Android, iPhone biggest winners in global smartphone battle

RIM's BlackBerry and Windows phones lag, although RIM is doing quite well in South America, Indonesia, and South Africa.

The latest global market-share estimates for smartphones are out. And as we've come to expect from these regular exercises in mobile OS number-crunching, the news is bright for Apple and Google, but a bit bleak for Nokia, Research In Motion (RIM), and Microsoft.

Research firm Canalys released its final smart phone market estimates for the second quarter of 2011, which show that Google's Android mobile operating system now has nearly half of the worldwide smartphone market--48 percent, to be exact. Of the 56 countries Canalys tracks, Android leads in 35 of them.

Nearly 52 million Android-based smartphones shipped in Q2, a staggering 379-percent increase over a year ago. Android has been the top platform by shipments since the fourth quarter of 2010, according to Canalys.

Apple's iOS platform had a stellar second quarter as well. Apple shipped 20.3 million iPhones in the second quarter and grabbed 19 percent of the global market, as iOS passed Nokia’s Symbian platform to take second place.

Perhaps more impressive is the fact that Apple is now the world’s leading individual smart phone vendor, passing longtime leader Nokia.

"With the next-generation iPhone anticipated in Q3, it’s likely that Apple’s position will grow even stronger in the second half of the year,’ said Canalys analyst Chris Jones in a statement.

Nokia in Transition

While Nokia continues to do well in emerging markets, including Brazil, Russia, India, and China, demand for its Symbian-based smartphones is fading fast, particularly in Western Europe, where the manufacturer has been strong in the past, says Canalys analyst Pete Cunningham, who believes Nokia "badly needs" its Windows Phone handsets to launch soon to regain market share.

While Nokia plans to launch a Windows Phone before the end of the year, it will be some time before the Finnish company offers a range of Windows handsets to (hopefully) boost sales volumes.

Microsoft waits for Nokia's first Windows phones, and it also sees its global market share slipping too. Canalys reports that fewer than 1.5 million Microsoft-based smart phones shipped during the second quarter, giving Redmond just 1 percent of the global market--down 52 percent from a year ago.

RIM, meanwhile, fared poorly in North America, where its market share fell to 12 percent, down from 33 percent from a year ago. However, the BlackBerry-maker's global shipments grew 11 percent, and it remained the top vendor in Latin America with a 28-percent share.

To stay competitive globally, RIM needs its upcoming BlackBerry OS 7 to be a hit. But perhaps things aren't as bleak as they seem.

"It’s easy to be negative about BlackBerry in the U.S., but it’s important to remember that in other markets, particularly emerging markets, it continues to see significant interest and uptake of its devices, for example in Indonesia and South Africa where it is the leading smart phone vendor," said Jones.

Contact Jeff Bertolucci via Twitter (@jbertolucci) or at jbertolucci.blogspot.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags symbianMicrosoftsmartphonesAndroidiphone 4NokiaPhoneswindows phone 7AppleGoogleconsumer electronics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeff Bertolucci

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?