Android reigns on US smart phones


SAN JOSE, Calif.Google’s Android software continued its rocket-like ascent over the summer, ending the third quarter with the dominant market share in the United States among smart-phone operating systems and a solid No. 2 spot globally.

Manufacturers installed Android on 9.1 million smart phones shipped in the United States between July 1 and Sept. 30,
according to Canalys, a technology research firm, in a report released
Monday. That gave the software 43.6 percent of the smart-phone market
during the period, up from 34 percent in the second quarter of this
year and just 5.4 percent in the third quarter last year.

Worldwide, manufacturers shipped 20.3 million
Android phones in the third quarter. That was up a whopping 1,297
percent from the same period last year and gave Android 25.1 percent of
the global market. That put it second to Symbian, sponsored by Nokia and predominantly found on its phones, which had 37 percent of the market.

Android market share grew at the expense of
Symbian’s — and that of every other major smart-phone operating
systems, according to Canalys’ data.

It’s difficult to see anything slowing Android’s momentum in the near term, said Chris Jones,
a Canalys analyst. More carriers and manufacturers around the world are
adopting the software, and it’s starting to show up in budget-priced

“It’s easy to see how that accelerates the rise of Android,” Jones said.

Canalys’ research echoes that of NPD Group,
which was also released Monday. According to NPD, whose data estimates
the numbers of phones sold to consumers rather than the number shipped
to retailers, Android was installed on 44 percent of the smart phones
sold in the United States in the third quarter, up from 33 percent in the second quarter.

NPD attributed Android’s rise in part to strong
sales of a growing number of high-end phones, such as the Motorola
Droid X. And much of the software’s market share gains have come out of
the share formerly held by Research In Motion’s
BlackBerry operating system, the report noted. BlackBerry’s share of
the market fell from 28 percent in the second quarter to 22 percent in
the most recent period.

Although Apple sold 91 percent more iPhones in the
third quarter than it did in the year ago period, it merely held its
own in the two market share reports, thanks to the rapid growth of
Android phone sales. According to Canalys, Apple’s iOS, which among
smart phones is exclusive to the iPhone, captured 26.2 percent of the
U.S. smart-phone market in the third quarter. That was up from 21.7
percent in the second quarter, but down from 28.2 percent in the same
period a year earlier.

Worldwide, iOS had 17.4 percent of the market. That
was up from the second quarter, when iOS held 13.5 percent, but down
from the year-ago period, when it held 17.8 percent.

Apple did, however, have something to crow about. Among smart phones shipped in United States
in the third quarter, the iPhone 4 ranked no. 1, with 26 percent of the
market, according to Canalys. NPD also ranked the iPhone as the top
selling smart phone in the period.

NPD said Apple did well, considering that the iPhone is only available through AT&T in the United States. Recent reports indicate that the device will soon be available on Verizon, which is the most popular network in the United States. If so, that could shake up the market, both for the iPhone and for Android, said Jones.

“That will be an interesting dynamic to see playing out,” he said.


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