM's devices in the second quarter was impaired by an ageing portfolio and delays in shipping products. In the coming quarters RIM will have to deal with increased competition to its messaging offering and manage a platform migration from Blackberry 7 to QNX," said Cozza.
Apple showed strong growth in the period, increasing market share to 4.6% in the second quarter of 2011 compared to 2.4% in the second quarter of 2010.
Cozza believes Apple, along with Google, are the "winners" in the smartphone operating system (OS) market.
"The combined share of iOS and Android in the smartphone operating system (OS) market doubled to nearly 62% in the second quarter of 2011, up from just over 31% in the corresponding period of 2010," said Cozza.
Apple's iOS market share increased to 18.2% from 14.1% while Nokia's Symbian lost market share, dropping to 22.1% from 40.9% in 2010. Microsoft and RIM also experienced a decline in market share.
Gartner expects mobile devices sales to grow around 12% throughout the rest of 2011.