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Tuesday August 2, 2011 1:42 pm

Android is running on half of the smartphones in the world

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Smartphones, Google, Software

Android Google

Are almost 50 percent of the world's smartphones running Google's Android? According to Monday data from Canalys, Android ended the second quarter with 48 percent of the market, with Asia Pacific leading the charge.

Globally, the smartphone market is up 73 percent from last year, with 107.7 million devices shipped in the last quarter. Of the 56 countries tracked by Canalys, Android topped 35 of them, with 51.9 million shipments overall.

Why the boost? Canalys pointed to strong Android support from major handset makers like Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, ZTE, and Huawei. Android holds 85 percent of the market in South Korea and 71 percent in Taiwan alone.

Apple came in second place with 20.3 million iPhones sold and 19 percent of the market, which was enough to overtake Nokia's Symbian platform and make Apple the world's top smartphone vendor.

"The iPhone has been a phenomenal success story for Apple and a watershed product for the market," Canalys vice president and principal analyst Chris Jones said in a statement. "It’s an impressive success story, given that Apple has only been in the smartphone market for four years. 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."

Though Samsung moved ahead of Nokia in terms of handset manufacturers, Canalys said Samsung's overall performance was "underwhelming."

"Samsung has failed to fully capitalize on Nokia’s weakened state around the world, as the Finnish company rides out a challenging transitional period," said Jones. "It’s the best placed vendor to grow at Nokia’s expense, taking advantage of its global scale and channel reach, but it hasn’t yet done enough to capitalize on this, particularly in emerging markets."

Still, Samsung was the top Android vendor, shipping 17 million units.

Nokia will likely benefit from its decision to produce Windows Phone 7-based devices, but "Nokia is set to have several more difficult quarters before a possible reversal of fortunes," said Canalys Principal Analyst Pete Cunningham.

Canalys said Microsoft shipped fewer than 1.5 million Windows Phone devices during the quarter for a "mere 1 percent" share of the global market. Analysis from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, meanwhile, said that Microsoft has earned less than $600 million on sales of Windows Phone 7 devices, which the paper said was "abysmal."

Not surprisingly, RIM had a tough quarter in the U.S., slipping from 33 percent to 12 percent market share. Global shipments, however, were up 11 percent and it remained the top vendor in Latin America, Canalys said.

"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. "Nonetheless, it must continue to innovative and recapture lost momentum. It’s critical that the next-generation BlackBerry OS 7-based products launch ahead of the upcoming holiday season to compete in the market."

In the U.S., recent data from Nielsen put Android's market share at 39 percent, followed by Apple and iOS with 28 percent.

This article, written by Chloe Albanesius, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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