As I have stated in the past, I expected Android to take over the number one position in the smartphone category. According to the latest data from Nielsen and comScore it looks like that has happened. Before we get to those numbers let’s consider some of the numbers from my recent post on mobile handset growth in 2010. Overall the market grew 17.9%—driven by smartphones. There were 401.4 million units shipped last quarter compared to 240.5 million during the same period in 2009. Even more interesting is that mobile handset vendors shipped a total of 1.39 billion handsets in 2010. That number is in increase of 18.5% from 2009. Clearly smartphones are driving growth and new adoption. Check out Nielsen’s chart on the current state of the smartphone battle:
Reviewing the Nielsen survey you can see from their 14,701 respondents that Android (29%) is slightly more popular than iOS (27%) and RIM (27%). Not surprising since there are a number of handset vendors building mobiles based on Android. Another survey from comScore users browser access to determine the usage of smartphones to map to OS market share:
It’s interesting that the data points match up between the Nielsen and comScore data. Telco 2.0 just published a report that goes into a fair amount of detail on the Android factor. They also provided an interesting chart that re-casted the growth (or shrinkage) of mobile OS as relative to the significant in (4th 2010) growth of smartphones.
The above chart really illustrates the true growth of Android in Q4 2010. Finally, where does this leave us in terms of current market shares across the various OSs and HW vendors for 2010:
We are witnessing a change of guard in the mobile handset industry. Nokia was the care taker for the mobile industry making sure we had the best handsets in the market. However, Apple and Google pounced on the opportunity to fuse together what customers want in a mobile device including social networking integration (via apps), rich delivery of content (web, music, video) and a plethora of applications. It will only continue to get better.