Android Moves Into Third Place Worldwide

Android's rocket-like trajectory in the smartphone market continues, as it's muscled out the iPhone and moved into third place worldwide among smartphone OSes.

That's according to Gartner's latest sales figures for the second quarter of 2010. Symbian still has a commanding lead, with 41 percent of the market, shipping about 25 million smartphones. That's followed by Research In Motion (RIM), with its BlackBerry phones at roughly 18 percent, or about 11 million phones. Android is third at just over 17 percent and 10.6 million phones, with the iPhone OS coming in next at slightly over 14 percent and 8.7 million phones.

While the smartphone market is exploding worldwide, the Android's success is staggering, considering that for the same quarter in 2009, it had sold fewer than one million devices and had less than 2 percent of the market. In addition, Android overtook RIM to become the number one smartphone OS in the United States, Gartner says.

Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, said in a press release that Google's strategy of openness has been a key to its flourishing sales:

"A non-exclusive strategy that produces products selling across many communication service providers (CSPs), and the backing of so many device manufacturers, which are bringing more attractive devices to market at several different price points, were among the factors that yielded its growth this quarter."

It's also clear that the growth of the market is being driven by Android and iOS (which includes the iPod Touch and the iPad). Although Symbian and RIM still take the top two spots, both lost market share, even though their sales increased. RIM barely leads Android, and it's not hard to see it dropping behind Android and perhaps iPhone in the next quarter. Symbian, by far, lost the most ground in market share, dropping nearly 10 points.

And the smartphone market shows no signs of slowing. The last year saw 50 percent growth in the market, Gartner says, with 61.6 million devices shipped, and it expects to see similarly strong sales in the second half of 2010.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.